Country Information Database


Cayman Islands Country Information

Cayman Islands
Flag 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, but 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
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 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.9% (male 4,774/female 4,759)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 16,594/female 17,434)
65 years and over: 9% (male 2,022/female 2,279) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.8 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 38.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.449% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
12.43 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
4.83 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
16.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 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 (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.32 years
male: 77.68 years
female: 83 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman (2008 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%
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%, Pentacostal 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.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2001)
Education expenditures:
2.8% of GDP (2005)
Government Cayman Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands
Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK
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: 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]; People's 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:
National Trust
other: environmentalists
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 (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 (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
372 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption:
2,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
2,698 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 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)
Economic aid - recipient:
$390,000 (2004)
Debt - external:
$70 million (1996)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$130 million (2005)
Currency (code):
Caymanian dollar (KYD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Caymanian dollars per US dollar - NA (2007), 0.8496 (2006)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Cayman Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
38,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
33,800 (2004)
Telephone system:
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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2004)
36,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 with cable system (2004)
7,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
4,888 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
22,000 (2007)
Transportation Cayman Islands
3 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
total: 785 km
paved: 785 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 113 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,834,190 GRT/4,299,409 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 4, chemical tanker 42, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 110 (Denmark 3, Germany 15, Greece 18, Italy 5, Japan 12, Norway 1, Singapore 10, UK 4, US 42) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Cayman Brac, George Town
Military Cayman Islands
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 11,790 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 9,577 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 336
female: 336 (2008 est.)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues Cayman Islands
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Thu, 07 Dec 2023 00:35:47 +0000