Europe :: Gibraltar
  • Introduction :: Gibraltar
  • Background:

    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:
    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:
    36 08 N, 5 21 W
    Map references:
    Europe
    Area:
    total: 6.5 sq km
    land: 6.5 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 245
    Area - comparative:
    more than 10 times the size of The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
    Land boundaries:
    total: 1.2 km
    border countries (1): Spain 1.2 km
    Coastline:
    12 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 3 nm
    Climate:
    Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers
    Terrain:
    a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar
    Elevation:
    0 m lowest point: Mediterranean Sea
    426 highest point: Rock of Gibraltar
    Natural resources:
    none
    Land use:
    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:
    NA
    Natural hazards:
    occasional droughts; no streams or large bodies of water on the peninsula (all potable water comes from desalination)
    Environment - current issues:
    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:

    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:
    29,461 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    Nationality:
    noun: Gibraltarian(s)
    adjective: Gibraltar
    Ethnic groups:
    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:
    English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
    Religions:
    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:
    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:
    total: 35 years
    male: 34.1 years
    female: 36 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Population growth rate:
    0.21% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Birth rate:
    13.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Death rate:
    8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Net migration rate:
    -3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 100% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.45% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    35,000 GIBRALTAR (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    1.9 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Education expenditures:
    NA
  • Government :: Gibraltar
  • Country name:
    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:
    overseas territory of the UK
    Government type:
    parliamentary democracy (Parliament); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
    Capital:
    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:
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Independence:
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    National holiday:
    National Day, 10 September (1967); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or join Spain
    Constitution:
    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:
    see United Kingdom
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal; and British citizens with six months residence or more
    Executive branch:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    ICC (NGOs), Interpol (subbureau), 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:
    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):
    Barbary macaque; national colors: red, white, yellow
    National anthem:
    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:

    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):
    $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):
    $2.044 billion (2014 est.) (2014 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $61,700 (2014 est.)
    $43,000 (2008 est.)
    $41,200 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 0% (2016 est.)
    industry: 0% (2008 est.)
    services: 100% (2016 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    none
    Industries:
    tourism, banking and finance, ship repairing, tobacco
    Industrial production growth rate:
    NA
    Labor force:
    24,420 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: NEGL
    industry: 1.8%
    services: 98.2% (2014 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Population below poverty line:
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget:
    revenues: 475.8 million (2008 est.)
    expenditures: 452.3 million (2008 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    23.3% (of GDP) (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    1.1% (of GDP) (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Public debt:
    7.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
    8.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Fiscal year:
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    2.5% (2013 est.)
    2.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Exports:
    $202.3 million (2014 est.)
    $271 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Exports - partners:
    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:
    (principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods (2010 est.)
    Imports:
    $2.967 billion (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Imports - commodities:
    fuels, manufactured goods, foodstuffs
    Imports - partners:
    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:

    NA

    Exchange rates:
    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:
    238.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Electricity - consumption:
    230.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    43,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    78,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    74,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    13.34 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
  • Communications :: Gibraltar
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 19,753 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 67 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 41,035 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 140 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Telephone system:
    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:
    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:
    .gi
    Internet users:
    total: 27,699 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 94.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    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:
    VP-G (2016)
    Airports:
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Roadways:
    total: 29 km (2007)
    paved: 29 km (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Merchant marine:
    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:
    major seaport(s): Gibraltar
  • Military and Security :: Gibraltar
  • Military branches:
    Royal Gibraltar Regiment (2013)
    Military - note:
    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:
    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