Cayman Islands

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Introduction - Cayman Islands:


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.

Location - 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 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.3% (male 4,746/female 4,730)
15-64 years: 71% (male 16,135/female 16,964)
65 years and over: 8.6% (male 1,892/female 2,133) (2007 est.)

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Median age

total: 37.5 years
male: 37.1 years
female: 37.9 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.496% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

12.6 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

4.98 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

17.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.003 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.951 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.887 male(s)/female
total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 80.2 years
male: 77.57 years
female: 82.87 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.89 children born/woman (2007 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

Government type

British crown colony


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)

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); 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: 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; 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

Judicial branch

Summary Court; Grand Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders

United Democratic Party or UDP [McKeeva BUSH]; Peoples Progressive Movement or PPM [Kurt TIBBETTS]; note - no national teams (loose groupings of political organizations) were formed for the 2000 elections

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 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.

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 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

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

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 (2006)


$866.9 million (2004)

Imports commodities

foodstuffs, manufactured goods

Imports partners

US, Netherlands Antilles, Japan (2006)

Debt external

$70 million (1996)

Economic aid recipient

$390,000 (2004)

Currency code

Caymanian dollar (KYD)

Exchange rates

Caymanian dollars per US dollar - 0.8496 (2006)

Communications - Cayman Islands:

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

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)

Television broadcast stations

4 with cable system (2004)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

8,611 (2006)

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.)

Military note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 257 (2005 est.)

Disputes international


This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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Cayman Islands

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