Central America and Caribbean :: Cayman Islands
(overseas territory of the UK)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Cayman Islands
Location of Cayman Islands
 
Map of Cayman Islands
Introduction ::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. When the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency.
Geography ::Cayman Islands
Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest of Jamaica
19 30 N, 80 30 W
total: 264 sq km
country comparison to the world: 210
land: 264 sq km
water: 0 sq km
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
0 km
160 km
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
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: The Bluff (Cayman Brac) 43 m
fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism
arable land: 3.85%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 96.15% (2005)
NA
hurricanes (July to November)
no natural fresh water resources; drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchments
important location between Cuba and Central America
People ::Cayman Islands
49,035
country comparison to the world: 207
note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2009 est.)
0-14 years: 19.6% (male 4,824/female 4,783)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 16,994/female 17,884)
65 years and over: 9.3% (male 2,139/female 2,411) (2009 est.)
total: 38.1 years
male: 37.7 years
female: 38.6 years (2009 est.)
2.394% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
12.36 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
4.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
16.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 3
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2009 est.)
urban population: 100% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 6.94 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 169
male: 7.96 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 80.44 years
country comparison to the world: 16
male: 77.8 years
female: 83.14 years (2009 est.)
1.88 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
NA
NA
NA
noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian
mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%
Church of God 26%, United Church 11.8% (Presbyterian and Congregational), Roman Catholic 11%, Baptist 8.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.2%, Anglican 5.7%, Pentecostal 5.3%, other Christian 2.7%, non-denominational 5.8%, other 3.8%, none 9.8%, unspecified 1.1% (1999 census)
English 95%, Spanish 3.2%, other 1.8% (1999 census)
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1970 est.)
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2001)
2.8% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 150
Government ::Cayman Islands
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands
overseas territory of the UK
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)
8 districts; Creek, Eastern, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, West End, Western
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Constitution Day, first Monday in July
1959; revised 1962, 1972, and 1994
British common law and local statutes
18 years of age; universal
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 McKeeva BUSH (since 27 May 2009)
cabinet: The Cabinet (three members appointed by the governor, five members elected by the Legislative Assembly)
elections: 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
unicameral Legislative Assembly (18 seats; 3 appointed members from The Cabinet and 15 elected by popular vote; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 May 2009 (next to be held not later than May 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UDP 9, PPM 5, independent 1
Summary Court; Grand Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal
United Democratic Party or UDP [McKeeva BUSH]; People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Kurt TIBBETTS]
National Trust
other: environmentalists
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU, WFTU
none (overseas territory of the UK)
none (overseas territory of the UK)
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
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.
$1.939 billion (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
$1.922 billion (2003 est.)
$NA
0.9% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
$43,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 3.2%
services: 95.4% (1994 est.)
23,450 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 200
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 12.6%
services: 86% (1995)
4.4% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 54
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $423.8 million
expenditures: $392.6 million (2004)
4.4% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 73
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 107
$183.5 million (31 December 2007)
$188.4 million (31 December 2006)
vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming
tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture
NA%
546 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
507.8 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
3,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203
3,294 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 183
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
$2.52 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 216
turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
$866.9 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 173
foodstuffs, manufactured goods
$70 million (1996)
country comparison to the world: 191
$NA
$NA
Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 0.8496 (2006)
Communications ::Cayman Islands
38,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 172
33,800 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 202
general assessment: reasonably good system
domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003; introduction of competition in the mobile-cellular market in 2004
international: country code - 1-345; landing point for the MAYA-1 submarine telephone cable network that provides links to the US and parts of Central and South America; submarine cable provides connectivity to Jamaica; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2004)
4 with cable system (2004)
.ky
21,428 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 102
23,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 186
Transportation ::Cayman Islands
3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 196
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2009)
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)
total: 785 km
country comparison to the world: 186
paved: 785 km (2007)
total: 109
country comparison to the world: 49
by type: bulk carrier 30, cargo 2, chemical tanker 42, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: 107 (Denmark 3, Germany 15, Greece 16, Italy 4, Japan 13, Norway 1, Singapore 10, UK 3, US 42) (2008)
Cayman Brac, George Town
Military ::Cayman Islands
no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2008)
males age 16-49: 11,790 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 9,735
females age 16-49: 10,145 (2009 est.)
male: 334
female: 345 (2009 est.)
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues ::Cayman Islands
none
major offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe (2008)