Photos of Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The island is not part of the UK, though the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Inhabited since 6500 BC, the island was influenced by Gaelic culture, settled by the Norse, was part of Scotland, and came under the feudal overlordship of the English Crown in 1399. The island's parliament, Tynwald, is one of the oldest ruling bodies in the world, possibly dating to the 10th century. The satellite image, acquired 1 May 2001, covers an area of about 30x50 km (19x31 mi). Photo courtesy of NASA.

Introduction

Background

The Isle of Man was part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century, when it was ceded to Scotland. The isle came under English lordship in the 14th century before being purchased by the British Government in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language. The Isle of Man is a British Crown dependency, which makes it a self-governing possession of the British Crown that is not part of the UK. The UK Government, however, remains constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Western Europe, island in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland

Geographic coordinates

54 15 N, 4 30 W

Area

total: 572 sq km

land: 572 sq km

water: 0 sq km

comparison ranking: total 193

Area - comparative

slightly more than three times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

160 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm

Climate

temperate; cool summers and mild winters; overcast about a third of the time

Terrain

hills in north and south bisected by central valley

Elevation

highest point: Snaefell 621 m

lowest point: Irish Sea 0 m

Land use

agricultural land: 74.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 43.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 30.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 6.1% (2018 est.)

other: 19.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Population distribution

most people concentrated in cities and large towns of which Douglas, in the southeast, is the largest

Natural hazards

occasional high winds and rough seas

Geography - note

one small islet, the Calf of Man, lies to the southwest and is a bird sanctuary

People and Society

Population

total: 92,269

male: 46,331

female: 45,938 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 198; male 198; total 198

Nationality

noun: Manxman (men), Manxwoman (women)

adjective: Manx

Ethnic groups

White 94.7%, Asian 3.1%, Mixed 1%, Black 0.6%, other 0.4% (2021 est.)

note: data represent population by nationality

Languages

English, Manx Gaelic (about 2% of the population has some knowledge)

Religions

Christian 54.7%, Muslim 0.5%, Buddhist 0.5%, Hindu 0.4%, Jewish 0.2%, none 43.8% (2021 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16% (male 7,701/female 7,100)

15-64 years: 61.9% (male 29,035/female 28,044)

65 years and over: 22.1% (2024 est.) (male 9,595/female 10,794)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 58.6

youth dependency ratio: 23.6

elderly dependency ratio: 34.9

potential support ratio: 2.9 (2021)

Median age

total: 44.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 43.7 years

female: 46.1 years

comparison ranking: total 26

Population growth rate

0.45% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 153

Birth rate

10.4 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 178

Death rate

10.2 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 34

Net migration rate

4.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 22

Population distribution

most people concentrated in cities and large towns of which Douglas, in the southeast, is the largest

Urbanization

urban population: 53.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

27,000 DOUGLAS (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 186

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.5 years (2024 est.)

male: 80.7 years

female: 84.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 28

Total fertility rate

1.88 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 127

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 99.1% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0.9% of population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: NA

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: NA

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Environment

Environment - current issues

air pollution, marine pollution; waste disposal (both household and industrial)

Climate

temperate; cool summers and mild winters; overcast about a third of the time

Land use

agricultural land: 74.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 43.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 30.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 6.1% (2018 est.)

other: 19.2% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 53.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 181

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 50,551 tons (2011 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 25,276 tons (2011 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 50% (2011 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Isle of Man

abbreviation: I.O.M.

etymology: the name "man" may be derived from the Celtic word for "mountain"

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Tynwald)

Dependency status

British crown dependency

Capital

name: Douglas

geographic coordinates: 54 09 N, 4 29 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

etymology: name derives from the Dhoo and Glass Rivers, which flow through the valley in which the town is located and which in Manx mean the "dark" and the "light" rivers respectively

Administrative divisions

none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 24 local authorities each with its own elections

Independence

none (British Crown dependency)

National holiday

Tynwald Day, 5 July (1417); date Tynwald Day was first recorded

Constitution

history: development of the Isle of Man constitution dates to at least the 14th century

amendments: proposed as a bill in the House of Keys, by the "Government," by a "Member of the House," or through petition to the House or Legislative Council; passage normally requires three separate readings and approval of at least 13 House members; following both House and Council agreement, assent is required by the lieutenant governor on behalf of the Crown; the constitution has been expanded and amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system

the laws of the UK apply where applicable and include Manx statutes

Citizenship

see United Kingdom

Suffrage

16 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Lord of Mann King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Lieutenant Governor Sir John LORIMER (since 29 September 2021)

head of government: Chief Minister Alfred CANNAN (since 12 October 2021)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the lieutenant governor

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister indirectly elected by the Tynwald for a 5-year term (eligible for second term); election last held on 23 September 2021 (next to be held in 2026)

election results:
2021:
Alfred CANNAN (independent) elected chief minister; Tynwald House of Keys vote - 21 of 24

2016: Howard QUAYLE elected chief minister; Tynwald House of Keys vote - 21 of 33

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Tynwald or the High Court of Tynwald consists of:
Legislative Council (11 seats; includes the President of Tynwald, 2 ex-officio (non-voting) members - the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man and the attorney general - and 8 members indirectly elected by the House of Keys with renewal of 4 members every 2 years; elected members serve 4-year terms)
House of Keys (24 seats; 2 members each from 12 constituencies directly elected by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Legislative Council - last held 14 March 2023 (next to be held by March 2028)
House of Keys - last held on 23 September 2021 (next to be held on 24 September 2026)

election results:

