Cayman Islands

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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. When the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency. The territory has transformed itself into a significant offshore financial center.

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates

19.30° N, 80.30° W

Area 211/257

total: 264 sq km

land: 264 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

160 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate

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

Terrain

low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: The Bluff on Cayman Brac 43 m

Natural resources

fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism

Land use

agricultural land: 11.2%

arable land 0.8%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 8.3%

forest: 52.9%

other: 35.9% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

hurricanes (July to November)

Environment - current issues

no natural freshwater resources; drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchments

Geography - note

important location between Cuba and Central America

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Caymanian(s)

adjective: Caymanian

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

English (official) 90.9%, Spanish 4%, Filipino 3.3%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

Religions

Protestant 67.8% (includes Church of God 22.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 9.4%, Presbyterian/United Church 8.6%, Baptist 8.3%,Pentecostal 7.1%, non-denominational 5.3%, Anglican 4.1%, Wesleyan Holiness 2.4%), Roman Catholic 14.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other 7%, none 9.3%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)

Population 207/238

56,092 (July 2013 est.)

note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.26% (male 5,158/female 5,084)

15-24 years: 12.76% (male 3,542/female 3,615)

25-54 years: 43.49% (male 11,894/female 12,500)

55-64 years: 13.93% (male 3,712/female 4,104)

65 years and over: 11.56% (male 3,047/female 3,436) (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 39.7 years

male: 39 years

female: 40.3 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 46/233

2.1% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 164/224

12.11 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 175/225

5.53 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 4/222

14.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

GEORGE TOWN (capital) 31,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 165/224

total: 6.08 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 6.95 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 26/224

total population: 81.13 years

male: 78.43 years

female: 83.88 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 144/224

1.86 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 97.4% of population

total: 97.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 2.6% of population

total: 2.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 95.6% of population

total: 95.6% of population

unimproved:

urban: 4.4% of population

total: 4.4% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Education expenditures

NA

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 86/134

total: 24.2%

male: 32%

female: 16.6% (2013 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Cayman Islands

etymology: the islands' name comes from the native Carib word "caiman," describing the marine crocodiles living there

Government type

parliamentary democracy

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)

daylight saving time: a decision has been made to introduce DST in the archipelago for the first time beginning in 2016; a date for implementation is pending, though it seems likely it will match the date used in the US and Canada

Administrative divisions

6 districts; Bodden Town, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, East End, George Town, North Side, West Bay

Independence

none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Constitution Day, first Monday in July

Constitution

several previous; latest approved 10 June 2009, entered into force 6 November 2009 (The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009) (2015)

Legal system

English common law and local statutes

Citizenship

see United Kingdom

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Helen KILPATRICK (since 6 September 2013)

head of government: Premier Alden MCLAUGHLIN (since 29 May 2013)

cabinet: The Cabinet (6 members selected from the Legislative Assembly and appointed by the governor on the advice of the premier)

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition appointed premier by the governor

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly (20 seats; 18 members directly elected by majority vote and 2 ex officio members - the deputy governor and attorney general - appointed by the governor; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 22 May 2013 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - PPM 36.1%, UDP 27.8%, C4C 18.6%, PNA 5.7%, independent 11.9%; seats by party - PPM 9, UDP 3, C4C 3, PNA 1, independent 2

Judicial branch

highest resident court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and at least 2 judges); Grand Court (consists of the court president and at least 2 judges); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Grand Court judges appointed by the governor on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an 8-member independent body consisting of governor appointees, Court of Appeal president, and attorneys; Court of Appeal judges' tenure based on their individual instruments of appointment; Grand Court judges normally appointed until retirement at age 65 but can be extended until age 70

subordinate courts: Summary Court

Political parties and leaders

People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Kurt TIBBETTS]

United Democratic Party or UDP [McKeeva BUSH]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Coalition for Cayman or C4C

National People's Alliance or PNA

National Trust

other: environmentalists

International organization participation

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU

Flag description

a blue field 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 crest with a pineapple, representing the connection with Jamaica, and a turtle, representing Cayman's seafaring tradition, above a shield bearing a golden lion, symbolizing Great Britain, below which are three green stars (representing the three islands) surmounting white and blue wavy lines representing the sea and a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS

National symbol(s)

green sea turtle

National anthem

name: "Beloved Isle Cayman"

lyrics/music: Leila E. ROSS

note: adopted 1993; served as an unofficial anthem since 1930; as a territory of the United Kingdom, in addition to the local anthem, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy

Economy - overview

With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. More than 93,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 2008, including almost 300 banks, 800 insurers, and 10,000 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 1.9 million in 2008, with about half from the US. Nearly 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard of living comparable to that of Switzerland.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 192/230

$2.507 billion (2014 est.)

$2.465 billion (2013 est.)

$2.435 billion (2012 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.25 billion (2008 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 156/225

1.7% (2014 est.)

1.2% (2013 est.)

1.6% (2012 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 35/230

$43,800 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 63.8%

government consumption: 14.8%

investment in fixed capital: 22.1%

investment in inventories: 0%

exports of goods and services: 49.3%

imports of goods and services: -50% (2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.3%

industry: 28.2%

services: 71.5% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate 116/202

2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 197/233

39,000

note: nearly 55% are non-nationals (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 1.9%

industry: 19.1%

services: 79% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate 34/207

4% (2008)

4.4% (2004)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $811.8 million

expenditures: $771 million (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 54/219

36.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 15/220

1.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 98/226

1.7% (2015 est.)

1% (2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 171/192

$334.3 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money 128/193

$5.564 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

$183.5 million (31 December 2007)

$188.4 million (31 December 2006)

Exports 215/224

$14.7 million (2015 est.)

$15.2 million (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

turtle products, manufactured consumer goods

Imports 188/223

$707.4 million (2015 est.)

$705.3 million (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$NA

Exchange rates

Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar -

0.83 (2015 est.)

0.83 (2014 est.)

0.83 (2013 est.)

0.83 (2012 est.)

0.83 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 160/220

587 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 172/219

545.9 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 122/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 132/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 164/214

150,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 9/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 68/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 166/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 168/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 118/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 110/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 173/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 117/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 167/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 177/212

3,700 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 167/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 169/213

3,730 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 171/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 130/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 79/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 178/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 124/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 181/212

473,000 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 170/219

total subscriptions: 32,900

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 60 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 193/217

total: 91,100

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 166 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: reasonably good overall telephone system with a high fixed-line teledensity

domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003; introduction of competition in the mobile-cellular market in 2004

international: country code - 1-345; landing points for the Maya-1, Eastern Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS), and the Cayman-Jamaica Fiber System submarine cables that provide links to the US and parts of Central and South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

4 TV stations; cable and satellite subscription services offer a variety of international programming; government-owned Radio Cayman operates 2 networks broadcasting on 5 stations; 10 privately owned radio stations operate alongside Radio Cayman (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 14, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television broadcast stations

4 with cable system (2004)

Internet country code

.ky

Internet hosts 114/232

23,472 (2012)

Internet users 189/217

total: 43,600

percent of population: 79.4% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 196/236

3 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)

Roadways 189/223

total: 785 km

paved: 785 km (2007)

Merchant marine 46/156

total: 116

by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 3, chemical tanker 61, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 10, vehicle carrier 16

foreign-owned: 102 (Germany 3, Greece 9, Italy 7, Japan 23, Switzerland 1, UK 2, US 57) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Cayman Brac, George Town

Military and Security

Military branches

no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none

Illicit drugs

major offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe (2008)