The 19-square-kilometre municipality is the 421st largest by area out of the 426 municipalities in Norway. Værøy is the 415th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of only 415. The municipality's population density is 40 inhabitants per square kilometre and its population has decreased by 0.5% over the last decade.
The municipality of Værøy was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 July 1928, the southern district of Værøy (population: 731) was separated to become the new municipality of Røst.
The Old Norse form of the name was Veðrøy. The first element is veðr which means "weather" (here referring to harsh weather and the exposed and unsheltered position of the island). The last element is øy which means "island". Historically, the name has been spelled Værø.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 10 July 1988. The arms show a puffin on a blue background. Puffins nest in large numbers in the area and used to be of great importance for the village, both for meat and down.
The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Værøy. It is part of the Bodø deanery in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland.
The island municipality is made up of many islands, the two largest islands being Værøya and Mosken. It is located at the end of the Lofoten archipelago. The Norwegian Sea lies to the northwest and the Vestfjorden lies to the southeast. The Moskenstraumen maelstrom lies to the north between Værøy and Moskenesøya.
The weather in Værøy can be very changeable. Sunshine, rain, wind, and mist may interchange rapidly. The winter climate is mild and the temperature seldom drops below 0 °C (32 °F). This makes conditions for stockfish exceptionally good.
Røst and Værøy are famous with meteorologists, as they are the most northern locations in the world where there is no meteorological winter because the average temperature generally stays above freezing all year. The winter temperatures in southern Lofoten represent the highest temperature anomaly in the world relative to latitude due to the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean Sea. However the winter weather is rather windy and damp, so it does not feel so mild.
All municipalities in Norway, including Værøy, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.
The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Værøy is made up of 13 representatives that are elected to four year terms
Helicopter transport is available from Bodø at the Værøy Heliport in Sørland. There was airplane service at Værøy Airport, but it was discontinued after the Værøy accident in 1990 in which five people lost their lives. The airport was determined to be in a bad position, due to the location next to a mountain and the frequent presence of strong and unpredictable winds, which made takeoffs and landings dangerous. Ferry service is also available from Bodø, Moskenes, and Røst.