|General background: 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 a 1967 referendum,
Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly
to remain a British dependency. Spain and the UK are
discussing the issue of Gibraltar and have set the goal
of reaching an agreement by mid-2002.
comparative: About 11 times the size of The Mall
in Washington, DC.
with mild winters and warm summers.
A narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar.
Population: 27,714 (July 2002 est.)
Ethnic groups: Spanish, Italian, English,
Religions: Roman Catholic 76.9%, Church of
England 6.9%, Muslim 6.9%, Jewish 2.3%, none or other
Language: English (used in schools and for
official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese,
Government type: NA
Legal system: English law
Economic overview: Gibraltar benefits from
an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and
its position as an international conference centre.
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.
Communication/Telephone system: Adequate, automatic
domestic system and adequate international facilities.
Places of interest: