Isle of Man

Introduction Part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland, the isle came under the British crown in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language. Isle of Man is a British crown dependency, but is not part of the UK. However, the UK Government remains constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.
History

Ancient times to present

The Isle of Man is one of six Celtic nations and its history reflects this. It is likely that the first Celtic tribes to inhabit the Island were of the Brythonic variety. Around AD 700 it is assumed that Irish invasion or immigration formed the basis of the early Manx population. This is evident in the change in language used in Ogham inscriptions. Manx Gaelic remains closely related to Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic.

Viking settlement on the Isle of Man began at the end of the eighth century. Though the Vikings established Tynwald and introduced many land divisions that still exist, they had little actual influence on the culture of the Manx people. Although the Manx language does contain Norse influences, they are few. The Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles was created by Godred Crovan in 1079. In 1266, as dictated in the Treaty of Perth, Norway's King Magnus VI ceded the isles to Scotland. The Isle of Man came under English control in the fourteenth century and to the British Crown in 1765. While the British monarch became the Lord of Mann, the island was not incorporated into the United Kingdom but remained a Crown dependency.

During Viking times, the islands of the Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles were called the Súðreyjar or Sudreys ("southern isles") in contrast to the Norðreyjar ("northern isles") of Orkney and Shetland. This became Sodor. The Church of England diocese is still called the Diocese of Sodor and Man although it only covers Mann. (When the Rev. W. V. Awdry wrote The Railway Series, he invented the island of Sodor as an imaginary island located between the Isle of Man and the Cumbrian coast.)

The Isle of Man was used as a location for "Alien Civilian Internment" camps during both the First and Second World Wars.

Tynwald

Tynwald, the Island's parliament, was nominally founded in AD 979. It is arguably the oldest continuous parliament in the world.[2] The annual ceremonial meeting in July on Tynwald Day, the Island's national day, continues to be held at Tynwald Hill, where titles are announced and a brief description of the new laws enacted by Tynwald during the previous year is given.

Geography Location: Western Europe, island in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland
Geographic coordinates: 54 15 N, 4 30 W
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 572 sq km
land: 572 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly more than three times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 160 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Climate: temperate; cool summers and mild winters; overcast about one-third of the time
Terrain: hills in north and south bisected by central valley
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Irish Sea 0 m
highest point: Snaefell 621 m
Natural resources: none
Land use: arable land: 9%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 91% (permanent pastures, forests, mountain, and heathland) (2002)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: waste disposal (both household and industrial); transboundary air pollution
Geography - note: one small islet, the Calf of Man, lies to the southwest, and is a bird sanctuary
Politics

Most Manx politicians stand for election as independents rather than as representatives of political parties. Though political parties do exist, their influence is not nearly as strong as is the case in the United Kingdom.

The largest political party is the recently established Liberal Vannin Party, which promotes greater Manx independence and more accountability in Government. The LibVannin party has two members of Tynwald including Leader Peter Karran MHK.

A nationalist pressure group Mec Vannin advocates the establishment of a sovereign republic.

People Population: 75,831 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.1% (male 6,645/female 6,330)
15-64 years: 65.8% (male 25,085/female 24,840)
65 years and over: 17.1% (male 5,232/female 7,699) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 39.8 years
male: 38.6 years
female: 41.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.513% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 10.96 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 11.1 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 5.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.951 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 5.72 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.64 years
male: 75.3 years
female: 82.17 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.65 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Manxman (men), Manxwoman (women)
adjective: Manx
Ethnic groups: Manx (Norse-Celtic descent), Britons
Religions: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Society of Friends
Languages: English, Manx Gaelic
Literacy: definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Isle of Man
abbreviation: I.O.M.
Dependency status: British crown dependency
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Douglas
geographic coordinates: 54 09 N, 4 29 W
time difference: UTC 0 (five hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 24 local authorities each with its own elections
Independence: none (British crown dependency)
National holiday: Tynwald Day, 5 July
Constitution: unwritten; note - The Isle of Man Constitution Act of 1961 does not embody the unwritten Manx Constitution
Legal system: the laws of the UK, where applicable, apply and Manx statutes
Suffrage: 16 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Lord of Mann Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Lieutenant Governor Sir Paul K. HADDACKS (since 17 October 2005)
head of government: Chief Minister Tony BROWN (since 14 December 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: the monarch is hereditary; lieutenant governor appointed by the monarch for a five-year term; the chief minister is elected by the Tynwald; election last held 14 December 2006 (next to be held in December 2008)
election results: House of Keys speaker Tony BROWN elected chief minister by the Tynwald
Legislative branch: bicameral Tynwald consists of the Legislative Council (11 seats; members composed of the President of Tynwald, the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, a nonvoting attorney general, and 8 others named by the House of Keys) and the House of Keys (24 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Keys - last held 23 November 2006 (next to be held in November 2011)
election results: House of Keys - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Liberal Vannin Party 2, Man Labor Party 1, independents 21
Judicial branch: High Court of Justice (justices are appointed by the Lord Chancellor of England on the nomination of the lieutenant governor)
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Progressive Government; Liberal Vannin Party [Peter KARRAN]; Man Labor Party; Man Nationalist Party (Mec Vannin) [Bernard MOFFATT]
note: most members sit as independents
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (British crown dependency)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (British crown dependency)
Flag description: red with the Three Legs of Man emblem (Trinacria), in the center; the three legs are joined at the thigh and bent at the knee; in order to have the toes pointing clockwise on both sides of the flag, a two-sided emblem is used
Culture The culture of the Isle of Man is influenced by its Norse and Celtic cultural origins, though its close proximity to the UK, period as a UK tourist destination and recent mass immigration by British migrant workers has meant that British influence has been dominant since the Revestment period. Recent revival campaigns have attempted to preserve the surviving vestiges of Manx culture after a long period of Anglicization, and significant interest in the Manx language, history and musical tradition have been the result.
Economy Economy - overview: Offshore banking, manufacturing, and tourism are key sectors of the economy. The government offers incentives to high-technology companies and financial institutions to locate on the island; this has paid off in expanding employment opportunities in high-income industries. As a result, agriculture and fishing, once the mainstays of the economy, have declined in their shares of GDP. The Isle of Man also attracts online gambling sites and the film industry. Trade is mostly with the UK. The Isle of Man enjoys free access to EU markets.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.719 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.719 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.2% (2005)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $35,000 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1%
industry: 13%
services: 86% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 39,690 (2001)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture, forestry, and fishing 3%, manufacturing 11%, construction 10%, transport and communication 8%, wholesale and retail distribution 11%, professional and scientific services 18%, public administration 6%, banking and finance 18%, tourism 2%, entertainment and catering 3%, miscellaneous services 10% (2001)
Unemployment rate: 1.5% (December 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.1% (December 2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $965 million
expenditures: $943 million (FY05/06 est.)
Agriculture - products: cereals, vegetables; cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry
Industries: financial services, light manufacturing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 3.2% (FY96/97)
Exports: $NA
Exports - commodities: tweeds, herring, processed shellfish, beef, lamb
Exports - partners: UK (2006)
Imports: $NA
Imports - commodities: timber, fertilizers, fish
Imports - partners: UK (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Debt - external: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Isle of Man pound (IMP), also known as the Manx pound
note: the British pound is also legal tender, but change is given in IMP
Currency code: GBP
Exchange rates: Manx pounds per US dollar - 0.4993 (2007), 0.5418 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003)
note: the Manx pound is at par with the British pound
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 51,000 (1999)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA
domestic: landline, telefax, mobile cellular telephone system
international: fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, satellite earth station, submarine cable
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: NA
Television broadcast stations: 0 (receives broadcasts from the UK and satellite) (1999)
Televisions: 27,490 (1999)
Internet country code: .im
Internet hosts: 159 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA
Internet users: NA
Transportation Airports: 1 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Railways: total: 65 km
standard gauge: 7 km 1.067-m gauge (7 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 58 km 0.914-m gauge (29 km electrified)
note: primarily summer tourist attractions (2006)
Roadways: total: 800 km
paved: 800 km (1999)
Merchant marine: total: 297 ships (1000 GRT or over) 8,377,775 GRT/13,890,881 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 33, cargo 65, chemical tanker 54, combination ore/oil 1, container 17, liquefied gas 34, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 74, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 8, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 210 (Cyprus 4, Denmark 41, France 2, Germany 61, Greece 48, Ireland 1, Italy 1, Japan 4, Monaco 3, Netherlands 1, Norway 33, Singapore 2, Sweden 3, Turkey 2, US 4) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Douglas, Ramsey
Military Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none