Falk Islands (Islas Malvinas) Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but fishing and tourism currently comprise the bulk of economic activity. In 1987, the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees net more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. The waters around the Falkland Islands are known for their squid, which account for around 75% of the annual 200,000-ton catch.

Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Foreign exchange earnings come from shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and from the sale of postage stamps and coins.

Tourism, especially ecotourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 69,000 visitors in 2009 and adds approximately $5.5 million to the Falkland’s annual GDP. The British military presence also provides a sizable economic boost. The islands are now self-financing except for defense.

In 1993, the British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day. Political tensions between the UK and Argentina remain high following the start of oil drilling activities in the waters. In May 2010 the first commercial oil discovery was made, signaling the potential for the development of a long term hydrocarbon industry in the Falkland Islands.

Real GDP growth rate

25.5% (2015 est.)

-1.8% (2014 est.)

-20.4% (2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.4% (2014 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$206.4 million (2015 est.)

$164.5 million (2014 est.)

$167.5 million (2013 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$206.4 million (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$70,800 (2015 est.)

$63,000 (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 41% (2015 est.)

industry: 20.6% NA (2015 est.)

services: 38.4% NA (2015 est.)

Agricultural products

fodder and vegetable crops; venison, sheep, dairy products; fish, squid


fish and wool processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate


Labor force

1,850 (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 41%

industry: 24.5%

services: 34.5% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

1% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line


Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

36 (2015)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA


revenues: 67.1 million (FY09/10)

expenditures: 75.3 million (FY09/10)

Taxes and other revenues

32.5% (of GDP) (FY09/10)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4% (of GDP) (FY09/10)

Public debt

0% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March


$257.3 million (2015 est.)

$125 million (2004 est.)

Exports - partners

Spain 78%, United States 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

mollusks, fish, wool, sheep/goat meats, engine parts (2019)


$90 million (2004 est.)

Imports - partners

United Kingdom 79%, Netherlands 16% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, spark-ignition engines, stone processing machinery, construction vehicles, cars (2019)

Debt - external

$0 (2017 est.)

$0 (2016 est.)

Exchange rates

Falkland pounds (FKP) per US dollar -

0.7836 (2017 est.)

0.6542 (2016 est.)

0.6542 (2015)

0.6542 (2014 est.)

0.6391 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Falk Islands (Islas Malvinas) on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Falk Islands (Islas Malvinas) 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Falk Islands (Islas Malvinas) 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 16 Dec 23 ITA all rights reserved.