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Europe :: Gibraltar Print
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GIBRALTAR
  • Introduction :: Gibraltar
  • Background field listing

    Strategically important, Gibraltar was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. The subsequent granting of autonomy in 1969 by the UK led Spain to close the border and sever all communication links. Between 1997 and 2002, the UK and Spain held a series of talks on establishing temporary joint sovereignty over Gibraltar. In response to these talks, the Gibraltar Government called a referendum in late 2002 in which the majority of citizens voted overwhelmingly against any sharing of sovereignty with Spain. Since late 2004, Spain, the UK, and Gibraltar have held tripartite talks with the aim of cooperatively resolving problems that affect the local population, and work continues on cooperation agreements in areas such as taxation and financial services; communications and maritime security; policy, legal and customs services; environmental protection; and education and visa services. A new noncolonial constitution came into force in 2007, and the European Court of First Instance recognized Gibraltar's right to regulate its own tax regime in December 2008. The UK retains responsibility for defense, foreign relations, internal security, and financial stability.

    Spain and the UK continue to spar over the territory. Throughout 2009, a dispute over Gibraltar's claim to territorial waters extending out three miles gave rise to periodic non-violent maritime confrontations between Spanish and UK naval patrols and in 2013, the British reported a record number of entries by Spanish vessels into waters claimed by Gibraltar following a dispute over Gibraltar's creation of an artificial reef in those waters. Spain renewed its demands for an eventual return of Gibraltar to Spanish control after the UK’s June 2016 vote to leave the EU, but London has dismissed any connection between the vote and its future commitment to Gibraltar. The European Commission has said that the UK will need to reach a separate bilateral agreement with Spain to allow Gibraltar to be covered by the UK's broader EU exit agreement.

  • Geography :: Gibraltar
  • Location field listing
    Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southern coast of Spain
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    36 08 N, 5 21 W
    Map references field listing
    Europe
    Area field listing
    total: 6.5 sq km
    land: 6.5 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 245
    Area - comparative field listing
    more than 10 times the size of The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 1.2 km
    border countries (1): Spain 1.2 km
    Coastline field listing
    12 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 3 nm
    Climate field listing
    Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers
    Terrain field listing
    a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar
    Elevation field listing
    0 m lowest point: Mediterranean Sea
    426 highest point: Rock of Gibraltar
    Natural resources field listing
    none
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 0% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
    forest: 0% (2011 est.)
    other: 100% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    NA
    Natural hazards field listing
    occasional droughts; no streams or large bodies of water on the peninsula (all potable water comes from desalination)
    Environment - current issues field listing
    limited natural freshwater resources: more than 90% of drinking water supplied by desalination, the remainder from stored rainwater; a separate supply of saltwater used for sanitary services
    Geography - note field listing

    note 1: strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea

    note 2: one of only two British territories where traffic drives on the right, the other being the island of Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory

  • People and Society :: Gibraltar
  • Population field listing
    29,461 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Gibraltarian(s)
    adjective: Gibraltar
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Gibraltarian 79%, other British 13.2%, Spanish 2.1%, Moroccan 1.6%, other EU 2.4%, other 1.6% (2012 est.)
    note: data represent population by nationality
    Languages field listing
    English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 72.1%, Church of England 7.7%, other Christian 3.8%, Muslim 3.6%, Jewish 2.4%, Hindu 2%, other 1.1%, none 7.1%, unspecified 0.1% (2012 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 20.29% (male 3,064 /female 2,915)
    15-24 years: 13.76% (male 2,110 /female 1,944)
    25-54 years: 40.35% (male 6,094 /female 5,794)
    55-64 years: 9.31% (male 1,183 /female 1,560)
    65 years and over: 16.28% (male 2,336 /female 2,461) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Median age field listing
    total: 35 years
    male: 34.1 years
    female: 36 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.21% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Birth rate field listing
    13.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Death rate field listing
    8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Net migration rate field listing
    -3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 100% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.45% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    35,000 GIBRALTAR (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 5.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 79.7 years (2018 est.)
    male: 76.8 years (2018 est.)
    female: 82.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.9 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    NA
    Education expenditures field listing
    NA
  • Government :: Gibraltar
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Gibraltar
    etymology: from the Spanish derivation of the Arabic "Jabal Tariq," which means "Mountain of Tariq" and which refers to the Rock of Gibraltar
    Dependency status field listing
    overseas territory of the UK
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary democracy (Parliament); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
    Capital field listing
    name: Gibraltar
    geographic coordinates: 36 08 N, 5 21 W
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    Administrative divisions field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Independence field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    National holiday field listing
    National Day, 10 September (1967); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or join Spain
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1969; latest passed by referendum 30 November 2006, entered into effect 14 December 2006, entered into force 2 January 2007 (2016)
    amendments: proposed by Parliament and require prior consent of the British monarch (through the Secretary of State); passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote in Parliament followed by simple majority vote in a referendum; note – only sections 1 through 15 in Chapter 1 (Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms) can be amended by Parliament (2016)
    Citizenship field listing
    see United Kingdom
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal; and British citizens with six months residence or more
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Lt. Gen. Edward DAVIS (since 19 January 2016)
    head of government: Chief Minister Fabian PICARDO (since 9 December 2011)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed from among the 17 elected members of Parliament by the governor in consultation with the chief minister
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed chief minister by the governor
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Parliament (18 seats; 17 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by majority vote and 1 appointed by Parliament as speaker; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 26 November 2015 (next to be held not later than December 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - GSLP-Liberal Alliance 68.4% (GSLP 47.8%, LPG 20.6%), GSD 31.6%; seats by party - GSLP-Liberal Alliance 10 (GSLP 7, LPG 3), GSD 7; composition - men 15, women 2, percent of women 11.8%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of at least 3 judges, including the court president); Supreme Court of Gibraltar (consists of the chief justice and 3 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 Supreme Court judges appointed by the governor upon the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, a 7-member body of judges and appointees of the governor; tenure of the Court of Appeal president based on terms of appointment; Supreme Court chief justice and judges normally appointed until retirement at age 67 but can be extended 3 years
    subordinate courts: Court of First Instance; Magistrates' Court; specialized tribunals for issues relating to social security, taxes, and employment
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Gibraltar Liberal Party or Liberal Party of Gibralta or LPG[Joseph GARCIA]
    Gibraltar Social Democrats or GSD [Keith AZOPARDI]
    Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or GSLP [Fabian PICARDO]
    GSLP-Liberal Alliance (includes GSLP and LPG)
    Progressive Democratic Party [Nick CRUZ]
    International organization participation field listing
    ICC (NGOs), Interpol (subbureau), 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)
    Flag description field listing
    two horizontal bands of white (top, double width) and red with a three-towered red castle in the center of the white band; hanging from the castle gate is a gold key centered in the red band; the design is that of Gibraltar's coat of arms granted on 10 July 1502 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain; the castle symbolizes Gibraltar as a fortress, while the key represents Gibraltar's strategic importance - the key to the Mediterranean
    National symbol(s) field listing
    Barbary macaque; national colors: red, white, yellow
    National anthem field listing
    name: Gibraltar Anthem
    lyrics/music: Peter EMBERLEY

