Cayman Islands - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. More than 93,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 2008, including almost 300 banks, 800 insurers, and 10,000 mutual funds. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Nearly 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard of living comparable to that of Switzerland. Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the luxury market and caters mainly to visitors...

Continue reading View Factbook for Cayman Islands

GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2012 2,776,938,500 2,707,135,200 NCU Annual
Real Gross Domestic Product 1997 568,800,000 NCU Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Death Rate 2014 2.6 3.1 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Birth Rate 2014 12.2 12.5 # per Ths. pop. Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries and were administered by Jamaica after 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies. When the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency. The territory has transformed itself into a significant offshore financial center.

Geography

Location:
Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest of Jamaica
Geographic coordinates:
19 30 N, 80 30 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
total: 264 sq km
land: 264 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 211
Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
160 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 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
Elevation:
mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: 1 km SW of The Bluff on Cayman Brac 50 m
Natural resources:
fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism
Land use:
agricultural land: 11.2%
arable land 0.8%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 8.3%
forest: 52.9%
other: 35.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA
Population - distribution:
majority of the population resides on Grand Cayman
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to November)
Environment - current issues:
no natural freshwater resources; drinking water supplies are met by reverse osmosis desalination plants
Geography - note:
important location between Cuba and Central America

People & Society

Population:
58,441
note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
Nationality:
noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian
Ethnic groups:
mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%
Languages:
English (official) 90.9%, Spanish 4%, Filipino 3.3%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)
Religions:
Protestant 67.8% (includes Church of God 22.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 9.4%, Presbyterian/United Church 8.6%, Baptist 8.3%, Pentecostal 7.1%, non-denominational 5.3%, Anglican 4.1%, Wesleyan Holiness 2.4%), Roman Catholic 14.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other 7%, none 9.3%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 5,298/female 5,224)
15-24 years: 12.41% (male 3,601/female 3,654)
25-54 years: 42.52% (male 12,123/female 12,727)
55-64 years: 14.47% (male 4,030/female 4,427)
65 years and over: 12.59% (male 3,425/female 3,932) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Median age:
total: 40 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 40.7 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Population growth rate:
2.01% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Birth rate:
12 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Death rate:
5.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
Net migration rate:
13.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
Population distribution:
majority of the population resides on Grand Cayman
Urbanization:
urban population: 100% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.98% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
GEORGE TOWN (capital) 31,000 (2014)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.3 years
male: 78.6 years
female: 84.1 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
Total fertility rate:
1.85 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 97.4% of population
rural: NA
total: 97.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.6% of population
rural: NA
total: 2.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 95.6% of population
total: 95.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.4% of population
total: 4.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Education expenditures:
NA
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 99% (2007 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 13.8%
male: 16.4%
female: 11.4% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands
etymology: the islands' name comes from the native Carib word "caiman," describing the marine crocodiles living there
Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK
Government type:
parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Capital:
name: George Town (on Grand Cayman)
geographic coordinates: 19 18 N, 81 23 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
6 districts; Bodden Town, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, East End, George Town, North Side, West Bay
Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, first Monday in July (1959)
Constitution:
several previous; latest approved 10 June 2009, entered into force 6 November 2009 (The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009) (2016)
Legal system:
English common law and local statutes
Citizenship:
see United Kingdom
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Helen KILPATRICK (since 6 September 2013)
head of government: Premier Alden MCLAUGHLIN (since 29 May 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet selected from the Legislative Assembly and appointed by the governor on the advice of the premier
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition appointed premier by the governor
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Legislative Assembly (21 seats; 19 members directly elected by majority vote and 2 ex officio members - the deputy governor and attorney general - appointed by the governor; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 24 May 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - independent 44.7%, PPM 31.2%, CDP 24.1%; seats by party - independent 9, PPM 7, CDP 3
Judicial branch:
highest resident court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and at least 2 judges); Grand Court (consists of the court president and at least 2 judges); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Grand Court judges appointed by the governor on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an 8-member independent body consisting of governor appointees, Court of Appeal president, and attorneys; Court of Appeal judges' tenure based on their individual instruments of appointment; Grand Court judges normally appointed until retirement at age 65 but can be extended until age 70
subordinate courts: Summary Court
Political parties and leaders:
People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Alden MCLAUGHLIN]
Cayman Democratic Party or CDP [McKeeva BUSH]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Coalition for Cayman or C4C
People's National Alliance or PNA
National Trust
other: environmentalists
International organization participation:
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK); consular services provided through the US Embassy in Jamaica
Flag description:
a blue field with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Caymanian coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms includes a crest with a pineapple, representing the connection with Jamaica, and a turtle, representing Cayman's seafaring tradition, above a shield bearing a golden lion, symbolizing Great Britain, below which are three green stars (representing the three islands) surmounting white and blue wavy lines representing the sea and a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS
National symbol(s):
green sea turtle
National anthem:
name: "Beloved Isle Cayman"
lyrics/music: Leila E. ROSS
note: adopted 1993; served as an unofficial anthem since 1930; as a territory of the United Kingdom, in addition to the local anthem, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy

