Falkland Islanders

Last updated
Falkland Islanders
Two Falkland Islanders in 2003
Total population
3,398 (2016) [1]
Regions with significant populations
English (see Falkland Islands English)

Falkland Islanders, also called Falklanders [3] and nicknamed Kelpers , are the people of the British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands.



The Islanders are British, albeit with a distinct identity of their own:

British cultural, economic, social, political and educational values create a unique British-like, Falkland Islands. Yet Islanders feel distinctly different from their fellow citizens who reside in the United Kingdom. This might have something to do with geographical isolation or with living on a smaller island – perhaps akin to those British people not feeling European. (Lewis Clifton OBE, Speaker of the Falklands Legislative Council) [4]

They also see themselves as no different from other immigrant nations including those of neighbouring South America:

We are as much a people as those in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile and many other South American countries whose inhabitants are of principally European, Indigenous or African descent. (Councillor Mike Summers OBE) [5]

Kelpers is a nickname given to Falkland Islanders because the islands are surrounded by large seaweeds called kelp. [6] [7]

Demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.


Population pyramid 2006
DateMethodTotal PopulationMaleFemaleRatio
2000Treasury of the Falkland Islands Govt estimate [8] 2,826
20062006 Census [9] 2,9551,5691,3861.13:1
2007CIA estimate [10] 3,105
20122012 Census [11] 2,9311,4911,3491.11:1
20162016 Census [12] 3,3981,6871,511


With retrospective effect from 1 January 1983, as provided in the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, the Falkland Islanders have been full British citizens.

Ethnic groups

About 70 percent are of British descent, primarily as a result of Scottish and Welsh immigration to the islands. [13] The native-born inhabitants call themselves "Islanders"; the term "Kelpers", from the kelp which grows profusely around the islands, is still used in the Islands. People from the United Kingdom who have obtained Falkland Island status are known locally as 'belongers'.

A few Islanders are of French, Gibraltarian, Portuguese and Scandinavian descent. Some are the descendants of whalers who reached the Islands during the last two centuries. There is also a small minority of South American, mainly Chilean origin, and in more recent times many people from Saint Helena have also come to work and live in the Islands. [14]


The most predominant religion is Christianity, of which the primary denominations are Church of England, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, and Lutheran. Smaller numbers are Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists and Greek Orthodox; with the latter being due to Greek fishermen passing through.[ citation needed ] There is also a Bahá'í congregation. [15] The islands are the home of the Apostolic Prefecture of the Falkland Islands.


The official language of the islands is English. [16] The Falklands English vernacular has a fair amount of borrowed Spanish words (often modified or corrupted); they are particularly numerous, indeed dominant in the local horse-related terminology. For instance, the Islanders use ‘alizan’, ‘colorao’, ‘negro’, ‘blanco’, ‘gotiao’, ‘picasso’, ‘sarco’, ‘rabincana’ etc. for certain horse colours and looks, or ‘bosal’, ‘cabresta’, ‘bastos’, ‘cinch’, ‘conjinilla’, ‘meletas’, ‘tientas’, ‘manares’ etc. for various items of horse gear. [17]


There are more than 30 different sports clubs on the Falklands, including badminton, clay-pigeon shooting, cricket, football, golf, hockey, netball, rugby union, sailing, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. [18] The Falklands compete in the Commonwealth Games and in the biennial Island Games. [19] Louis Baillon is the only Falkland Islander to have become an Olympic champion, as a member of the British field hockey team which won a gold medal in 1908.

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British Overseas Territories Territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom

The British Overseas Territories (BOTs) or United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs) are fourteen territories all with a constitutional link with – but not forming part of – the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel. They all have the British monarch as head of state.

Religion in Africa is multifaceted and has been a major influence on art, culture and philosophy. Today, the continent's various populations and individuals are mostly adherents of Christianity, Islam, and to a lesser extent several traditional African religions. In Christian or Islamic communities, religious beliefs are also sometimes characterized with syncretism with the beliefs and practices of traditional religions.

Culture of the Falkland Islands culture of the Falkland Islands

The culture of the Falkland Islands is essentially analogous to that of British culture. The Falkland Islands have a large non-native born population, mainly white and from England, but also from Saint Helena.

Christianity by country Wikimedia list article

As of the year 2015, Christianity had approximately 2.3 billion adherents out of a worldwide population of about 7.5 billion people. It represents nearly one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with the three largest groups of Christians being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The largest Christian denomination is the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion baptized members. The second largest Christian branch is either Protestantism, or the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Falkland Islands Group of islands in the South Atlantic

The Falkland Islands is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles east of South America's southern Patagonian coast, and about 752 miles from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles, comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The Falkland Islands' capital is Stanley on East Falkland.

Religion in South America has been a major influence on art, culture, philosophy and law. Christianity is the main religion, with Roman Catholics having the most adherents. Sizeable minorities of non-religious people and adherents of other religions are also present.

Origins of Falkland Islanders

Falkland Islanders derive from various origins. Earliest among these are the numerically small but internationally diverse early 19th century inhabitants of the Falkland Islands, comprising and descended in part from settlers brought by Luis Vernet, and English and American sealers; South American gauchos who settled in the 1840s and 1850s; and since the late 1830s, settlers largely from Britain with a minority from other European countries. There has also been significant recent contributions from Saint Helena and Chile.

Falkland Islands English variety of the English language

Falkland Islands English is mainly British in character. However, as a result of the isolation of the islands, the small population has developed and retains its own accent/dialect, which persists despite many immigrants from the United Kingdom in recent years. In rural areas, known as ‘Camp’, the Falkland accent tends to be stronger. The dialect has resemblances to Australian, New Zealand, West Country and Norfolk dialects of English, as well as Lowland Scots.

Outline of the Falkland Islands Overview of and topical guide to the Falkland Islands

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Falkland Islands:

Asian people or Asiatic people are people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.

LGBT rights in the Falkland Islands Rights of LGBT people in the Falkland Islands

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the British Overseas Territory of the Falkland Islands enjoy most of the same rights as non-LGBT people. Marriage and civil partnerships have been open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples since 29 April 2017. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is constitutionally banned. Additionally, attitudes are largely positive; a public consultation found that 90% of respondents were in favour of same-sex marriage.

With 93% of its population being considered religious, Islam is the majority and constitutionally established state religion in Morocco. According to Pew, 67% of Muslims in Morocco are Sunni belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence, whilst 30% are non-denominational Muslim according to the survey they conducted. The second-largest religion in the country is Christianity, but most Christians in Morocco are foreigners. There is a Bahá'í community. Only a fraction of the former number of Jews has remained in the country, many having moved to Israel.

Janet Robertson is an Argentine-born Falkland Islands politician who served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Stanley constituency from 2005 until 2009. Robertson was elected as a Member of the Legislative Council, which was reconstituted into the Legislative Assembly with the implementation of the 2009 Constitution.

Turks and Caicos Islanders of African descent or Black Turks and Caicos Islanders are Turks and Caicos Islanders who are of African descent.

Religion in the Falkland Islands

Religion on the Falkland Islands is predominantly Christianity, of which the primary denominations are Church of England, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, and Lutheran. In the 2006 census most islanders identified themselves as Christian, followed by those who refused to answer or had no religious affiliation. The remaining 1.3 percent were adherents of other faiths.


  1. "Falkland Islands 2016 Census" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  2. The Baha’i faith has a small local following.
  3. Chater, Tony. The Falklands. St. Albans: The Penna Press, 1996. p. 137. ISBN   0-9504113-1-0
  4. Clifton, Lewis. The Falkland Islands: Self-government with an emerging national identity? News and Journal 2004, The 21st Century Trust. London, 1999. pp. 16-19.
  5. Summers, Mike. Self-Determination In The Falkland Islands. In: L. Ivanov et al.The Future of the Falkland Islands and Its People. Sofia: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2003. 96 pp. ISBN   954-91503-1-3
  6. allwords.com definition for "Kelper"
  7. dictionary.com definition for "Kelper"
  8. 10Th, Ed 2002 (2001). South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2002. ISBN   9781857431216.
  9. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2011-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fk.html
  11. "2012 census" (PDF). falklands.gov.fk. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2018-03-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Vincent, Patrick (March 1983). The Geographical Journal, Vol. 149, No. 1, pp 16–17.
  14. "UK | Falklands questions answered". BBC News. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  15. "Falkland Islands Bahá'í Community Newsletter". Horizon.co.fk. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  16. "CIA - The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  17. Spruce, Joan. Corrals and Gauchos: Some of the people and places involved in the cattle industry. Falklands Conservation Publication. Bangor: Peregrine Publishing, 1992. 48 pp.
  18. Falklands Information website clubs page Archived 2011-02-28 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  19. Island Games website membership page. Retrieved 9 July 2008.