Background: According to ebizdir, the Cayman Islands were colonized by English settlers from Jamaica during the 18th and 19th centuries. Administered from Jamaica from 1863, retained British possession status after 1962 when Jamaica became independent.
Location: Caribbean region, a group of islands in the Caribbean, about halfway between Cuba and Honduras.
Geographic coordinates: 19° 30′ N. latitude, 80° 30′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 259 km2; land surface area: 259 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: 1.5 times the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 160 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing rights zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April).
Terrain: low limestone islands surrounded by coral reefs.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: Bluff height 43 m.
Natural resources: fish, climate and beaches that attract tourists.
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 8%; forests and plantations: 23%; others: 69% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Hurricanes (July to November).
Current environmental issues: there are no natural sources of fresh water, the forced need to use rainwater for drinking. Geography Note: An important location between Cuba and Central America.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 35,527 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 22.21% (male 3,807; female 4,084); 15 to 64 years old: 69.74% (male 12,102; female 12,676); over 65: 8.05% (male 1,318; female 1,540) (2001 est.);
Population growth: 2.12% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 13.79 newborns / 1000 people, (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.15 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 12.58 people /1000 people (2001 est.); note: an important waypoint for Cubans trying to emigrate to the US.
Sex ratio: at birth: 0.86 male/female; up to 15 years: 0.93 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.95 male/female; over 65: 0.86 male/female; for the general population: 0.94 male/female (2001 oc);
Child mortality: 10.16 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 79.03 years; men: 76.24 years; women: 81.43 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 2.04 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Cayman Islander; adjective: pertaining to the Cayman Islands.
Ethnic groups: mixed ancestry 40%, whites 20%, blacks 20%, immigrants of various ethnic groups 20%.
Believers: adherents of the United Church (Presbyterians and Congregationalists), Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, followers of the “Church of God”, other Protestants.
Literacy: Definition: Persons aged 15 and over who have ever attended school; for the population in the flail: 98%; men: 98%; women: 98% (1970 est.).
Common long form: no;
Common short form: Cayman Islands. Dependency State: British Overseas Territory.
Government: British Crown Colony.
Administrative division: 8 districts: West End, Western, Eastern, Creek, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Steak Bay.
Independence: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
National holiday: Constitution Day (first Monday in July).
Constitution: adopted 1959, revised in 1972 and 1992
Legal system: British common law and local regulations.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
head of state: Koropeva ELIZABETTA II (since February 6, 1952); Governor and Executive Council President Peter SMITH (since May 5, 1999);
head of government: Kurt TIB-BETTS (since November 2000);
government: executive council (3 members appointed by the governor, 4 members elected by the Legislative Assembly); elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the governor is appointed by the monarch.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Assembly (18 seats, 3 members appointed, 15 elected by popular vote; term of office – 4 years); elections: last held 8 November 2000 (next to be held November 2004); election results: percentage of votes cast: n/a; distribution of seats: no data.
Judiciary: Disciplinary Court (summary trial without jury); Chief Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: There are no formalized political parties, but there are groups that act as political organizations: the National Team, the Democratic Alliance, the Cayman Team.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: Ca-ricom (observer), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate).
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
US Diplomatic Representation: None (UK Overseas Territory).
Flag description: blue with the flag of Great Britain in the upper left part and with the coat of arms of the Cayman Islands on a white disk in the center of the right part of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a pineapple and a turtle over a shield with three yellow stars (symbolizing the three islands) and a scroll with the inscription NENATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS (He raised it above the sea) below.
Economy overview: With no direct taxes, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. Over 40,000 companies registered in the Cayman Islands by 1997, including nearly 600 banks and trust companies; banking assets exceed $500 billion. In 1997, the stock exchange opened. Tourism is also an important industry, producing about 70% of GDP and providing 75% of foreign exchange earnings. The tourism industry is focused on providing luxury services mainly to tourists from North America. In total, 1.2 million tourists visited the islands in 1997. About 90% of food and consumer goods are imported. The Cayman Islands has one of the highest standards of living and GDP per capita in the world. GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $930 million (1997 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 4.9% (1999 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $24,500 (1997 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 1.4%; industry: 3.2%; services: 95.4% (1994 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 3% (1998).
Labor force: 19,820 people (1995).
Employment structure: agriculture 1.4%, industry 12.6%, services 86% (1995).
Unemployment rate: 4.1% (1997)
Budget: revenues: $265.2 million; expenses: $248.9 million, including capital investments – NA (1997).
Spheres of economy: tourism, banking, insurance and financial sectors, construction, production of building materials, furniture.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 330 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 306.9 million kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: vegetables, fruits; livestock, farmed turtles.
Export: $1.5 million (1998)
Exports: turtle products, industrial consumer goods.
Export partners: predominantly USA.
Import: $507.6 million (1998)
Import articles: foodstuffs, manufactured goods.
Import partners: USA, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Netherlands Antilles, Japan.
External debt: $70 million (1996). Recipient of economic assistance: no data.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Cayman Islands dollar.
Currency code: KYD.
Exchange rate: KYD/USD – 0.83 @ November 1995), 0.85 (22 November 1993).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 19,000 (1995).
Mobile cellular telephones: 2,534 (1995).
Telephone system: internal: no data; international: 1 submarine coaxial cable; satellite earth station 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 5, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 36,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: no data.
Televisions: 7,000 (1997).
Internet country code: ky
Internet service providers: 16 (2000).
Number of users: no data.
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Motorways: total: 406 km; coated: 304 km; unpaved: 102 km.
Ports and harbors: Georgetown, Cayman Brac.
Merchant navy: in total: 106 vessels (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 1,656,452 gross register tons / 2,643,036 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 21, cargo ships – 5, chemical tankers – 27, container ships – 4, liquefied gas tankers – 1, oil tankers – 13, refrigerated ships – 30, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles -4 , specialized tankers – 1; note: including foreign ships registered here for flag of convenience reasons: Cyprus 2, Denmark 2, Finland 1, Greece 11, USA 3, UK 3, Norway 3 (2000 est.).
Airports: 3 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 2; from 1524 to 2437 m: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 1; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Branches of the Armed Forces: Royal Cayman Islands Police. Armed Forces – Note: Defense is the responsibility of the UK.
International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit Drugs: The islands are used to launder money and transport drugs to the US and Europe.