Guernsey

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Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. Guernsey is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.

Geography

Location

Western Europe, islands in the English Channel, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates

49.28° N, 2.35° W

Area 228/257

total: 78 sq km

land: 78 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Alderney, Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and some other smaller islands

Area - comparative

about one-half the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

50 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm

Climate

temperate with mild winters and cool summers; about 50% of days are overcast

Terrain

mostly flat with low hills in southwest

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed elevation on Sark 114 m

Natural resources

cropland

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

NA

Environment - current issues

NA

Geography - note

large, deepwater harbor at Saint Peter Port

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Channel Islander(s)

adjective: Channel Islander

Ethnic groups

British and Norman-French descent with small percentages from other European countries

Languages

English, French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts

Religions

Protestant (Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist), Roman Catholic

Population 205/238

66,080 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.49% (male 4,956/female 4,619)

15-24 years: 11.71% (male 3,940/female 3,798)

25-54 years: 42.05% (male 14,007/female 13,782)

55-64 years: 12.86% (male 4,237/female 4,260)

65 years and over: 18.89% (male 5,643/female 6,838) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 47%

youth dependency ratio: 21.6%

elderly dependency ratio: 25.4%

potential support ratio: 3.9%

note: data represents the Channel Islands (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 43.4 years

male: 42.1 years

female: 44.5 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 169/233

0.34% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 198/224

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

Death rate 70/225

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

Net migration rate 45/222

2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 31.4% of total population (2014)

rate of urbanization: 0.76% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

note: data is for the Channel Islands

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 207/224

total: 3.44 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.74 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 10/224

total population: 82.47 years

male: 79.79 years

female: 85.29 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 189/224

1.55 children born/woman (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Bailiwick of Guernsey

conventional short form: Guernsey

etymology: the name is of Old Norse origin, but the meaning of the root "Guern(s)" is uncertain; the "-ey" ending means "island"

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Capital

name: Saint Peter Port

geographic coordinates: 49.27° N, 2.32° W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

none (British crown dependency); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 10 parishes: Castel, Forest, Saint Andrew, Saint Martin, Saint Peter Port, Saint Pierre du Bois, Saint Sampson, Saint Saviour, Torteval, Vale

Independence

none (British crown dependency)

National holiday

Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)

Constitution

unwritten; includes royal charters, statutes, and common law and practice

Legal system

customary legal system based on Norman customary law, and includes elements of the French Civil Code and English common law

Citizenship

see United Kingdom

Suffrage

16 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Lieutenant Governor (vacant); note - Lieutenant Governor Air Marshall Peter WALKER died 6 September 2015; Bailiff Sir Richard COLLAS becomes acting lieutenant governor

head of government: Chief Minister Jonathan LE TOCQ (since 12 March 2014); Bailiff Sir Richard COLLAS (since 23 March 2012)

cabinet: none; note - the Policy Council, elected by the States of Deliberation, functions mainly as policy coordination body

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor and bailiff appointed by the monarch; chief minister indirectly elected by States of Deliberation election last held on 12 March 2014 (next to be held May 2016)

election results: Jonathan LE TOCQ (independent) elected chief minister; States of Deliberation vote - 22 of 42 votes

Legislative branch

description: unicameral States of Deliberation (47 seats - 45 People's Deputies and 2 representatives of the States of Alderney; members directly elected by majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - non-voting members include the bailiff (presiding officer), attorney-general, and solicitor-general

elections: last held on 18 April 2012 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independent

Judicial branch

highest resident court(s): Guernsey Court of Appeal (consists of the Bailiff of Guernsey, who is the ex-officio president of the Guernsey Court of Appeal, and at least 12 judges); Royal Court (organized into 3 divisions - Full Court sits with 1 judge and 7 to 12 jurats acting as judges of fact, Ordinary Court sits with 1 judge and normally 3 jurats, and Matrimonial Causes Division sits with a 1 judge and 4 jurats); note - appeals beyond Guernsey courts are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: Royal Court Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff and Court of Appeal justices appointed by the British Crown and hold office at Her Majesty's pleasure; jurats elected by the States of Election, a body chaired by the Bailiff and a number of jurats

subordinate courts: Court of Alderney; Court of the Seneschal of Sark; Magistrate's Court (includes Juvenile Court); Contracts Court; Ecclesiastical Court; Court of Chief Pleas

Political parties and leaders

none; all independents

Political pressure groups and leaders

No More Masts [Colin FALLAIZE]

Stop Traffic Endangering Pedestrian Safety or STEPS

International organization participation

UPU

Flag description

white with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) extending to the edges of the flag and a yellow equal-armed cross of William the Conqueror superimposed on the Saint George cross; the red cross represents the old ties with England and the fact that Guernsey is a British Crown dependency; the gold cross is a replica of the one used by Duke William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings

National symbol(s)

Guernsey cow, donkey; national colors: red, white, yellow

National anthem

name: "Sarnia Cherie" (Guernsey Dear)

lyrics/music: George DEIGHTON/Domencio SANTANGELO

note: adopted 1911; serves as a local anthem; as a British crown dependency, "God Save the Queen" remains official (see United Kingdom)

Economy

Economy - overview

Financial services account for about 40% of employment and about 55% of total income in this tiny, prosperous Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Financial services, construction, retail, and the public sector have been growing. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. In October 2014, Guernsey signed an OECD agreement to automatically exchange some financial account information to limit tax avoidance and evasion.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 181/230

$3.451 billion (2013 est.)

$3.42 billion (2012 est.)

$3.36 billion (2011 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.742 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 185/225

0.9% (2013 est.)

1.2% (2012 est.)

4.2%

GDP - per capita (PPP) 23/230

$52,300 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3%

industry: 10%

services: 87% (2000)

Agriculture - products

tomatoes, greenhouse flowers, sweet peppers, eggplant, fruit; Guernsey cattle

Industries

tourism, banking

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Labor force 204/233

31,470 (March 2006)

Unemployment rate 4/207

0.9% (March 2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $563.6 million

expenditures: $530.9 million (2005)

Taxes and other revenues 153/219

20.6% of GDP (2005)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 18/220

1.2% of GDP (2005)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 139/226

3.4% (June 2006 est.)

Exports

$NA

Exports - commodities

tomatoes, flowers and ferns, sweet peppers, eggplant, other vegetables

Imports

$NA

Imports - commodities

coal, gasoline, oil, machinery and equipment

Debt - external

$NA

Exchange rates

Guernsey pound per US dollar

0.65 (2015)

0.61 (2014)

0.61 (2013)

0.63 (2012)

0.62 (2011)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 165/219

total subscriptions: 45,100

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 203/217

total: 43,800

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2004)

Telephone system

domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular services widely available; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 per 100 persons

international: country code - 44; 1 submarine cable (2011)

Broadcast media

multiple UK terrestrial TV broadcasts are received via a transmitter in Jersey with relays in Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney; satellite packages are available; BBC Radio Guernsey and 1 other radio station operating (2009)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

1 (1997)

Internet country code

.gg

Internet hosts 196/232

239 (2012)

Internet users 185/217

total: 48,300

percent of population: 74.94% (2009)

Transportation

Airports 200/236

2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Braye Bay, Saint Peter Port

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none