The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but today fishing contributes 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 total more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Foreign exchange earnings come from shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day; to date, no exploitable site has been identified. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995 seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves. Political tensions between the UK and Argentina rose in early 2010 after a UK company began oil drilling activities in the waters around the Falkland Islands but abated somewhat when the drilling operation failed to discover commercially exploitable oil reserves. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 30,000 visitors in 2001. Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost.
- Budget > Expenditures: Expenditures calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms
- Budget > Revenues: Revenues calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms
- Budget surplus > + or deficit > -: This entry records the difference between national government revenues and expenditures, expressed as a percent of GDP. A positive (+) number indicates that revenues exceeded expenditures (a budget surplus), while a negative (-) number indicates the reverse (a budget deficit). Normalizing the data, by dividing the budget balance by GDP, enables easy comparisons across countries and indicates whether a national government saves or borrows money. Countries with high budget deficits (relative to their GDPs) generally have more difficulty raising funds to finance expenditures, than those with lower deficits.
- Exports: This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise exports on an f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.
- Exports > Commodities: This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued exported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.
- Fiscal year: The beginning and ending months for a country's accounting period of 12 months, which often is the calendar year but which may begin in any month. All yearly references are for the calendar year (CY) unless indicated as a noncalendar fiscal year (FY).
- GDP > Composition by sector > Agriculture: The gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods produced by the agricultural sector within a nation in a given year. GDP dollar estimates in the Factbook are derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations. See the CIA World Factbook for more information.
- GDP > Per capita > PPP: This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year.
- GDP > Purchasing power parity: This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries. The measure is difficult to compute, as a US dollar value has to be assigned to all goods and services in the country regardless of whether these goods and services have a direct equivalent in the United States (for example, the value of an ox-cart or non-US military equipment); as a result, PPP estimates for some countries are based on a small and sometimes different set of goods and services. In addition, many countries do not formally participate in the World Bank's PPP project that calculates these measures, so the resulting GDP estimates for these countries may lack precision. For many developing countries, PPP-based GDP measures are multiples of the official exchange rate (OER) measure. The difference between the OER- and PPP-denominated GDP values for most of the weathly industrialized countries are generally much smaller.
- Imports: This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise imports on a c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight) or f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.
- Industries: A rank ordering of industries starting with the largest by value of annual output.
- Inflation rate > Consumer prices: This entry furnishes the annual percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's consumer prices.
- Labor force: This entry contains the total labor force figure.
- Unemployment rate: This entry contains the percent of the labor force that is without jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted.