Country in Western Europe: Jersey

Not exactly a country in Western Europe, Jersey is a small island in the English Channel. Here is a comprehensive guide to the island...


Location: Western Europe, island in the English Channel, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates: 49 15 N, 2 10 W

Map references: Europe


total: 116 sq km

land: 116 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 70 km

Maritime claims:

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm

territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: temperate; mild winters and cool summers

Terrain: gently rolling plain with low, rugged hills along north coast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location 143 m

Natural resources: agricultural land

Land use:

arable land: 66%

permanent crops: NA%

permanent pastures: NA%

forests and woodland: NA%

other: 34%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: NA

Environment—international agreements:

party to: NA

signed, but not ratified: NA

Geography—note: largest and southernmost of Channel Islands; about 30% of population concentrated in Saint Helier


Population: 89,721 (July 1999 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18% (male 8,308; female 7,663)

15-64 years: 68% (male 30,168; female 30,754)

65 years and over: 14% (male 5,348; female 7,480) (1999 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.63% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 11.85 births/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 9.08 deaths/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 2.76 deaths/1,000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.83 years

male: 76.08 years

female: 81.87 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (1999 est.)


noun: Channel Islander(s)

adjective: Channel Islander

Ethnic groups: UK and Norman-French descent

Religions: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational New Church, Methodist, Presbyterian

Languages: English (official), French (official), Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts

Literacy: NA


Country name:

conventional long form: Bailiwick of Jersey

conventional short form: Jersey

Data code: JE

Dependency status: British crown dependency

Government type: NA

Capital: Saint Helier

Administrative divisions: none (British crown dependency)

Independence: none (British crown dependency)

National holiday: Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)

Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

Legal system: English law and local statute

Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief Sir Michael WILKES (since NA 1995) and Bailiff Philip Martin BAILHACHE (since NA 1995)

cabinet: committees appointed by the Assembly of the States

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; lieutenant governor and bailiff appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch: unicameral Assembly of the States (57 seats—53 elected including 12 senators popularly elected for six-year terms, half retiring every third year, 12 constables popularly elected triennially, and 29 deputies popularly elected triennially)

elections: last held NA (next to be held NA)

election results: percent of vote—NA; seats—independents 52

Judicial branch: Royal Court, judges elected by an electoral college and the bailiff

Political parties and leaders: none; all independents

International organization participation: none

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (British crown dependency)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (British crown dependency)

Flag description: white with the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) extending to the corners of the flag


Economy—overview: The economy is based largely on financial services, agriculture, and tourism. Potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, and especially flowers are important export crops, shipped mostly to the UK. The Jersey breed of dairy cattle is known worldwide and represents an important export earner. Milk products go to the UK and other EU countries. In 1996 the finance sector accounted for about 60% of the island's output. Tourism, another mainstay of the economy, accounts for 24% of GDP. In recent years, the government has encouraged light industry to locate in Jersey, with the result that an electronics industry has developed alongside the traditional manufacturing of knitwear. All raw material and energy requirements are imported, as well as a large share of Jersey's food needs. Light tax and death duties make the island a popular tax haven.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$NA

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$NA

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 5%

industry: 2%

services: 93% (1995)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (1996)

Labor force: 57,050 (1996)

Unemployment rate: 0.7% (1996)


revenues: $666.9 million

expenditures: $618.5 million, including capital expenditures of $128.4 million (1996 est.)

Industries: tourism, banking and finance, dairy

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—production: NA kWh

Electricity—production by source:

fossil fuel: NA%

hydro: NA%

nuclear: NA%

other: NA%

Electricity—consumption: 467 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—exports: 0 kWh

Electricity—imports: NA kWh; note—much electricity supplied by France

Agriculture—products: potatoes, cauliflowers, tomatoes; beef, dairy products

Exports: $NA

Exports—commodities: light industrial and electrical goods, foodstuffs, textiles

Exports—partners: UK

Imports: $NA

Imports—commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, mineral fuels, chemicals

Imports—partners: UK

Debt—external: none

Economic aid—recipient: none

Currency: 1 Jersey pound (£J) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Jersey pounds (£J) per US$1—0.6057 (January 1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996), 0.6335 (1995), 0.6529 (1994); the Jersey pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March


Telephones: 61,447 (1983 est.)

Telephone system:

domestic: NA

international: 3 submarine cables

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)

Televisions: NA


Railways: 0 km


total: 577 km (1995)

paved: NA km

unpaved: NA km

Ports and harbors: Gorey, Saint Aubin, Saint Helier

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1998 est.)


Military—note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes—international: none

*Information obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book.

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