Cayman Islands

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 9, 2011
Flag of Cayman Islands
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Cayman Islands
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Map of Cayman Islands
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Photos of Cayman Islands
 
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OF CAYMAN ISLANDS
 

Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest of Jamaica
 
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19 30 N, 80 30 W
 
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total: 264 sq km
country comparison to the world: 211
land: 264 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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160 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
 
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tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)
 
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low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs
 
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: The Bluff on Cayman Brac 43 m
 
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fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism
 
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arable land: 3.85%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 96.15% (2005)
 
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NA
 
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hurricanes (July to November)
 
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no natural freshwater resources; drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchments
 
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important location between Cuba and Central America
 
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People and Society

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noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian
 
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mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%
 
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English (official) 95%, Spanish 3.2%, other 1.8% (1999 census)
 
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Protestant 67.7% (Church of God 25.5%, Presbyterian/United Church 9.2%, Seventh-Day Adventist 8.4%, Baptist 8.3%, Pentecostal 6.7%, Anglican 3.9%, non-denominational 5.7%), Roman Catholic 12.6%, other religions 4%, other 6.5%, none 6.1%, unspecified 3.2% (2007)
 
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51,384 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman
 
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0-14 years: 19% (male 4,924/female 4,858)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 17,766/female 18,743)
65 years and over: 9.9% (male 2,401/female 2,692) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 38.7 years
male: 38.2 years
female: 39.2 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.287% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
 
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12.24 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
 
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5.1 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
 
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15.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 5
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2011 est.)
 
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urban population: 100% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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GEORGE TOWN (capital) 32,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.016 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 6.63 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 168
male: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 80.68 years
country comparison to the world: 21
male: 78.02 years
female: 83.39 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.87 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
 
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improved:
urban: 95% of population
total: 95% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
total: 5% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 96% of population
total: 96% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
total: 4% of population (2008)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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2.6% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 145
 
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1970 est.)
 
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total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2008)
 
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total: 13.5%
country comparison to the world: 85
male: 13.6%
female: 13.3% (2008)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands
 
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overseas territory of the UK
 
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parliamentary democracy
 
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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)
 
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8 districts; Creek, Eastern, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, West End, Western
 
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
 
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Constitution Day, first Monday in July
 
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The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009, 6 November 2009
 
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English common law and local statutes
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Duncan TAYLOR (since 15 January 2010)
head of government: Premier McKeeva BUSH (since 6 November 2009)
cabinet: The Cabinet (six members are appointed by the governor on the advice of the premier, selected from among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly)
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or coalition appointed by the governor as premier
 
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unicameral Legislative Assembly (20 seats; 18 members elected by popular vote and 2 ex officio members from The Cabinet; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 20 May 2009 (next to be held not later than May 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UDP 9, PPM 5, independent 1
 
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Grand Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal; Summary Court
 
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People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Kurt TIBBETTS]; United Democratic Party or UDP [McKeeva BUSH]
 
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National Trust
other: environmentalists
 
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Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU
 
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
 
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none (overseas territory of the UK); consular services provided through the US Embassy in Jamaica
 
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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
 
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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)
 
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Economy

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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. About 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard of living roughly equal to that of Switzerland.
 
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$2.25 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
$2.23 billion (2003 est.)
 
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$2.25 billion (2008 est.)
 
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1.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
0.9% (2004 est.)
 
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$43,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
 
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agriculture: 0.5%
industry: 50.7%
services: 48.8% (2010 est.)
 
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39,000
country comparison to the world: 197
note: nearly 55% are non-nationals (2007)
 
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agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 19.1%
services: 79% (2008 est.)
 
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4% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 35
4.4% (2004)
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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25.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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revenues: $503.4 million
expenditures: $674.7 million (2010 est.)
 
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22.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
 
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-7.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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0.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
-1.5% (2009 est.)
 
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14.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
14.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$334.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 166
 
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$5.564 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
 
 
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
$183.5 million (31 December 2007)
$188.4 million (31 December 2006)
 
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vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming
 
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tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture
 
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NA%
 
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597.4 million kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
 
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537.5 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
 
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3,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
 
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3,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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-$384.5 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
-$335.4 million (2009 est.)
 
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$17 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
$19.5 million (2009 est.)
 
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turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
 
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$795 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
$897.4 million (2009 est.)
 
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foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels
 
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$70 million (1996)
country comparison to the world: 188
 
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$NA
 
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$NA
 
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Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar -
NA (2007)
0.8496 (2006)
 
 
 
 
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Communications

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37,400 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 175
 
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99,900 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 190
 
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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
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) (2007)
 
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4 television 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)
 
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.ky
 
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21,910 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 108
 
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23,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 190
 
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Transportation

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3 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 196
 
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total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2010)
 
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total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 785 km
country comparison to the world: 187
paved: 785 km (2007)
 
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total: 113
country comparison to the world: 46
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 3, chemical tanker 56, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 10, vehicle carrier 15
foreign-owned: 99 (Germany 6, Greece 11, Italy 6, Japan 19, Switzerland 1, UK 2, US 54) (2010)
 
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Cayman Brac, George Town
 
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Military

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no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 12,238 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 9,981
females age 16-49: 10,417 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 333
female: 342 (2010 est.)
 
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defense is the responsibility of the UK
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
 
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major offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the US and Europe (2008)
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