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Europe :: Guernsey
(British crown dependency)
Page last updated on May 17, 2016
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  • Introduction :: GUERNSEY

  • Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. Guernsey is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the EU. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.
  • Geography :: GUERNSEY

  • Western Europe, islands in the English Channel, northwest of France
    49 28 N, 2 35 W
    total: 78 sq km
    land: 78 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes Alderney, Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and some other smaller islands
    country comparison to the world: 228
    about one-half the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    50 km
    territorial sea: 3 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
    temperate with mild winters and cool summers; about 50% of days are overcast
    mostly flat with low hills in southwest
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation on Sark 114 m
    large, deepwater harbor at Saint Peter Port
  • People and Society :: GUERNSEY

  • noun: Channel Islander(s)
    adjective: Channel Islander
    British and Norman-French descent with small percentages from other European countries
    English, French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
    Protestant (Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist), Roman Catholic
    66,080 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    0-14 years: 14.49% (male 4,956/female 4,619)
    15-24 years: 11.71% (male 3,940/female 3,798)
    25-54 years: 42.05% (male 14,007/female 13,782)
    55-64 years: 12.86% (male 4,237/female 4,260)
    65 years and over: 18.89% (male 5,643/female 6,838) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 47%
    youth dependency ratio: 21.6%
    elderly dependency ratio: 25.4%
    potential support ratio: 3.9%
    note: data represents the Channel Islands (2015 est.)
    total: 43.4 years
    male: 42.1 years
    female: 44.5 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    0.34% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    9.84 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    8.78 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    urban population: 31.4% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 0.76% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    note: data is for the Channel Islands
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 3.44 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.74 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    total population: 82.47 years
    male: 79.79 years
    female: 85.29 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    1.55 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
  • Government :: GUERNSEY

  • conventional long form: Bailiwick of Guernsey
    conventional short form: Guernsey
    etymology: the name is of Old Norse origin, but the meaning of the root "Guern(s)" is uncertain; the "-ey" ending means "island"
    British crown dependency
    parliamentary democracy (States of Deliberation); a Crown dependency of the UK
    name: Saint Peter Port
    geographic coordinates: 49 27 N, 2 32 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    none (British crown dependency); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 10 parishes: Castel, Forest, Saint Andrew, Saint Martin, Saint Peter Port, Saint Pierre du Bois, Saint Sampson, Saint Saviour, Torteval, Vale
    none (British crown dependency)
    Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)
    unwritten; includes royal charters, statutes, and common law and practice
    customary legal system based on Norman customary law, and includes elements of the French Civil Code and English common law
    see United Kingdom
    16 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Lieutenant Governor (vacant); note - Lieutenant Governor Air Marshall Peter WALKER died 6 September 2015; Bailiff Sir Richard COLLAS becomes acting lieutenant governor
    head of government: Chief Minister Jonathan LE TOCQ (since 12 March 2014); Bailiff Sir Richard COLLAS (since 23 March 2012)
    cabinet: none; note - the Policy Council, elected by the States of Deliberation, functions mainly as policy coordination body
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor and bailiff appointed by the monarch; chief minister indirectly elected by States of Deliberation election last held on 12 March 2014 (next to be held May 2016)
    election results: Jonathan LE TOCQ (independent) elected chief minister; States of Deliberation vote - 22 of 42 votes
    description: unicameral States of Deliberation (47 seats - 45 People's Deputies and 2 representatives of the States of Alderney; members directly elected by majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - non-voting members include the bailiff (presiding officer), attorney-general, and solicitor-general
    elections: last held on 27 April 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independent
    highest resident court(s): Guernsey Court of Appeal (consists of the Bailiff of Guernsey, who is the ex-officio president of the Guernsey Court of Appeal, and at least 12 judges); Royal Court (organized into 3 divisions - Full Court sits with 1 judge and 7 to 12 jurats acting as judges of fact, Ordinary Court sits with 1 judge and normally 3 jurats, and Matrimonial Causes Division sits with a 1 judge and 4 jurats); note - appeals beyond Guernsey courts are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
    judge selection and term of office: Royal Court Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff and Court of Appeal justices appointed by the British Crown and hold office at Her Majesty's pleasure; jurats elected by the States of Election, a body chaired by the Bailiff and a number of jurats
    subordinate courts: Court of Alderney; Court of the Seneschal of Sark; Magistrate's Court (includes Juvenile Court); Contracts Court; Ecclesiastical Court; Court of Chief Pleas
    none; all independents
    No More Masts [Colin FALLAIZE]
    Stop Traffic Endangering Pedestrian Safety or STEPS
    none (British crown dependency)
    none (British crown dependency)
    white with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) extending to the edges of the flag and a yellow equal-armed cross of William the Conqueror superimposed on the Saint George cross; the red cross represents the old ties with England and the fact that Guernsey is a British Crown dependency; the gold cross is a replica of the one used by Duke William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings
    Guernsey cow, donkey; national colors: red, white, yellow
    name: "Sarnia Cherie" (Guernsey Dear)
    lyrics/music: George DEIGHTON/Domencio SANTANGELO
    note: adopted 1911; serves as a local anthem; as a British crown dependency, "God Save the Queen" remains official (see United Kingdom)
  • Economy :: GUERNSEY

  • Financial services account for about 40% of employment and about 55% of total income in this tiny, prosperous Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Financial services, construction, retail, and the public sector have been growing. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. In October 2014, Guernsey signed an OECD agreement to automatically exchange some financial account information to limit tax avoidance and evasion.
    $3.451 billion (2014 est.)
    $3.42 billion (2013 est.)
    $3.36 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    $2.742 billion (2005 est.)
    0.9% (2014 est.)
    1.2% (2013 est.)
    4.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    $52,300 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    agriculture: 3%
    industry: 10%
    services: 87% (2000)
    tomatoes, greenhouse flowers, sweet peppers, eggplant, fruit; Guernsey cattle
    tourism, banking
    31,470 (March 2006)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    0.9% (March 2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $563.6 million
    expenditures: $530.9 million (2005 est.)
    20.6% of GDP (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    1.2% of GDP (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    calendar year
    3.4% (June 2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    tomatoes, flowers and ferns, sweet peppers, eggplant, other vegetables
    coal, gasoline, oil, machinery and equipment
    Guernsey pound per US dollar
    0.6528 (2015)
    0.607 (2014)
    0.607 (2013)
    0.63 (2012)
    0.624 (2011)
  • Communications :: GUERNSEY

  • total subscriptions: 45,100
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    total: 43,800
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular services widely available; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 44; 1 submarine cable (2011)
    multiple UK terrestrial TV broadcasts are received via a transmitter in Jersey with relays in Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney; satellite packages are available; BBC Radio Guernsey and 1 other radio station operating (2009)
    AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
    1 (1997)
    239 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    total: 48,300
    percent of population: 74.94% (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 185
  • Transportation :: GUERNSEY

  • 2 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    total: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    major seaport(s): Braye Bay, Saint Peter Port
  • Military and Security :: GUERNSEY

  • defense is the responsibility of the UK
  • Transnational Issues :: GUERNSEY

  • none