Introduction ::Guernsey


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. Guernsey is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.

Geography ::Guernsey


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

Geographic coordinates:

49 28 N, 2 35 W


total: 78 sq km

country comparison to the world: 228

land: 78 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Alderney, Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and some other smaller islands

Area - comparative:

about one-half the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km


50 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm


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


mostly level with low hills in southwest

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed elevation on Sark 114 m

Natural resources:


Land use:

arable land: NA

permanent crops: NA

other: NA

Irrigated land:


Natural hazards:


Environment - current issues:


Geography - note:

large, deepwater harbor at Saint Peter Port

People and Society ::Guernsey


noun: Channel Islander(s)

adjective: Channel Islander

Ethnic groups:

British and Norman-French descent with small percentages from other European countries


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


Protestant (Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist), Roman Catholic


65,605 (July 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.7% (male 4,992/female 4,642)

15-24 years: 12.1% (male 4,023/female 3,901)

25-54 years: 42.3% (male 13,957/female 13,811)

55-64 years: 13% (male 4,252/female 4,266)

65 years and over: 17.9% (male 5,281/female 6,480) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 46 %

youth dependency ratio: 21.8 %

elderly dependency ratio: 24.2 %

potential support ratio: 4.1

note: data represents the Channel Islands (2013)

Median age:

total: 42.8 years

male: 41.7 years

female: 43.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.38% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 158

Birth rate:

9.95 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 196

Death rate:

8.61 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

Net migration rate:

2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36


urban population: 31% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.49 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 209

male: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 82.32 years

country comparison to the world: 7

male: 79.65 years

female: 85.12 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.54 children born/woman (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 185

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


Education expenditures:




Government ::Guernsey

Country name:

conventional long form: Bailiwick of Guernsey

conventional short form: Guernsey

Dependency status:

British crown dependency

Government type:

parliamentary democracy


name: Saint Peter Port

geographic coordinates: 49 27 N, 2 32 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

none (British crown dependency); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 10 parishes: Castel, Forest, Saint Andrew, Saint Martin, Saint Peter Port, Saint Pierre du Bois, Saint Sampson, Saint Saviour, Torteval, Vale


none (British crown dependency)

National holiday:

Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)


unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

Legal system:

customary legal system based on Norman customary law, and includes elements of the French Civil Code and English common law


16 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Lieutenant Governor Air Marshall Peter WALKER (since 15 April 2011)

head of government: Chief Minister Peter HARWOOD (since 1 May 2012); Bailiff Richard COLLAS (since 23 March 2012)

cabinet: Policy Council elected by the States of Deliberation

(For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor and bailiff appointed by the monarch; chief minister elected by States of Deliberation

election results: Peter HARWOOD elected chief minister, percent of vote NA

Legislative branch:

unicameral States of Deliberation (45 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; note - there are also 10 Douzaine representatives - one from each parish, 2 representatives from Alderney and the appointed attorney general and soliciter general); note - Alderney and Sark have parliaments

elections: last held on 18 April 2012 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independents

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Guernsey Court of Appeal (consists of the Bailiff of Guernsey, who is the ex-officio president of the Guernsey Court of Appeal, and at least 12 judges); Royal Court (organized into 3 divisions - Full Court sits with 1 judge and 7 to 12 jurats acting as judges of fact, Ordinary Court sits with 1 judge and normally 3 jurats, and Matrimonial Causes Division sits with a 1 judge and 4 jurats); note - appeals beyond Guernsey courts are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: Royal Court Balliff, Deputy Balliff and Court of Appeal justices appointed by the British Crown and hold office at Her Majesty's pleasure; jurats elected by the States of Election, a body chaired by the Balliff and a number of jurats

subordinate courts: Court of Alderney; Court of the Seneschal of Sark; Magistrate's Court (includes Juvenile Court); Contracts Court; Ecclesiastical Court; Court of Chief Pleas

Political parties and leaders:

none; all independents

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Stop Traffic Endangering Pedestrian Safety or STEPS

No More Masts [Colin FALLAIZE]

International organization participation:


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; the red cross represents the old ties with England and the fact that Guernsey is a British Crown dependency; the gold cross is a replica of the one used by Duke William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings

National symbol(s):

Guernsey cow; donkey

National anthem:

name: ""Sarnia Cherie"" (Guernsey Dear)

lyrics/music: George DEIGHTON/Domencio SANTANGELO

note: adopted 1911; serves as a local anthem; as a British crown dependency, ""God Save the Queen"" remains official (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Guernsey

Economy - overview:

Financial services - banking, fund management, insurance - account for about 23% of employment and about 55% of total income in this tiny, prosperous Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Financial services, construction, retail, and the public sector have been growing. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. In January 2013, Guernsey signed a tax agreement with Jersey and the Isle of Man, in order to enable the islands' authorities to end tax avoidance and evasion. The evolving economic integration of the EU nations is changing the environment under which Guernsey operates.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.742 billion (2005)

country comparison to the world: 184

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.742 billion (2005)

GDP - real growth rate:

3% (2005 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$44,600 (2005)

country comparison to the world: 17

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 3%

industry: 10%

services: 87% (2000)

Agriculture - products:

tomatoes, greenhouse flowers, sweet peppers, eggplant, fruit; Guernsey cattle


tourism, banking

Industrial production growth rate:


Labor force:

31,470 (March 2006)

country comparison to the world: 205

Unemployment rate:

0.9% (March 2006 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Population below poverty line:


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $563.6 million

expenditures: $530.9 million (2005)

Taxes and other revenues:

20.6% of GDP (2005)

country comparison to the world: 158

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

1.2% of GDP (2005)

country comparison to the world: 32

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.4% (June 2006)

country comparison to the world: 107



Exports - commodities:

tomatoes, flowers and ferns, sweet peppers, eggplant, other vegetables



Imports - commodities:

coal, gasoline, oil, machinery and equipment

Debt - external:


Exchange rates:

Guernsey pound

0.6307 (2012)

0.6236 (2011)

0.6472 (2010)

0.6175 (2009)

0.5302 (2008)

Communications ::Guernsey

Telephones - main lines in use:

45,100 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 165

Telephones - mobile cellular:

43,800 (2004)

country comparison to the world: 202

Telephone system:

domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular services widely available; combined fixed and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 per 100 persons

international: country code - 44; 1 submarine cable (2011)

Broadcast media:

multiple UK terrestrial TV broadcasts are received via a transmitter in Jersey with relays in Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney; satellite packages are available; BBC Radio Guernsey and 1 other radio station operating (2009)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

239 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 196

Internet users:

48,300 (2009)

country comparison to the world: 175

Transportation ::Guernsey


2 (2013)

country comparison to the world: 200

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Braye Bay, Saint Peter Port

Military ::Guernsey

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 12,493

females age 16-49: 12,272 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 354

female: 342 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues ::Guernsey

Disputes - international:


The World Factbook. 2014.

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