    note: adopted 1994; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

  • Economy :: Gibraltar
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Self-sufficient Gibraltar benefits from an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and its position as an international conference center. Tax rates are low to attract foreign investment. The British military presence has been sharply reduced and now contributes about 7% to the local economy, compared with 60% in 1984. In recent years, Gibraltar has seen major structural change from a public to a private sector economy, but changes in government spending still have a major impact on the level of employment.

    The financial sector, tourism (over 11 million visitors in 2012), gaming revenues, shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. The financial sector, tourism, and the shipping sector contribute 30%, 30%, and 25%, respectively, of GDP. Telecommunications, e-commerce, and e-gaming account for the remaining 15%.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $2.044 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.85 billion (2013 est.)
    $2 billion (2012 est.)

    note: data are in 2014 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 196
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $2.044 billion (2014 est.) (2014 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $61,700 (2014 est.)
    $43,000 (2008 est.)
    $41,200 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 0% (2016 est.)
    industry: 0% (2008 est.)
    services: 100% (2016 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    none
    Industries field listing
    tourism, banking and finance, ship repairing, tobacco
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    NA
    Labor force field listing
    24,420 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: NEGL
    industry: 1.8%
    services: 98.2% (2014 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    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: 475.8 million (2008 est.)
    expenditures: 452.3 million (2008 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    23.3% (of GDP) (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    1.1% (of GDP) (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Public debt field listing
    7.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
    8.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    2.5% (2013 est.)
    2.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Exports field listing
    $202.3 million (2014 est.)
    $271 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Exports - partners field listing
    Spain 27.1%, Germany 20.4%, Netherlands 10.8%, Poland 8.6%, France 6.6%, Italy 5.7%, Cote dIvoire 4.5% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    (principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods (2010 est.)
    Imports field listing
    $2.967 billion (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Imports - commodities field listing
    fuels, manufactured goods, foodstuffs
    Imports - partners field listing
    Spain 15.6%, Italy 13.4%, US 13.3%, Netherlands 10.9%, Greece 8.5%, Russia 6.6%, UK 5.8%, Belgium 4.4% (2017)
    Debt - external field listing

    NA

    Exchange rates field listing
    Gibraltar pounds (GIP) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.885 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Gibraltar
  • Electricity - production field listing
    238.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    230.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    43,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    78,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    74,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    13.34 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
  • Communications :: Gibraltar
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 19,753 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 67 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 41,035 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 140 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Telephone system field listing
    general assessment: adequate, automatic domestic system and adequate international facilities (2015)
    domestic: automatic exchange facilities (2015)
    international: country code - 350; radiotelephone; microwave radio relay; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
    Broadcast media field listing
    Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) provides TV and radio broadcasting services via 1 TV station and 4 radio stations; British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) operates 1 radio station; broadcasts from Spanish radio and TV stations are accessible (2008)
    Internet country code field listing
    .gi
    Internet users field listing
    total: 27,699 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 94.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 17,373 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 59 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
  • Transportation :: Gibraltar
  • Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    VP-G (2016)
    Airports field listing
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 29 km (2007)
    paved: 29 km (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 291 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 8, container ship 31, general cargo 116, oil tanker 20, other 116 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Gibraltar
  • Military and Security :: Gibraltar
  • Military branches field listing
    Royal Gibraltar Regiment (2013)
    Military - note field listing
    defense is the responsibility of the UK; the Royal Gibraltar Regiment replaced the last British regular infantry forces in 1992
  • Transnational Issues :: Gibraltar
  • Disputes - international field listing
    in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any "shared sovereignty" arrangement; the Government of Gibraltar insists on equal participation in talks between the UK and Spain; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar even greater autonomy