Cayman Islands

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Georgetown

Population: 54,914 (July 2013 CIA est.)

Surface area: 264 sq km

Currency: Cayman Islands dollar (KYD)

GDP per capita (purchasing power parity): $43,800 (2004 CIA est.)

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.

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. 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. Nearly 90% of the islands’ food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard of living comparable to that of Switzerland. (CIA 2014)

Major Industries: tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture

Major Export Commodities: turtle products, manufactured consumer goods

Foreign direct investment, net inflows ($ billions): 7.4 (World Bank, 2011)

Remittances: N/A

Life Expectancy at Birth: 81.02 years (CIA, 2014)

CIA World Factbook.
World Bank. 2013.

License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 Image of flag and map; copyright of Wikimedia Commons

Updated January 2015