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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Cayman Islands
Flag of Cayman Islands
Map of Cayman Islands
Introduction Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries, and were administered by Jamaica after 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies, but when the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency.
Geography Cayman Islands
Caribbean, three island (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman) group in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest of Jamaica
Geographic coordinates:
19 30 N, 80 30 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 262 sq km
land: 262 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
160 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)
low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: The Bluff (Cayman Brac) 43 m
Natural resources:
fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism
Land use:
arable land: 3.85%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 96.15% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to November)
Environment - current issues:
no natural fresh water resources; drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchments
Geography - note:
important location between Cuba and Central America
People Cayman Islands
note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.7% (male 4,708/female 4,700)
15-64 years: 70.9% (male 15,707/female 16,504)
65 years and over: 8.4% (male 1,793/female 2,024) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.2 years
male: 36.8 years
female: 37.5 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.56% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
12.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
4.89 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
17.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.07 years
male: 77.45 years
female: 82.74 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.9 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian
Ethnic groups:
mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%
United Church (Presbyterian and Congregational), Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1970 est.)
Government Cayman Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands
Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK
Government type:
British crown colony
name: George Town (on Grand Cayman)
geographic coordinates: 19 20 N, 81 23 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
8 districts; Creek, Eastern, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, West End, Western
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, first Monday in July
1959; revised 1962, 1972, and 1994
Legal system:
British common law and local statutes
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Governor Stuart JACK (since 23 November 2005)
head of government: Leader of Government Business Kurt TIBBETTS (since 18 May 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council (three members appointed by the governor, four members elected by the Legislative Assembly)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or coalition is appointed by the governor Leader of Government Business
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (18 seats, 3 appointed members from the Executive Council and 15 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 11 May 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPM 9, UDP 5, independent 1
Judicial branch:
Summary Court; Grand Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
no national teams (loose groupings of political organizations) were formed for the 2000 elections; United Democratic Party or UDP [leader McKeeva BUSH]; People's Progressive Movement or PPM [leader Kurt TIBBETTS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description:
blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Caymanian coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms includes a pineapple and turtle above a shield with three stars (representing the three islands) and a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS
Economy Cayman Islands
Economy - overview:
With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. More than 68,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 2003, including almost 500 banks, 800 insurers, and 5000 mutual funds. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the luxury market and caters mainly to visitors from North America. Total tourist arrivals exceeded 2.1 million in 2003, with about half from the US. About 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy one of the highest outputs per capita and one of the highest standards of living in the world.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.939 billion (2004 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
GDP - real growth rate:
0.9% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$43,800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 3.2%
services: 95.4% (1994 est.)
Labor force:
23,450 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 12.6%
services: 86% (1995)
Unemployment rate:
4.4% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.4% (2004)
revenues: $423.8 million
expenditures: $392.6 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2004)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming
tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
400 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
372 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
2,600 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
$2.52 million (2004)
Exports - commodities:
turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
Exports - partners:
mostly US (2004)
$866.9 million (2004)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
US, Netherlands Antilles, Japan (2004)
Debt - external:
$70 million (1996)
Economic aid - recipient:
$390,000 (2004)
Currency (code):
Caymanian dollar (KYD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Caymanian dollars per US dollar - 0.82 (29 October 2001), 0.83 (3 November 1995), 0.85 (22 November 1993)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Cayman Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
38,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
17,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: reasonably good system
domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003 reflected in falling prices and improving services
international: country code - 1-345; 2 submarine fiber optic cables (Maya-1, Cayman-Jamaica); satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2004)
36,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 with cable system (2004)
7,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
8,611 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
9,909 (2003)
Transportation Cayman Islands
3 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
total: 785 km
paved: 785 km (2002)
Merchant marine:
total: 132 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,746,290 GRT/4,366,790 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 14, chemical tanker 42, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 14, refrigerated cargo 23, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 130 (Denmark 5, Germany 13, Greece 21, Italy 12, Japan 1, Malaysia 1, Netherlands 4, Norway 2, Philippines 1, Singapore 10, Sweden 9, UK 10, US 41) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Cayman Brac, George Town
Military Cayman Islands
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 10,703 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 8,600 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 257 (2005 est.)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues Cayman Islands
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007