Cayman Islands

Status: Overseas territory

Governor: Helen Kilpatrick (2013)

Premier: Alden McLaughlin (2013)

Total area: 101 sq mi (262 sq km)

Population (2010 est.): 54,878 (growth rate: 2.4%); birth rate: 12.4/1000; infant mortality rate: 7.6/1000; life expectancy: 80.3; density per sq mi: 549

Capital (2010 est.): George Town (on Grand Cayman), 27,704

Monetary unit: Cayman Islands dollar

National Holiday: Constitution Day, First Monday in July

Literacy rate: 98% (1970 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2004 est.): $1.391 billion; per capita $32,300. Real growth rate: 1.7% (2002 est.). Inflation: 2.8% (2002). Unemployment: 4.1% (1997). Arable land: 4%. Agriculture: vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming. Labor force: 19,820 (1995); agriculture 1.4%, industry 12.6%, services 86% (1995). Industries: tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture. Natural resources: fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism. Exports: $1.2 million (1999): turtle products, manufactured consumer goods. Imports: $457.4 million (1999): foodstuffs, manufactured goods. Major trading partners: U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Netherlands Antilles, Japan (2004).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 19,000 (1995); mobile cellular: 2,534 (1995). Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998). Radios: 36,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: n.a. Televisions: 7,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 16 (2000). Internet users: n.a.

Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 785 km; paved: 785 km (2000). Ports and harbors: Cayman Brac, George Town. Airports: 3 (2002).

International disputes: none.

Major sources and definitions

The Caymans consist of three islands—Grand Cayman (76 sq mi; 197 sq km), Cayman Brac (22 sq mi; 57 sq km), and Little Cayman (20 sq mi; 52 sq km)—situated about 180 mi (290 km) northwest of Jamaica. They were dependencies of Jamaica until 1959, when they became a unit territory within the Federation of the West Indies. In 1962, upon the dissolution of the federation, the Cayman Islands became a British dependency, and a new constitution approved in 1972 provided for a greater degree of autonomy. Tourism and finance are the Cayman Islands' major industries. For a time, the Cayman Islands were blacklisted by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for its allegedly loose policy concerning money laundering. It was removed from the list in 2001.

In 2009, the position of Premier of the Cayman Islands was established. Before then the role was known as Leader of Government Business. The first Premier was McKeeva Bush followed by Julianna O'Connor-Connolly, who served from December 2012 through May 2013. On May 29, 2013, Alden McLaughlin took office. McLaughlin, a member of the People's Progressive Movement, has served in the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands since 2000.

See also Encyclopedia: Cayman Islands.
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Cayman Islands

Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom