A national census has shown less than a third of the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands consider themselves British, with almost two thirds of the islands' inhabitants considering their national identity as “Falkland Islander.”
None of the inhabitants identified themselves as Argentinian, sending a defiant message to the South American nation, who call the territory “Islas Malvinas” and claim it rightfully belongs to them.
The census also showed the independence of the Islanders, 30 years after the conflict which saw 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders lose their lives.
Falkland Islands united tweeted “ To clarify: As a people we are Falkland Islanders but identify with the British in almost every way, living our lives accordingly”
Argentina has accused the UK of acting as a “crude colonial power” over its sovereignty of the Falklands, and refuse to recognise its national government. The bitter dispute has been exacerbated by British oil exploration in the region.
In June it was announced that the Port Stanley government would hold a referendum over its sovereignty after Argentine President Cristina Kercher made a formal complaint to the United Nations Security Council, accusing Britain of "militarising" their long dispute over the territory.
Yet the future of the Falkland Islands is threatened by its static population numbers and ageing residents. The population aged over 65 has grown by 14%, the latest census showed.
Unemployment currently stands at less than 1%,a double-edged sword for the Islanders. "If the Falklands is to progress we need to increase our population," Les Harris, a 73-year-old retired power station manager told the Associated Press.
Following the recent census, a Foreign Office spokesman said: “There is no doubt that the people of the Falkland Islands want to remain British. The census serves to reinforce that position and the Islands’ status as a British Overseas Territory."