Country List | World Factbook Home
CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Gibraltar
Flag of Gibraltar
Map of Gibraltar
Introduction Gibraltar
Strategically important, Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In referendums held in 1967 and 2002, Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency.
Geography Gibraltar
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 8 N, 5 21 W
Map references:
total: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 6.5 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
12 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers
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:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
limited natural freshwater resources: large concrete or natural rock water catchments collect rainwater (no longer used for drinking water) and adequate desalination plant
Geography - note:
strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
People Gibraltar
27,833 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 2,554; female 2,452)
15-64 years: 66.2% (male 9,460; female 8,965)
65 years and over: 15.8% (male 1,939; female 2,463) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 39 years
male: 38.8 years
female: 39.2 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.19% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
10.99 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
9.05 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 5.81 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.52 years
male: 76.65 years
female: 82.54 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.65 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Gibraltarian(s)
adjective: Gibraltar
Ethnic groups:
Spanish, Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese, German, North Africans
Roman Catholic 76.9%, Church of England 6.9%, Muslim 6.9%, Jewish 2.3%, none or other 7% (1991)
English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
definition: NA
total population: above 80%
male: NA
female: NA
Government Gibraltar
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gibraltar
Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
National Day, 10 September (1967); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or go with Spain
30 May 1969
Legal system:
English law
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 Sir Francis RICHARDS (since 27 May 2003)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed chief minister by the governor
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
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 27 November 2003 (next to be held not later than February 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - GSD 58%, GSLP 41%; seats by party - GSD 8, GSLP 7
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Gibraltar Liberal Party [Joseph GARCIA]; Gibraltar Social Democrats or GSD [Peter CARUANA]; Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or GSLP [Joseph John BOSSANO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar Representatives Organization; Women's Association
International organization participation:
Interpol (subbureau), UPU
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
Economy Gibraltar
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 7% to the local economy, compared with 60% in 1984. The financial sector, tourism (almost 5 million visitors in 1998), shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. The financial sector, the shipping sector, and tourism each contribute 25%-30% of GDP. Telecommunications accounts for another 10%. 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.
purchasing power parity - $500 million (1997 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $17,500 (1997 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
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) (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture negligible, industry 40%, services 60%
Unemployment rate:
2% (2001 est.)
revenues: $307 million
expenditures: $284 million, including capital expenditures of NA (FY00/01 est.)
Agriculture - products:
tourism, banking and finance, ship repairing, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
100 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
93 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
42,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
$136 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
(principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods 41%, other 8%
Exports - partners:
Germany 25.6%, France 24.8%, UK 14.3%, Turkmenistan 9.4%, Switzerland 7.5%, Spain 5.6% (2003)
$1.743 billion c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
fuels, manufactured goods, and foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Spain 26.5%, UK 14.8%, Russia 8.2%, Italy 6.6%, Netherlands 6.5%, France 5.3%, Germany 4.6%, Romania 4.2% (2003)
Debt - external:
NA (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Gibraltar pound (GIP)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Gibraltar pounds per US dollar - 0.6661 (2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998); note - the Gibraltar pound is at par with the British pound
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications Gibraltar
Telephones - main lines in use:
24,512 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
9,797 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate, automatic domestic system and adequate international facilities
domestic: automatic exchange facilities
international: country code - 350; radiotelephone; microwave radio relay; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)
37,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus three low-power repeaters) (1997)
10,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
6,200 (2002)
Transportation Gibraltar
total: 29 km
paved: 29 km
unpaved: 0 km (2002)
Ports and harbors:
Merchant marine:
total: 133 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 980,636 GRT/1,254,661 DWT
by type: bulk 3, cargo 69, chemical tanker 14, container 27, multi-functional large load carrier 3, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 13, roll on/roll off 2
registered in other countries: 4 (2004 est.)
foreign-owned: Belgium 1, Cyprus 3, Denmark 1, Estonia 1, France 1, Germany 92, Greece 11, Hong Kong 2, Iceland 1, Monaco 4, Norway 6, Spain 1, United Kingdom 6, United States 2
1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Gibraltar
Military branches:
Royal Gibraltar Regiment
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK; the last British regular infantry forces left Gibraltar in 1992, replaced by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment
Transnational Issues Gibraltar
Disputes - international:
since Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum in 2003 against a "total shared sovereignty" arrangement, talks between the UK and Spain over the fate of the 300-year-old UK colony have stalled; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy

This page was last updated on 10 February, 2005