The World Factbook (1990)/Gibraltar


(dependent territory of the UK)

World Factbook (1990) Gibraltar.jpg

 See regional map V


Total area: 6.5 km²; land area: 6.5 km²

Comparative area: about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 1.2 km with Spain

Coastline: 12 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 3 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Disputes: source of occasional friction between Spain and the UK

Climate: Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers

Terrain: a narrow coastal lowland borders The Rock

Natural resources: negligible

Land use: 0% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 100% other

Environment: natural freshwater sources are meager so large water catchments (concrete or natural rock) collect rain water

Note: strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea


Population: 29,572 (July 1990), growth rate 0.1% (1990)

Birth rate: 18 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -8 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 72 years male, 78 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.4 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Gibraltarian adjective—Gibraltar

Ethnic divisions: mostly Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese, and Spanish descent

Religion: 75% Roman Catholic, 8% Church of England, 2.25% Jewish

Language: English and Spanish are primary languages; Italian, Portuguese, and Russian also spoken; English used in the schools and for official purposes

Literacy: 99% (est.)

Labor force: about 14,800 (including non-Gibraltar laborers); UK military establishments and civil government employ nearly 50% of the labor force

Organized labor: over 6,000


Long-form name: none

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: Gibraltar

Administrative divisions: none (colony of the UK)

Independence: none (colony of the UK)

Constitution: 30 May 1969

Legal system: English law

National holiday: Commonwealth Day (second Monday of March), 12 March 1990

Executive branch: British monarch, governor, chief minister, Gibraltar Council, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, Court of Appeal

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor and Commander in Chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter TERRY (since NA 1985);

Head of Government—Chief Minister Joe BOSSANO (since NA March 1988)

Political parties and leaders: Socialist Labor Party (SL), Joe Bossano; Gibraltar Labor Party/Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights (GCL/AACR), Adolfo Canepa; Independent Democratic Party, Joe Pitaluga

Suffrage: universal at age 18, plus other UK subjects resident six months or more

Elections: House of Assembly: last held on 24 March 1988 (next to be held March 1992); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(18 total, 15 elected) SL 8, GCL/AACR 7

Communists: negligible

Other political or pressure groups: Housewives Association, Chamber of Commerce, Gibraltar Representatives Organization

Diplomatic representation: none (colony of the UK)

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy depends heavily on British defense expenditures, revenue from tourists, fees for services to shipping, and revenues from banking and finance activities. Because more than 70% of the economy is in the public sector, changes in government spending have a major impact on the level of employment. Construction workers are particularly affected when government expenditures are cut.

GNP: $129 million, per capita $4,450; real growth rate NA% (FY85)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.4% (1986)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $105 million; expenditures $104 million, including capital expenditures of NA (FY87)

Exports: $62.2 million (1985); commodities—(principally reexports) petroleum 75%, beverages and tobacco 12%, manufactured goods 8%; partners—UK, Morocco, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, US, FRG

Imports: $147 million (1985); commodities—manufactured goods, fuels, and foodstuffs; partners—UK, Morocco, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, US, FRG

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 46,000 kW capacity; 200 million kWh produced, 6,770 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: tourism, banking and finance, construction, commerce; support to large UK naval and air bases; transit trade and supply depot in the port; light manufacturing of tobacco, roasted coffee, ice, mineral waters, candy, beer, and canned fish

Agriculture: NA

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $0.8 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $162.5 million

Currency: Gibraltar pound (plural—pounds); 1 Gibraltar pound (£G) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Gibraltar pounds (£G) per US$1—0.6055 (January 1990), 0.6099 (1989), 0.5614 (1988), 0.6102 (1987), 0.6817 (1986), 0.7714 (1985); note—the Gibraltar pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


Railroads: 1.000-meter-gauge system in dockyard area only

Highways: 50 km, mostly good bitumen and concrete

Ports: Gibraltar

Merchant marine: 45 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,126,060 GRT/4,189,948 DWT; includes 1 cargo, 2 refrigerated cargo, 1 container, 16 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker 1 combination oil/ore, 1 liquefied gas, 13 bulk; note—a flag of convenience registry

Civil air: 1 major transport aircraft

Airports: 1 with permanent-surface runway 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: adequate international radiocommunication facilities; automatic telephone system with 10,500 telephones; stations—1 AM, 6 FM, 4 TV; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK