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The World Factbook (1990)/Cayman Islands


Cayman Islands
(dependent territory of the UK)

World Factbook (1990) Cayman Islands.jpg

 See regional map III


Total area: 260 km²; land area: 260 km²

Comparative area: slightly less than 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 160 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

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

Environment: within the Caribbean hurricane belt

Note: important location between Cuba and Central America


Population: 26,356 (July 1990), growth rate 4.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 14 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 33 migrants/1 ,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 74 years male, 80 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Caymanian(s); adjective—Caymanian

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

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

Language: English

Literacy: 98%

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

Organized labor: Global Seaman's Union; Cayman All Trade Union


Long-form name: none

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: George Town

Administrative divisions: 12 districts; Bodden Town, Creek, East End, George Town, Jacksons, North Side, Prospect, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, West Bay, West End

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Legal system: British common law and local statutes

Constitution: 1959, revised 1972

National holiday: Constitution Day (first Monday in July), 3 July 1989

Executive branch: British monarch, governor, Executive Council (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly

Judicial branch: Grand Court, Cayman Islands Court of Appeal

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Alan James SCOTT (since NA 1987);

Head of Government—Governor and President of the Executive Council Alan James SCOTT (since NA 1987)

Political parties and leaders: no formal political parties

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: Legislative Assembly—last held NA November 1988 (next to be held November 1992); results—percent of vote NA; seats—(15 total, 12 elected)

Communists: none

Member of: Commonwealth

Diplomatic representation: as a dependent territory of the UK, Caymanian interests in the US are represented by the UK; US—none

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 export 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 needs must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the region.

GDP: $238 million, per capita $10,000 (1989 est.); real growth rate 12% (1987 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (1986)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $46.2 million; expenditures $47.0 million, including capital expenditures of $9.1 million (1986)

Exports: $2.2 million (f.o.b., 1986 est.); commodities—turtle products, manufactured consumer goods; partners—mostly US

Imports: $134 million (c.i.f., 1986 est.); commodities—foodstuffs, manufactured goods; partners—US, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Netherlands Antilles, Japan

External debt: $15 million (1986)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 59,000 kW capacity; 213 million kWh produced, 8,960 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: tourism, banking, insurance and finance, real estate and construction

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

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $26.7 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $32.2 million

Currency: Caymanian dollar (plural—dollars); 1 Caymanian dollar (CI$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Caymanian dollars (CI$) per US$1—0.835 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Highways: 160 km of main roads

Ports: George Town, Cayman Brae

Merchant marine: 32 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 355,055 GRT/576,622 DWT; includes 1 passenger-cargo, 8 cargo, 8 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 4 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker, 1 specialized tanker, 1 liquefied gas carrier, 8 bulk; note—a flag of convenience registry

Airports: 3 total; 3 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 2,439 m; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: 35,000 telephones; telephone system uses 1 submarine coaxial cable and 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station to link islands and access international services; stations—2 AM, 1 FM, no TV

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK