Facts at a glance:
Capital: George Town (Grand Cayman)
Form of Government :British Dependent Territory
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor Martyn Roper
Head of Government :Hon. Alden M. McLaughin, Jr, MLA, MBE, JP
Location:19EN; 80-81EW;290 km. (180 mi.) northwest of Jamaica
Area: The three islands of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac total 260 sq. km (100.4 sq.mi.)
Population:60,876 (2016 est.)
Ethnic Make-Up: Mostly African descent, mixed with European
Currency: Cayman Islands Dollar (CI$)
Exchange rate:CI$1.00 = US$1.22
Time zone: EST; GMT -5
Phone code: Regional code (345) plus 7-digit local number
History: Although discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503, the three islands were never occupied by the Spanish. In 1655, Jamaica was captured from Spain by Britain and was ceded along with the Cayman Islands to the British Crown in 1670 under the Treaty of Madrid. Serious settlement did not begin until the 1730s.
The Cayman Islands remained a dependency of Jamaica until 1959, at which time Jamaica became a unit territory within the Federation of the West Indies. All constitutional links were severed when the Federation was dissolved and Jamaica gained its independence in 1962. Today, the Cayman Islands remain a separate dependent territory of the United Kingdom.
UWI Connections:The UWI Open Campus: Cayman Islands