Falkland Islands, a group of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 350 miles (560 km) east of the Strait of Magellan. The Falkland Islands are a British territory, but they are claimed by Argentina. The Argentine name for them is Malvinas. They consist of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, and numerous islets. The total area is 4,618 square miles (11,961 km 2 ).
The islands are bleak and almost treeless. The weather is cool to chilly and often windy and rainy. The islanders are mostly of British origin. Sheep raising is the main occupation, and wool the main export. Fishing is increasingly important.
The Falkland Islands were discovered in 1592 by John Davis (or Davys), an English explorer. At various times they were claimed by England, France, Spain, and Argentina. In 1832–33 the British expelled a few Argentinians from the islands and occupied them permanently. The islands are still claimed by Argentina. On December 8, 1914, a German squadron was defeated by the British off the Falkland Islands.
In April, 1982, Argentina seized the islands, but a British expeditionary force retook them in June.
The population of the islands in 1980 was 1,855. More than half of the people live in Stanley, the capital.