(British crown dependency)
[Country Flag of Guernsey]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Guernsey]



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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

Environment—international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

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


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Population: 64,555 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 5,856; female 5,721)
15-64 years: 67% (male 21,094; female 21,939)
65 years and over: 15% (male 4,001; female 5,944) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.28% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 13.91 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 9.53 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 8.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.67 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.55 years
male: 75.61 years
female: 81.6 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.68 children born/woman (1998 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

Literacy: NA


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

Data code: GK

Dependency status: British crown dependency

Government type: NA

National 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 of the UK (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief Vice-Admiral Sir John COWARD (since NA 1994) and Bailiff Mr. Graham Martyn DOREY (since February 1992)
cabinet: Advisory and Finance Committee (other committees) appointed by the Assembly of the States
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; lieutenant governor appointed by the queen; bailiff appointed by the queen

Legislative branch: unicameral Assembly of the States (60 seats, 33 popularly elected; members serve six-year terms)
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


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Economy—overview: Financial services account for about 55% of total income. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Bank profits (1992) registered a record 26% growth. Fund management and insurance are the two other major income generators. Light tax and death duties make the island a popular tax-haven.


GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: $NA

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 7% (1988)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: 3%-4% (1994 est.)

revenues: $277.9 million
expenditures: $248.8 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Industries: tourism, banking

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: NA kW

Electricity—production: NA kWh

Electricity—consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture—products: tomatoes, greenhouse flowers, sweet peppers, eggplant, other vegetables, fruit; Guernsey cattle

Exports: $NA
commodities: tomatoes, flowers and ferns, sweet peppers, eggplant, other vegetables
partners: UK (regarded as internal trade)

Imports: $NA
commodities: coal, gasoline, oil, machinery and equipment
partners: UK (regarded as internal trade)

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid: none

Currency: 1 Guernsey (£G) pound = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Guernsey pounds (£G) per US$1—0.6115 (January 1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996), 0.6335 (1995), 0.6529 (1994), 0.6658 (1993); note - the Guernsey pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 41,850 (1983 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international: 1 submarine cable

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: NA


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Railways: 0 km

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

Ports and harbors: Saint Peter Port, Saint Sampson

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military—note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none