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  Introduction Back To Top

Strategically important, Gibraltar was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. The subsequent granting of autonomy in 1969 by the UK led to Spain closing the border and severing all communication links. A series of talks were held by the UK and Spain between 1997 and 2002 on establishing temporary joint sovereignty over Gibraltar. In response to these talks, the Gibraltar Government called a referendum in late 2002 in which the majority of citizens voted overwhelmingly against any sharing of sovereignty with Spain. Since the referendum, tripartite talks on other issues have been held with Spain, the UK, and Gibraltar, and in September 2006 a three-way agreement was signed. Spain agreed to remove restrictions on air movements, to speed up customs procedures, to implement international telephone dialing, and to allow mobile roaming agreements. Britain agreed to pay increased pensions to Spaniards who had been employed in Gibraltar before the border closed. Spain will be allowed to open a cultural institute from which the Spanish flag will fly. A new noncolonial constitution came into effect in 2007, but the UK retains responsibility for defense, foreign relations, internal security, and financial stability.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
total: 1.2 km
border countries: Spain 1.2 km

Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
36 08 N, 5 21 W

Natural resources:

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Rock of Gibraltar 426 m

a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar

Geography - note:
strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea

total: 6.5 sq km
land: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southern coast of Spain

12 km

Area - comparative:
a little less than one half the size of Rhode Island

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
limited natural freshwater resources: large concrete or natural rock water catchments collect rainwater (no longer used for drinking water) and adequate desalination plant

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm

Natural hazards:

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)

  People Back To Top

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

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.06 years
male: 77.17 years
female: 83.09 years (2008 est.)

definition: NA
total population: above 80%
male: NA
female: NA

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Spanish, Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese, German, North Africans

Median age:
total: 40.3 years
male: 39.8 years
female: 40.7 years (2008 est.)

28,002 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:

Population growth rate:
0.125% (2008 est.)

English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese

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

Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.91 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.9% (male 2,426/female 2,309)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 9,507/female 9,153)
65 years and over: 16.5% (male 2,103/female 2,504) (2008 est.)

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

Roman Catholic 78.1%, Church of England 7%, other Christian 3.2%, Muslim 4%, Jewish 2.1%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 0.9%, none 2.9% (2001 census)

noun: Gibraltarian(s)
adjective: Gibraltar

  Government Back To Top

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

National holiday:
National Day, 10 September (1967); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or go with Spain

18 years of age; universal; and British citizens who have been residents six months or more

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar Representatives Organization; Women's Association

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

Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK

International organization participation:
Interpol (subbureau), UPU

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (18 seats: 17 members elected by popular vote, 1 for the Speaker appointed by Parliament; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 11 October 2007 (next to be held not later than October 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - GSD 49.3%, GSLP 31.8%, Gibraltar Liberal Party 13.6%; seats by party - GSD 10, GSLP 4, Gibraltar Liberal Party 3

Legal system:
the laws of the UK, where applicable, apply

Flag description:
two horizontal bands of white (top, double width) and red with a three-towered red castle in the center of the white band; hanging from the castle gate is a gold key centered in the red band

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gibraltar

Political parties and leaders:
Gibraltar Liberal Party [Joseph GARCIA]; Gibraltar Social Democrats or GSD [Peter CARUANA]; Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or GSLP [Joseph John BOSSANO]

name: Gibraltar
geographic coordinates: 36 08 N, 5 21 W
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

5 June 2006; came into force 2 January 2007

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Sir Robert FULTON (since 27 October 2006)
head of government: Chief Minister Peter CARUANA (since 17 May 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed from among the 17 elected members of the Parliament by the governor in consultation with the chief minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed chief minister by the governor

Administrative divisions:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
142 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Debt - external:

Unemployment rate:
3% (2005 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$38,200 (2005 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.066 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.066 billion (2005 est.)

Exchange rates:
Gibraltar pounds (GIP) per US dollar - 0.4993 (2007), 0.5434 (2006), 0.5504 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003)
note: the Gibraltar pound is at par with the British pound

GDP - real growth rate:
7% (2005 est.)

Labor force:
12,690 (including non-Gibraltar laborers) (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.9% (2005)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Oil - imports:
25,080 bbl/day (2005)

$271 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

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

Currency (code):
Gibraltar pound (GIP)

Economy - overview:
Self-sufficient Gibraltar benefits from an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and its position as an international conference center. The British military presence has been sharply reduced and now contributes about 7% to the local economy, compared with 60% in 1984. The financial sector, tourism (almost 5 million visitors in 1998), shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. The financial sector, the shipping sector, and tourism each contribute 25%-30% of GDP. Telecommunications accounts for another 10%. In recent years, Gibraltar has seen major structural change from a public to a private sector economy, but changes in government spending still have a major impact on the level of employment.

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

Imports - commodities:
fuels, manufactured goods, and foodstuffs

tourism, banking and finance, ship repairing, tobacco

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Electricity - production:
142 million kWh (2006 est.)

$2.967 billion c.i.f. (2004 est.)

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

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: negligible
industry: 40%
services: 60% (2001)

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

Oil - consumption:
22,620 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Public debt:
15.7% of GDP (2005 est.)

Currency code:

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

Exports - commodities:
(principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods 41%, other 8%

Economic aid - recipient:

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.)

revenues: $455.1 million
expenditures: $423.6 million (2005 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June

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

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
6,200 (2002)

Telephones - main lines in use:
24,512 (2002)

10,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)

37,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
9,797 (2002)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (1997)

Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate, automatic domestic system and adequate international facilities
domestic: automatic exchange facilities
international: country code - 350; radiotelephone; microwave radio relay; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)

Internet hosts:
1,904 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:

Merchant marine:
total: 240
by type: bulk carrier 5, cargo 125, chemical tanker 51, container 43, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 10, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 225 (Belgium 2, Cyprus 1, Denmark 7, Finland 3, Germany 129, Greece 6, Iceland 1, Morocco 4, Netherlands 21, Norway 33, Sweden 13, UAE 3, UK 2)
registered in other countries: 7 (Liberia 5, Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2008)

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

total: 29 km
paved: 29 km (2007)

1 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 6,308 (2008 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK; the Royal Gibraltar Regiment replaced the last British regular infantry forces in 1992

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,244 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Royal Gibraltar Regiment

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 190
female: 185 (2008 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any "shared sovereignty" arrangement; the government of Gibraltar insists on equal participation in talks between the UK and Spain; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar even greater autonomy

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