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Central America :: Cayman Islands Print
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CAYMAN ISLANDS
  • Introduction :: Cayman Islands
  • Background field listing
    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 :: Cayman Islands
  • Location field listing
    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 field listing
    19 30 N, 80 30 W
    Map references field listing
    Central America and the Caribbean
    Area field listing
    total: 264 sq km
    land: 264 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Area - comparative field listing
    1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    160 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)
    Terrain field listing
    low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs
    Elevation field listing
    0 m lowest point: Caribbean Sea
    50 highest point: 1 km SW of The Bluff on Cayman Brac
    Natural resources field listing
    fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 11.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 0.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 8.3% (2011 est.)
    forest: 52.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 35.9% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    NA
    Population distribution field listing
    majority of the population resides on Grand Cayman
    Natural hazards field listing
    hurricanes (July to November)
    Environment - current issues field listing
    no natural freshwater resources; drinking water supplies are met by reverse osmosis desalination plants and rainwater catchment; trash washing up on the beaches or being deposited there by residents; no recycling or waste treatment facilities; deforestation (trees being cut down to create space for commercial use)
    Geography - note field listing
    important location between Cuba and Central America
  • People and Society :: Cayman Islands
  • Population field listing
    59,613 (July 2018 est.)

    note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman

    country comparison to the world: 205
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Caymanian(s)
    adjective: Caymanian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%
    Languages field listing
    English (official) 90.9%, Spanish 4%, Filipino 3.3%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)
    Religions field listing
    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.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 17.91% (male 5,376 /female 5,298)
    15-24 years: 12.2% (male 3,609 /female 3,662)
    25-54 years: 42.12% (male 12,256 /female 12,855)
    55-64 years: 14.64% (male 4,169 /female 4,558)
    65 years and over: 13.13% (male 3,627 /female 4,203) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Median age field listing
    total: 40.2 years
    male: 39.5 years
    female: 40.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.96% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Birth rate field listing
    12 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Death rate field listing
    5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Net migration rate field listing
    13.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

    note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US

    country comparison to the world: 4
    Population distribution field listing
    majority of the population resides on Grand Cayman
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 100% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.27% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    35,000 GEORGE TOWN (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 5.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 81.4 years (2018 est.)
    male: 78.7 years (2018 est.)
    female: 84.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.84 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 97.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: NA (2015 est.)
    total: 97.4% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 2.6% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 95.6% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 95.6% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 4.4% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 4.4% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    NA
    Major infectious diseases field listing

    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus

    Education expenditures field listing
    NA
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school (2007 est.)
    total population: 98.9% (2007 est.)
    male: 98.7% (2007 est.)
    female: 99% (2007 est.)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 13.8% (2015 est.)
    male: 16.4% (2015 est.)
    female: 11.4% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
  • Government :: Cayman Islands
  • Country name field listing
    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
    Dependency status field listing
    overseas territory of the UK
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
    Capital field listing
    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 field listing
    6 districts; Bodden Town, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, East End, George Town, North Side, West Bay
    Independence field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    National holiday field listing
    Constitution Day, first Monday in July (1959)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest approved 10 June 2009, entered into force 6 November 2009 (The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009) (2018)
    amendments: amended several times, last in 2016 (2018)
    Citizenship field listing
    see United Kingdom
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Martyn ROPER (since 29 October 2018)
    head of government: Premier Alden MCLAUGHLIN (since 29 May 2013)
    cabinet: Cabinet 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 field listing
    description: unicameral Legislative Assembly (21 seats; 19 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 24 May 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party - independent 44.7%, PPM 31.2%, CDP 24.1%; seats by party - independent 9, PPM 7, CDP 3
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: 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 field listing
    People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Alden MCLAUGHLIN]
    Cayman Democratic Party or CDP [McKeeva BUSH]
    International organization participation field listing
    Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK); consular services provided through the US Embassy in Jamaica
    Flag description field listing
    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; a scroll below the shield bears the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS
    National symbol(s) field listing
    green sea turtle
    National anthem field listing
    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 :: Cayman Islands
  • Economy - overview field listing

    With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. More than 65,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 2017, including more than 280 banks, 700 insurers, and 10,500 mutual funds. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Nearly 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard of living comparable to that of Switzerland.

    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 2016, with more than three-quarters from the US.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $2.507 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.465 billion (2013 est.)
    $2.435 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $2.25 billion (2008 est.) (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.7% (2014 est.)
    1.2% (2013 est.)
    1.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $43,800 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 62.3% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 22.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 65.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -64.2% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 0.3% (2017 est.)
    industry: 7.4% (2017 est.)
    services: 92.3% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming
    Industries field listing
    tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    2.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Labor force field listing
    39,000 (2007 est.)

    note: nearly 55% are non-nationals

    country comparison to the world: 197
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 79% (2008 est.)
    industry: 19.1% (2008 est.)
    services: 79% (2008 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    4% (2008)
    4.4% (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Population below poverty line field listing
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 874.5 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 766.6 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    38.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    4.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 April - 31 March
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    2% (2017 est.)
    -0.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Commercial bank prime lending rate field listing
    14.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
    14.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Stock of narrow money field listing
    $334.3 million (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Stock of broad money field listing
    $5.564 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

    country comparison to the world: 100
    Market value of publicly traded shares field listing
    $315.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $183.5 million (31 December 2007)
    $188.4 million (31 December 2006)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Current account balance field listing
    -$492.6 million (2017 est.)
    -$493.5 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Exports field listing
    $421.9 million (2017 est.)
    $47.6 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Exports - commodities field listing
    turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
    Imports field listing
    $787.3 million (2017 est.)
    $585.2 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Imports - commodities field listing
    foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home field listing

    NA

    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad field listing

    NA

    Exchange rates field listing
    Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar -
    0.82 (2017 est.)
    0.82 (2016 est.)
    0.82 (2015 est.)
    0.82 (2014 est.)
    0.83 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Cayman Islands
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 5,726 (2012)
    electrification - total population: 91% (2012)
    electrification - urban areas: 91% (2012)
    electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012)
    Electricity - production field listing
    624 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    587 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    132,000 kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    4,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    3,984 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    500,000 Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
  • Communications :: Cayman Islands
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 34,116 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 60 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 95,656 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 164 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Telephone system field listing
    general assessment: reasonably good overall telephone system with a high fixed-line teledensity; with a high dependence on tourism and activities such as fisheries and offshore financial services, the telecom sector provides a relatively high contribution to overall GDP; effective competion in all sectors promotes growth in mobile telephony and data segments (2018)
    domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003; introduction of competition in the mobile-cellular market in 2004 boosted subscriptions dramatically; 60 per 100 fixed-line, 164 per 100 mobile-cellular (2018)
    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) (2015)
    Broadcast media field listing
    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)
    Internet country code field listing
    .ky
    Internet users field listing
    total: 45,242 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 79% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 24,535 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
  • Transportation :: Cayman Islands
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6 (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    VP-C (2016)
    Airports field listing
    3 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 3 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2012)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 785 km (2007)
    paved: 785 km (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 161 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 29, general cargo 4, oil tanker 16, other 112 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Cayman Brac, George Town
  • Military and Security :: Cayman Islands
  • Military branches field listing
    no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2012)
    Military - note field listing
    defense is the responsibility of the UK
  • Transnational Issues :: Cayman Islands
  • Disputes - international field listing
    none
    Illicit drugs field listing
    major offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe