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Cayman Islands

Country of Cayman Islands Flag

Capital: George Town (on Grand Cayman)

Population: 64,948

Brief History of Cayman Islands:

The Cayman Islands were first discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World in 1503. Columbus named them Las Tortugas (The Turtles in Spanish) because there were so many sea turtles on the islands. However, Columbus did not land on the islands and it wasn't until Sir Francis Drake visited the islands over 80 years later that someone visited the islands. He called them the Cayman Islands after the alligators, or caiman, that he saw there. Still the islands remained uninhabited for some years. The first settlers there tended to hail from a variety of places and backgrounds including slaves, deserting soldiers, pirates, and refugees.

In 1670 Great Britain took ownership of the Cayman Islands. The first permanent settlement wasn't established until the 1730s. Today the Cayman Islands are a British Territory. They serve as a popular vacation destination for tourists and also a tax-shelter for the rich.

Country of Cayman Islands Map

The Geography of Cayman Islands

Total Size: 262 square km

Size Comparison: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Geographical Coordinates: 19 30 N, 80 30 W

World Region or Continent: Central America

General Terrain: low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs

Geographical Low Point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point: The Bluff (Cayman Brac) 43 m

Climate: tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)

Major cities: GEORGE TOWN (capital) 32,000 (2009)

The People of Cayman Islands

Type of Government: British crown colony

Languages Spoken: English

Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)

National Holiday: Constitution Day, first Monday in July

Nationality: Caymanian(s)

Religions: United Church (Presbyterian and Congregational), Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, other Protestant, Roman Catholic

National Symbol:

National Anthem or Song: Beloved Isle Cayman

Economy of Cayman Islands

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

Agricultural Products: vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming

Natural Resources: fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism

Major Exports: turtle products, manufactured consumer goods

Major Imports: foodstuffs, manufactured goods

Currency: Caymanian dollar (KYD)

National GDP: $2,250,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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