(British crown dependency)

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Background: The island of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II.


Location: Western Europe, islands in the English Channel, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates: 49 28 N, 2 35 W

Map references: Europe

  total: 194 sq km
  land: 194 sq km
  water: 0 sq km (Note: includes Alderney, Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and some other smaller islands)

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 50 km

Maritime claims
  exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
  territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: temperate with mild winters and cool summers; about 50% of days are overcast

Terrain: mostly level with low hills in southwest

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
  highest point: unnamed location on Sark 114 m

Natural resources: cropland

Land use
  arable land: NA%
  permanent crops: NA%
  permanent pastures: NA%
  forests and woodland: NA%
  other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: NA

Geography - note: large, deepwater harbor at Saint Peter Port


Population: 64,080 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 16% (male 5,302; female 5,167)
  15-64 years: 67% (male 21,171; female 21,523)
  65 years and over: 17% (male 4,480; female 6,437) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.42% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 10.17 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 9.85 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 79.65 years
  male: 76.65 years
  female: 82.75 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.35 children born/woman (2000 est.)

  noun: Channel Islander(s)
  adjective: Channel Islander

Ethnic groups: UK and Norman-French descent

Religions: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist

Languages: English, French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts

  definition: NA
  total population: NA%
  male: NA%
  female: NA%


Country name
  conventional long form: Bailiwick of Guernsey
  conventional short form: Guernsey

Data code: GK

Dependency status: British crown dependency

Government type: NA

Capital: Saint Peter Port

Administrative divisions: none (British crown dependency)

Independence: none (British crown dependency)

National holiday: Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)

Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

Legal system: English law and local statute; justice is administered by the Royal Court

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
  head of government: Lieutenant Governor Sir John COWARD (since NA 1994) and Bailiff De Vic G. CAREY (since NA)
  cabinet: Advisory and Finance Committee appointed by the Assembly of the States
  elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; lieutenant governor appointed by the monarch; bailiff appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch: unicameral Assembly of the States (59 voting members - 12 councilors serving six-year terms, half elected every three years; 33 deputies elected from multi- or single-member districts every four years; 10 representatives from parish authorities; 2 representatives from Aldenay; the bailiff and deputy bailiff; and 2 non-voting members - the Attorney General and the Solicitor General both appointed by the monarch
  elections: last held 20 April 1994 (next to be held NA 2000)
  election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independents

Judicial branch: Royal Court

Political parties and leaders: none; all independents

International organization participation: none

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (British crown dependency)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (British crown dependency)

Flag description: white with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) extending to the edges of the flag and a yellow equal-armed cross of William the Conqueror superimposed on the Saint George cross


Economy - overview: Financial services - banking, fund management, insurance, etc. - account for about 55% of total income in this tiny Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. The evolving economic integration of the EU nations is changing the rules of the game under which Guernsey operates.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.15 billion (1997 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.3% (1997 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $18,100 (1997 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 4%
  industry: 10%
  services: 86% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.7% (1997 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: 0.5% (1997 est.)

  revenues: $300.8 million
  expenditures: $298.1 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Industries: tourism, banking

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: NA kWh

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: NA%
  hydro: NA%
  nuclear: NA%
  other: NA%

Electricity - consumption: NA kWh

Electricity - exports: NA kWh

Electricity - imports: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: tomatoes, greenhouse flowers, sweet peppers, eggplant, fruit; Guernsey cattle

Exports: $NA

Exports - commodities: tomatoes, flowers and ferns, sweet peppers, eggplant, other vegetables

Exports - partners: UK (regarded as internal trade)

Imports: $NA

Imports - commodities: coal, gasoline, oil, machinery and equipment

Imports - partners: UK (regarded as internal trade)

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 Guernsey pound = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Guernsey pounds per US$1 - 0.6092 (January 2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996), 0.6335 (1995); note - the Guernsey pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use: 41,850 (1983)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
  domestic: NA
  international: 1 submarine cable

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)

Televisions: NA

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA


Railways: 0 km

  total: NA km
  paved: NA km
  unpaved: NA km

Ports and harbors: Saint Peter Port, Saint Sampson

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: 2 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 2
  914 to 1,523 m: 1
  under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)


Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none


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