Guernsey - GG - GGY - Europe

Last updated: February 27, 2024
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Guernsey Factbook Data

Dependency status

British crown dependency

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (British crown dependency)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.38% (male 5,006/female 4,722)

15-64 years: 64.48% (male 22,005/female 21,611)

65 years and over: 21.14% (2023 est.) (male 6,646/female 7,652)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Guernsey. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

49 28 N, 2 35 W

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

very large tidal variation and fast currents can make local waters dangerous

Area - comparative

about one-half the size of Washington, DC

Background

Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Duchy 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. The Bailiwick of Guernsey consists of the main island of Guernsey and a number of smaller islands including Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou, and Lihou. The Bailiwick is a self-governing British Crown dependency that is not part of the UK. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation. 

Environment - current issues

coastal erosion, coastal flooding; declining biodiversity due to land abandonment and succession to scrub or woodland

Population below poverty line

NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

aircraft, photo lab equipment, clocks, ships, paintings, scientific instruments (2022)

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

note: two additional parishes for Guernsey are sometimes listed - Saint Anne on the island of Alderney and Saint Peter on the island of Sark - but they are generally not included in the enumeration of parishes

Agricultural products

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

Budget

revenues: $563.6 million (2005)

expenditures: $530.9 million (2005 est.)

Capital

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

etymology: Saint Peter Port is the name of the town and its surrounding parish; the "port" distinguishes this parish from that of Saint Peter on the other side of the island

Imports - commodities

ships, aircraft, refined petroleum, mineral manufactures, beverages (2022)

Climate

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

Coastline

50 km

Constitution

history: unwritten; includes royal charters, statutes, and common law and practice

amendments: new laws or changes to existing laws are initiated by the States of Deliberation; passage requires majority vote; many laws have been passed; in 2019, 60 laws were passed

Exchange rates

Guernsey pound per US dollar

Exchange rates:
0.7836 (2017 est.)
0.738 (2016 est.)
0.738 (2015)
0.6542 (2014)
0.607 (2013)

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Lieutenant-Governor Richard CRIPWELL (since 15 February 2022)

head of government: Chief Minister Peter FERBRACHE (since 16 October 2020); Bailiff Richard McMAHON (since 11 May 2020); note - the chief minister is the president of the Policy and Resources Committee and is the de facto head of government; the Policy and Resources Committee, elected by the States of Deliberation, functions as the executive; the 5 members all have equal voting rights

cabinet: none

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor and bailiff appointed by the monarch; chief minister, who is the president of the Policy and Resources Committee indirectly elected by the States of Deliberation for a 4-year term; last held on 7 October 2020 (next to be held in 2024)

election results:
2020:
Peter FERBRACHE (independent) elected president of the Policy and Resources Committee and chief minister: percent of States of Guernsey vote - 57.5%

2016:
 Gavin ST. PIER (independent) elected president of the Policy and Resources Committee and chief minister

Fiscal year

calendar year

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 William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066

Independence

none (British Crown dependency)

Industries

tourism, banking

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 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 Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff, 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 Bailiff and a number of jurats

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

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Legal system

customary legal system based on Norman customary law; includes elements of the French civil code and English common law

Legislative branch

description: unicameral States of Deliberation (40 seats; 38 People's Deputies and 2 representatives of the States of Alderney; members directly elected by majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - non-voting members include the bailiff (presiding officer), attorney-general, and solicitor-general

elections: last held on 7 October 2020 (next to be held in June 2025)

election results: percent of vote - independents 62.6%, GPI 24.0%, GP 10.0%, APG 3.4%; seats - independents 22, GPI 10, GP 6; composition - men 32, women 8, percent of women 20%

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm

International organization participation

UPU

National holiday

Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)

Nationality

noun: Channel Islander(s)

adjective: Channel Islander

Natural resources

cropland

Geography - note

large, deepwater harbor at Saint Peter Port

Economic overview

high-income English Channel island economy; strong financial sector but stressed due to COVID-19 disruptions; manufacturing, tourism, and construction industries suffered but expected to recover; stable inflation; maintains independent taxation authority

Political parties and leaders

Alliance Party Guernsey or APG [Barry WEIR]
Guernsey Partnership of Independents or GPI [Gavin ST PIER]
Guernsey Party or GP [Mark HEYLAR]

Ports and terminals

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

Suffrage

16 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: fixed network broadband services are those delivered over physical copper connections, fiber connections and fixed wireless communications links (e.g. WiMax); they do not include services delivered over 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks (2021)

domestic: fixed-line 53 per 100 and mobile-cellular 112 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 44; landing points for Guernsey-Jersey, HUGO, INGRID, Channel Islands -9 Liberty and UK-Channel Islands-7 submarine cable to UK and France (2019)

Terrain

mostly flat with low hills in southwest

Government type

parliamentary democracy (States of Deliberation)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Country name

conventional long form: Bailiwick of Guernsey

conventional short form: Guernsey

former: Norman Isles

etymology: the name is of Old Norse origin, but the meaning of the root "Guern(s)" is uncertain; the "-ey" ending means "island"

Location

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

Map references

Europe

Irrigated land

NA

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (British crown dependency)

Internet country code

.gg

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.742 billion (2005 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 31.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.68% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data include Guernsey and Jersey

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

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 King" is official (see United Kingdom)

Major urban areas - population

16,000 SAINT PETER PORT (capital) (2018)

National symbol(s)

Guernsey cow, donkey; national colors: red, white, yellow

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 48.6

youth dependency ratio: 23.9

elderly dependency ratio: 24.6

potential support ratio: 4.1 (2021 est.)

note: data represent Guernsey and Jersey

Citizenship

see United Kingdom

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020) (registered in UK)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 9 (registered in UK)

Ethnic groups

Guernsey 53.1%, UK and Ireland 23.9%, Portugal 2.2%, Latvia 1.5%, other Europe 2.8%, other 4.4%, unspecified 11.4% (2020 est.)

note: data represent population by country of birth; the native population is of British and Norman-French descent

Religions

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

Languages

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

Disputes - international

none identified

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Elevation

highest point: Le Moulin on Sark 114 m

lowest point: English Channel 0 m

Contraceptive prevalence rate

NA

Current health expenditure

NA

Drinking water source

improved: total: 94.2% of population

unimproved: total: 5.9% of population (2017 est.)

note: includes data for Jersey

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 98% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 1.2% of population (2017)

note: data represent Guernsey and Jersey

Imports - partners

almost entirely United Kingdom (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 178,933 tons (2016 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 50,871 tons (2016 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 28.4% (2016 est.)

note: data include combined totals for Guernsey and Jersey.

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

2

Illicit drugs

NA

Gross reproduction rate

0.77 (2023 est.)

Exports - partners

almost entirely United Kingdom (2022)

Labor force

86,800 (2021 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 15.8% (2021 est.)

male: 15.9%

female: 15.6%

Net migration rate

1.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 44.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 43.6 years

female: 46.1 years

Debt - external

NA

Total fertility rate

1.59 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.37% (2021 est.)
7.69% (2020 est.)
6.41% (2019 est.)

Population

67,642 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.2% (of GDP) (2005)

Internet users

total: 55,069 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 86.6% (2021 est.)

Area

total: 78 sq km

land: 78 sq km

water: 0 sq km

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

Taxes and other revenues

20.6% (of GDP) (2005)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$3.465 billion (2015 est.)
$3.451 billion (2014 est.)
$3.42 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 dollars

Roadways

total: 260 km (2017)

Airports

2 (2024)

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.8 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 71,485 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 112 (2021 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.8% (2022 est.)
3.4% (June 2006 est.)

note: data represent Retail Price Index inflation rates

Real GDP per capita

$52,500 (2014 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 25,336 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 40 (2020 est.)

Death rate

9.2 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

9.7 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

NA

Imports

NA

Exports

NA

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 33,930 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 53 (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 83.4 years (2023 est.)

male: 80.7 years

female: 86.2 years

Real GDP growth rate

0.4% (2015 est.)
1.2% (2014 est.)
4.2% (2012 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

NA

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3% (2000)

industry: 10% (2000)

services: 87% (2000)

Education expenditures

NA

Population growth rate

0.22% (2023 est.)