[Country map of Cayman Islands]

Cayman Islands

(dependent territory of the UK)


Location: Caribbean, island group in Caribbean Sea, nearly one-half of the way from Cuba to Honduras

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 260 sq km
land area: 260 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 160 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)

Terrain: low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs

Natural resources: fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 8%
forest and woodland: 23%
other: 69%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: no natural fresh water resources, drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchment
natural hazards: hurricanes (July to November)
international agreements: NA

Note: important location between Cuba and Central America


Population: 33,192 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 4.3% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 14.79 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 4.98 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 33.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.1 years
male: 75.37 years
female: 78.81 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.43 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian

Ethnic divisions: mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%

Religions: United Church (Presbyterian and Congregational), Anglican, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Church of God, other Protestant denominations

Languages: English

Literacy: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1970)
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98%

Labor force: 8,061
by occupation: service workers 18.7%, clerical 18.6%, construction 12.5%, finance and investment 6.7%, directors and business managers 5.9% (1979)


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands

Digraph: CJ

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: George Town

Administrative divisions: 8 districts; Creek, Eastern, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, West End, Western

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

National holiday: Constitution Day (first Monday in July)

Constitution: 1959, revised 1972 and 1992

Legal system: British common law and local statutes

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor and President of the Executive Council Michael GORE (since 15 September 1992)
cabinet: Executive Council; 3 members are appointed by the governor, 4 members elected by the Legislative Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislative Assembly: election last held November 1992 (next to be held November 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (15 total, 12 elected)

Judicial branch: Grand Court, Cayman Islands Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: no formal political parties

Member of: CARICOM (observer), CDB, INTERPOL (subbureau), IOC

Diplomatic representation in US: none (dependent territory of the UK)

US diplomatic representation: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Flag: blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Caymanian coat of arms on a white disk centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms includes a pineapple and turtle above a shield with three stars (representing the three islands) and a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS


Overview: The economy depends heavily on tourism (70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings) and offshore financial services, with the tourist industry aimed at the luxury market and catering mainly to visitors from North America. About 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy one of the highest outputs per capita and one of the highest standards of living in the world.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $700 million (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: 1.4% (1991)

National product per capita: $23,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 7% (1992)

revenues: $141.5 million
expenditures: $160.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1991)

Exports: $10 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
partners: mostly US

Imports: $312 million (c.i.f., 1993 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, manufactured goods
partners: US, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Netherlands Antilles, Japan

External debt: $15 million (1986)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 80,000 kW
production: 230 million kWh
consumption per capita: 6,899 kWh (1993)

Industries: tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, building materials, furniture making

Agriculture: minor production of vegetables, fruit, livestock; turtle farming

Illicit drugs: a major money-laundering center for illicit drug profits; transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $26.7 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $35 million

Currency: 1 Caymanian dollar (CI$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Caymanian dollars (CI$) per US$1 - 0.83 (18 November 1993), 0.85 (22 November 1993)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Railroads: 0 km

total: 160 km (main roads)
paved: NA
unpaved: NA

Ports: Cayman Brac, George Town

Merchant marine:
total: 26 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 321,434 GRT/583,348 DWT
ships by type: bulk 7, cargo 6, chemical tanker 2, container 1, oil tanker 3, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7
note: a flag of convenience registry; UK owns 6 ships, India 5, Norway 3, US 3, Greece 1, Sweden 1, UAE 1

total: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1


Telephone system: 35,000 telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 submarine coaxial cable; 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 0
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (RCIPF)

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK