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(overseas territory of the UK)
[Country Flag of Gibraltar]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Gibraltar]



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Background: Strategically important Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by Spain in 1713. In a 1967 referendum, Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency.


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Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southern coast of Spain

Geographic coordinates: 36 11 N, 5 22 W

Map references: Europe

total: 6.5 sq km
land: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
total: 1.2 km
border countries: Spain 1.2 km

Coastline: 12 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers

Terrain: a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Rock of Gibraltar 426 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: limited natural freshwater resources; large concrete or natural rock water catchments collect rain water

Geography - note: strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea


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Population: 29,481 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21% (male 3,167; female 3,013)
15-64 years: 65% (male 10,141; female 8,925)
65 years and over: 14% (male 1,769; female 2,466) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.91% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 14.14 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 8.45 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.95 years
male: 76.09 years
female: 81.96 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.15 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Gibraltarian(s)
adjective: Gibraltar

Ethnic groups: Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese, Spanish

Religions: Roman Catholic 76.9%, Church of England 6.9%, Muslim 6.9%, Jewish 2.3%, none or other 7% (1991)

Languages: English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian

definition: NA
total population: above 80%
male: NA%
female: NA%


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Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gibraltar

Data code: GI

Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK

Government type: NA

Capital: Gibraltar

Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday: Commonwealth Day (second Monday of March)

Constitution: 30 May 1969

Legal system: English law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal, plus other UK subjects who have been residents six months or more

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor and Commander-in-Chief, the Right Honorable Sir Richard LUCE (since 24 February 1997); note - a new governor has been appointed and will arrive in March 2000
head of government: Chief Minister Peter CARUANA (since 17 May 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed from among the 15 elected members of the House of Assembly by the governor in consultation with the chief minister
note: there is also a Gibraltar Council that advises the governor
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister appointed by the governor

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (18 seats - 15 elected by popular vote, one appointed for the Speaker, and two ex officio members; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 10 February 2000 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - SD 54%, GSLA 40%; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: Gibraltar Labor Party/Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights or GCL/AACR [Adolfo CANEPA]; Gibraltar Liberal Party or GLP (has become the Gibraltar National Party or NP) [Joe GARCIA]; Gibraltar Social Democrats or SD [Peter CARUANA]; Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or SL [Joe BOSSANO]; Gibraltar Socialist Liberal Alliance or GSLA [Joe BOSSANO] (includes SL and GLP)

Political pressure groups and leaders: Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar Representatives Organization; Housewives Association

International organization participation: Interpol (subbureau)

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description: two horizontal bands of white (top, double width) and red with a three-towered red castle in the center of the white band; hanging from the castle gate is a gold key centered in the red band


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Economy - overview: Gibraltar benefits from an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and its position as an international conference center. The British military presence has been sharply reduced and now contributes about 11% to the local economy. The financial sector accounts for 20% of GDP; tourism (almost 6 million visitors in 1998), shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. In recent years, Gibraltar has seen major structural change from a public to a private sector economy, but changes in government spending still have a major impact on the level of employment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $500 million (1997 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,500 (1997 est.)

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

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (1998)

Labor force: 14,800 (including non-Gibraltar laborers)

Labor force - by occupation: services 60%, industry 40%, agriculture NEGL%

Unemployment rate: 13.5% (1996)

revenues: $119.3 million
expenditures: $122.1 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY96/97)

Industries: tourism, banking and finance, ship-building and repairing; support to large UK naval and air bases; tobacco, mineral water, beer, canned fish

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 90 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 84 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: none

Exports: $81.1 million (f.o.b., 1997)

Exports - commodities: (principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods 41%, other 8%

Exports - partners: UK, Morocco, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, US, Germany

Imports: $492 million (c.i.f., 1997)

Imports - commodities: fuels, manufactured goods, and foodstuffs

Imports - partners: UK, Spain, Japan, Netherlands

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 Gibraltar pound = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Gibraltar pounds per US$1 - 0.6092 (January 2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996), 0.6335 (1995); note - the Gibraltar pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


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Telephones - main lines in use: 17,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,161 (1999)

Telephone system: adequate, automatic domestic system and adequate international facilities
domestic: automatic exchange facilities
international: radiotelephone; microwave radio relay; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 37,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus three low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 10,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA


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total: NA km; 1.000-m gauge system in dockyard area only

total: 49.9 km
paved: 49.9 km
unpaved: 0 km

Pipelines: 0 km

Ports and harbors: Gibraltar

Merchant marine:
total: 26 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 477,183 GRT/752,644 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 2, chemical tanker 2, container 4, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 13, roll-on/roll-off 2 (1999 est.)

Airports: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1999 est.)


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Military branches: British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

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Disputes - international: source of friction between Spain and the UK

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