Legislative Council - composition - men 6, women 4, vacant 1; percentage women 36.4%

House of Keys - percent of vote by party - Liberal Vannin 5.3%, Manx Labour Party 5.1%, Green Party 3.3% independent 86.3%; seats by party - independent 21; Manx Labour Party 2, Liberal Vannin 1; composition – men 14, women 10, percentage women 41.7%; total Tynwald percentage women 40%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Isle of Man High Court of Justice (consists of 3 permanent judges or "deemsters" and 1 judge of appeal; organized into the Staff of Government Division or Court of Appeal and the Civil Division); the Court of General Gaol Delivery is not formally part of the High Court but is administered as though part of the High Court and deals with serious criminal cases; note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: deemsters appointed by the Lord Chancellor of England on the nomination of the lieutenant governor; deemsters can serve until age 70

subordinate courts: High Court; Court of Summary Gaol Delivery; Summary Courts; Magistrate's Court; specialized courts

Political parties and leaders

Green Party [Andrew LANGAN-NEWTON]
Liberal Vannin Party or LVP [Lawrie HOOPER]
Manx Labor Party [Joney FARAGHER]
Mec Vannin [Mark KERMODE] (sometimes referred to as the Manx Nationalist Party)

note: most members sit as independents

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (British crown dependency)

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (British crown dependency)

Flag description

red with the Three Legs of Man emblem (triskelion), in the center; the three legs are joined at the thigh and bent at the knee; in order to have the toes pointing clockwise on both sides of the flag, a two-sided emblem is used; the flag is based on the coat of arms of the last recognized Norse King of Mann, MAGNUS III (r. 1252-65); the triskelion has its roots in an early Celtic sun symbol

National symbol(s)

triskelion (a motif of three legs); national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Arrane Ashoonagh dy Vannin" (O Land of Our Birth)

lyrics/music: William Henry GILL [English], John J. KNEEN [Manx]/traditional

note: adopted 2003, in use since 1907; serves as a local anthem; as a British Crown dependency, "God Save the King" is official (see United Kingdom) and is played when the sovereign, members of the royal family, or the lieutenant governor are present

Economy

Economic overview

high-income British island economy; known financial services and tourism industries; taxation incentives for technology and financial firms to operate; historic fishing and agriculture industries are declining; major online gambling and film industry locale

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$6.792 billion (2015 est.)
$7.428 billion (2014 est.)
$6.298 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2014 dollars

comparison ranking: 171

Real GDP growth rate

-8.84% (2020 est.)
0.25% (2019 est.)
2.21% (2018 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 214

Real GDP per capita

$84,600 (2014 est.)
$86,200 (2013 est.)
$73,700 (2012 est.)

comparison ranking: 7

GDP (official exchange rate)

$6.684 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.1% (2017 est.)
1% (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 60

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: Aa3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: N/A

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1% (FY12/13 est.)

industry: 13% (FY12/13 est.)

services: 86% (FY12/13 est.)

comparison rankings: services 17; industry 194; agriculture 199

Agricultural products

cereals, vegetables; cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry

Industries

financial services, light manufacturing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate

6.66% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 44

Unemployment rate

1.1% (2017 est.)
2% (April 2011 est.)

comparison ranking: 20

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 10.1% (2011 est.)

male: 11.8%

female: 8.2%

comparison ranking: total 150

Budget

revenues: $965 million (FY05/06 est.)

expenditures: $943 million (FY05/06 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

0.3% (of GDP) (FY05/06 est.)

comparison ranking: 42

Exports - partners

almost entirely United Kingdom (2022)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, artwork, vegetables, fruits, whiskies (2022)

Imports - partners

almost entirely United Kingdom (2022)

Imports - commodities

ships, delivery trucks (2022)

Exchange rates

Manx pounds (IMP) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
0.811 (2022 est.)
0.727 (2021 est.)
0.78 (2020 est.)
0.783 (2019 est.)
0.75 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Communications

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the Isle of Man has an extensive communications infrastructure consisting of telephone cables, submarine cables, and an array of television and mobile phone transmitters and towers (2022)

domestic: landline, telefax, mobile cellular telephone system

international: country code - 44; fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, satellite earth station, submarine cable

Broadcast media

national public radio broadcasts over 3 FM stations and 1 AM station; 2 commercial broadcasters operating with 1 having multiple FM stations; receives radio and TV services via relays from British TV and radio broadcasters

Transportation

Airports

4 (2024)

comparison ranking: 180

Heliports

1 (2024)

Railways

total: 63 km (2008)

narrow gauge: 6 km (2008) 1.076-m gauge (6 km electrified)

57 0.914-mm gauge (29 km electrified) note: primarily summer tourist attractions

comparison ranking: total 131

Roadways

total: 1,107 km (2022)

paved: 1,107 km

comparison ranking: total 185

Merchant marine

total: 269 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 102, container ship 6, general cargo 27, oil tanker 56, other 78

comparison ranking: total 62

Ports

total ports: 2 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 2

very small: 0

ports with oil terminals: 1

key ports: Douglas, Ramsey

Military and Security

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK