World > South America > Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

   flag of Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

   Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)


Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina. The UK asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.

Official name:

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)



Government type:



2,967 (July 2003 est.)



Official Currency:

Falkland pound (FKP)

Currency code:



total: 12,173 sq km
note: includes the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands
water: 0 sq km
land: 12,173 sq km


cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 24 inches in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but does not accumulate

Map of Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

map of Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)