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  Cayman Islands   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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 Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

Climate:
tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Geographic coordinates:
19 30 N, 80 30 W

Natural resources:
fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: The Bluff (Cayman Brac) 43 m

Terrain:
low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs

Geography - note:
important location between Cuba and Central America

Area:
total: 262 sq km
land: 262 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Location:
Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest of Jamaica

Coastline:
160 km

Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:
NA

Environment - current issues:
no natural fresh water resources; drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchments

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to November)

Land use:
arable land: 3.85%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 96.15% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman (2008 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 (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.32 years
male: 77.68 years
female: 83 years (2008 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1970 est.)

Net migration rate:
16.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%

Median age:
total: 37.8 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 38.2 years (2008 est.)

Population:
47,862
note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
2.8% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
2.449% (2008 est.)

Languages:
English 95%, Spanish 3.2%, other 1.8% (1999 census)

Death rate:
4.83 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2001)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.9% (male 4,774/female 4,759)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 16,594/female 17,434)
65 years and over: 9% (male 2,022/female 2,279) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
12.43 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Church of God 26%, United Church 11.8% (Presbyterian and Congregational), Roman Catholic 11%, Baptist 8.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.2%, Anglican 5.7%, Pentacostal 5.3%, other Christian 2.7%, non-denominational 5.8%, other 3.8%, none 9.8%, unspecified 1.1% (1999 census)

Nationality:
noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:
Constitution Day, first Monday in July

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
British crown colony

Political pressure groups and leaders:
National Trust
other: environmentalists

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK

International organization participation:
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU, WFTU

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (18 seats; 3 appointed members from the Executive Council and 15 elected by popular vote; to 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

Legal system:
British common law and local statutes

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

Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands

Political parties and leaders:
United Democratic Party or UDP [McKeeva BUSH]; People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Kurt TIBBETTS]; note - no national teams (loose groupings of political organizations) were formed for the 2000 elections

Capital:
name: George Town (on Grand Cayman)
geographic coordinates: 19 18 N, 81 23 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
1959; revised 1962, 1972, and 1994

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by 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: 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

Administrative divisions:
8 districts; Creek, Eastern, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, West End, Western

Judicial branch:
Summary Court; Grand Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
546.1 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$70 million (1996)

Unemployment rate:
4.4% (2004)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$43,800 (2004 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.939 billion (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$NA

Exchange rates:
Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 0.8496 (2006)

GDP - real growth rate:
0.9% (2004 est.)

Labor force:
23,450 (2004)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.4% (2004)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 3.2%
services: 95.4% (1994 est.)

Oil - imports:
2,818 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$2.52 million (2004)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Caymanian dollar (KYD)

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 5,000 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.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, manufactured goods

Industries:
tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Electricity - production:
546.1 million kWh (2007 est.)

Imports:
$866.9 million (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 12.6%
services: 86% (1995)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
2,767 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$183.5 million (31 December 2007)

Currency code:
KYD

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
turtle products, manufactured consumer goods

Economic aid - recipient:
$390,000 (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $423.8 million
expenditures: $392.6 million (2004)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
22,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
38,000 (2002)

Televisions:
7,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.ky

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2004)

Radios:
36,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
33,800 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:
4 with cable system (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: reasonably good system
domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003; introduction of competition in the mobile-cellular market in 2004
international: country code - 1-345; landing point for the MAYA-1 submarine telephone cable network that provides links to the US and parts of Central and South America; submarine cable provides connectivity to Jamaica; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)

Internet hosts:
4,648 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
Cayman Brac, George Town

Merchant marine:
total: 109
by type: bulk carrier 30, cargo 2, chemical tanker 42, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: 107 (Denmark 3, Germany 15, Greece 16, Italy 4, Japan 13, Norway 1, Singapore 10, UK 3, US 42) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 785 km
paved: 785 km (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)

Airports:
3 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 11,790 (2008 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 9,577 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2007)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 336
female: 336 (2008 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
none

Illicit drugs:
offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe

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