The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries, and were administered by Jamaica after 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies, but when the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency.

Location: Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest of Jamaica
Geographic coordinates: 19 30 N, 80 30 W
Population: 52,560 (July 2012 est.)

note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2008 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 19% (male 4,924/female 4,858)

15-64 years: 71.1% (male 17,766/female 18,743)

65 years and over: 9.9% (male 2,401/female 2,692) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Cayman Islands

Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK
Telephones – main lines in use: 37,200 (2011)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 95,100 (2011)
Airports: 3 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2012)

Military branches: no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2010)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 12,238 (2010 est.)

Economy:With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial centre. More than 68,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 2003, including almost 500 banks, 800 insurers, and 5,000 mutual funds. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings.
Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: none
Illicit drugs: offshore financial centre; vulnerable to drug transhipment to the US and Europe