Economy - overview:
With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. More than 93,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 2008, including almost 300 banks, 800 insurers, and 10,000 mutual funds. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Nearly 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard of living comparable to that of Switzerland.
Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the luxury market and caters mainly to visitors from North America. Total tourist arrivals exceeded 1.9 million in 2008, with about half from the US.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.507 billion (2014 est.)
$2.465 billion (2013 est.)
$2.435 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.25 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2014 est.)
1.2% (2013 est.)
1.6% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$43,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 62.6%
government consumption: 14.7%
investment in fixed capital: 22.4%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 59.3%
imports of goods and services: -59% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 7.5%
services: 91.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming
Industries:
tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture
Industrial production growth rate:
2.4% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Labor force:
39,000
note: nearly 55% are non-nationals (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 19.1%
services: 79% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4% (2008)
4.4% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 49
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget:
revenues: $844.9 million
expenditures: $725 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
37.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
5.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.6% (2016 est.)
-2.3% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
Stock of narrow money:
$334.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 176
Stock of broad money:
$5.564 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$315.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$183.5 million (31 December 2007)
$188.4 million (31 December 2006)
country comparison to the world: 116
Exports:
$47.6 million (2016 est.)
$45 million (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
Exports - commodities:
turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
Imports:
$585.2 million (2016 est.)
$579.5 million (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA
Exchange rates:
Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar -
0.82 (2016 est.)
0.82 (2015 est.)
0.82 (2014 est.)
0.83 (2013 est.)
0.83 (2012 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 5,726
electrification - total population: 91%
electrification - urban areas: 91%
electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012)
Electricity - production:
624 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
Electricity - consumption:
587 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
132,000 kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 119
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
4,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
Refined petroleum products - imports:
3,984 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
country comparison to the world: 126
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
500,000 Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 34,116
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 60 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 95,656
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 167 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
Telephone system:
general assessment: reasonably good overall telephone system with a high fixed-line teledensity
domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003; introduction of competition in the mobile-cellular market in 2004 boosted subscriptions dramatically
international: country code - 1-345; landing points for the Maya-1, Eastern Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS), and the Cayman-Jamaica Fiber System submarine cables that provide links to the US and parts of Central and South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media:
4 TV stations; cable and satellite subscription services offer a variety of international programming; government-owned Radio Cayman operates 2 networks broadcasting on 5 stations; 10 privately owned radio stations operate alongside Radio Cayman (2007)
Internet country code:
.ky
Internet users:
total: 45,242
percent of population: 79.0% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6 (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
VP-C (2016)
Airports:
3 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 196
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
Roadways:
total: 785 km
paved: 785 km (2007)
country comparison to the world: 190
Merchant marine:
total: 116
by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 3, chemical tanker 61, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 10, vehicle carrier 16
foreign-owned: 102 (Germany 3, Greece 9, Italy 7, Japan 23, Switzerland 1, UK 2, US 57) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 46
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Cayman Brac, George Town

Military & Security

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2012)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none
Illicit drugs:
major offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe

Economic Indicators for Cayman Islands including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Cayman Islands economy.