Districts of Cayman Islands

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Updates: 

Update 13 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-09-30. It finally decommissions the FIPS codes for the subdivisions mentioned in source [5].

An e-mail from David Bush, with supporting URLs, prompted me to revise my view of the districts. The evidence is that Cayman Brac and Little Cayman now form a single district, sometimes called Sister Islands. It's not clear whether they ever were separate districts, nor when they merged.

The next evidence comes from source [3], a map dated 1957. It shows Cayman Brac and Little Cayman undemarcated, and Grand Cayman divided into three districts and seven subdistricts. The subdistricts are not a partition of the districts; that is, several subdistricts lie across the border between two districts. If we take Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, and the seven subdistricts on Grand Cayman as the primary divisions of the Cayman Islands, there is only one change from the 1934 census: Savannah was created, probably from parts of Prospect and Bodden Town.

Source [5], an early version of FIPS 10, lists divisions of the Cayman Islands, along with the islands they belong to. According to it, Cayman Brac Island was divided into Creek, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, and West End districts; Grand Cayman Island into Eastern, Midland, and Western (the same three districts as shown on the 1957 map); and Little Cayman was coextensive with the district of South Town. This set of districts was repeated, unchanged, in subsequent FIPS lists and editions of the CIA World Factbook up to 2013. The first draft of ISO 3166-2 (1996) copied these districts verbatim from FIPS, but they were dropped as "not relevant" when the authoritative standard came out (1998). There are indeed localities named Creek, Spot Bay, Stake Bay, and West End on Cayman Brac, but I can't find any maps that show them as administrative divisions.

Source [4] lists Cayman Brac divided into Creer (sic), Spot Bay, Stake Bay, and West End; Grand Cayman into Georgetown, Bodden Town, East End, West Bay, and North Side; and Little Cayman into South Town and Jacksons districts.

Source [1] is a government report dated 2003. It has a number of maps showing electoral constituencies. I don't use electoral divisions on this website, because they are subject to change at every election. However, the names of the electoral constituencies can easily be matched, in most cases, with district names. For example, West Bay district surely corresponds to the four electoral constituencies West Bay Central, West Bay East, West Bay Northwest, and West Bay South. Moreover, Annex 3 at the end of the report has a table titled "Census Population by District". It lists seven districts and their populations in four censuses (1970-1999). The figures are consistent with those in other sources. (There does seem to be one typo. To make the figures add up correctly, I had to assume that 25,335 is a misprint for 25,355 - an error easily made.) The districts are the same as in the 1921 and 1934 censuses, except that Prospect is absent (probably merged with George Town or Bodden Town, or both). Census enumeration districts often change from one census to the next, but the districts reported on in printed census reports deserve greater credence, especially if they remain stable from year to year.

All current government sources appear to concur that there are six districts, one of which comprises all of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Source [6] shows that there was a proposal in 2008 to split this latter into two districts. The article implies that the two islands have been in the same district for quite a while.

The conclusion I reached, after weighing all these sources, is that the six districts listed under Primary subdivisions are probably the best representation of the current status. The eight districts listed by FIPS and the CIA World Factbook were probably never correct, although they've been copied widely. My new best guess at the change history is shown below.

Country overview: 

Short nameCAYMAN ISLANDS
ISO codeKY
FIPS codeCJ
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone-5
CapitalGeorge Town

 

The Cayman Islands were a dependency of Jamaica until 1959-07-04, when they became a separate British colony.

Other names of country: 

  1. Dutch: Caymaneilanden
  2. French: Îles fp Caïmanes
  3. German: Kaimaninseln
  4. Icelandic: Caymaneyjar
  5. Italian: Isole fp Cayman
  6. Portuguese: Ilhas Cayman, Ilhas fp Caimão
  7. Russian: Каймановы острова
  8. Spanish: Islas fp Caimán
  9. Turkish: Cayman Adaları

Origin of name: 

Caimans (crocodilian reptiles) lived there

Primary subdivisions: 

Cayman Islands is divided into six districts.

DistrictHASCPopulation
Bodden Town KY.BT10,543
East End KY.EE1,407
George Town KY.GT28,089
North Side KY.NS1,479
Sister IslandsKY.SI2,296
West Bay KY.WB11,222
6 districts55,036

 

The country's area is 259 square kilometers, or 100 square miles. Grand Cayman accounts for 197, Cayman Brac 36, and Little Cayman 26 km².

Postal codes: 

The Cayman Islands postal service is now using a system of postal codes of the form KYn-nnnn, where each 'n' represents a digit. All mail is delivered to P.O. Boxes.

Territorial extent: 

Cayman Islands consists of three main islands and many tiny islets adjacent to them. The three main islands are Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Sister Islands includes Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. All other districts lie primarily on Grand Cayman.

Change history: 

  1. In the censuses of 1921 and 1934, the districts were Bodden Town, East End, George Town, North Side, Prospect, West Bay, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. The first six constituted Grand Cayman Island; the other two were separate islands.
  2. ~1945: Savannah district formed from part of Bodden Town, Prospect, or both.
  3. ~1959: Prospect and Savannah districts merged with Bodden Town, George Town, or both.
  4. ~1990??: Cayman Brac (former HASC code KY.CB) and Little Cayman (KY.SO) districts merged to form Sister Islands.

Population history:

District1911-06-09192119341960-04-071970-04-071979-10-081989-10-151999-10-102010-10-10
Bodden Town6255626258199761,5943,4075,76410,543
Cayman Brac1,3001,2131,3171,4631,2891,6031,4411,8222,296
East End5234894376647361,0831,0641,3711,407
George Town1,4461,0701,3212,7053,8127,61712,92120,62628,089
Little Cayman136957223207433115 
North Side2232883404675157598571,0791,479
Prospect346397425     
West Bay9651,1391,4442,3702,7203,9475,6328,24311,222
Totals5,5645,2535,9818,51110,06816,67725,35539,02055,036

 

In the 2010 census, the Sister Islands are combined under Cayman Brac.

Sources: 

  1. [1] Report of the Cayman Islands Electoral Boundary Commission 2003 , retrieved 2007-07-04.
  2. [2] "Cayman Islands Government Economical & Financial Review, 1982", tables 3 and 4, page 10.
  3. [3] Map, "Drawn by Directorate of Overseas Services", 1957.
  4. [4] "Provinces and Provincial Capitals of the World, 2nd Ed.", Morris Fisher. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J., 1985.
  5. [5] "Geopolitical Data Elements and Related Features", Defense Intelligence Agency Manual 65-18. Washington, 1972-09-29.
  6. [6] Caymanian Compass  article, dated 2008-02-11, retrieved 2009-10-26.
  7. [7] Population by District 1960-2008 , Cayman Islands Economics and Statistics Office, retrieved 2009-10-26.
  8. [8] The Legislative Assembly  page on the Cayman Islands Government website, retrieved 2009-10-26.
  9. [9] Population and Housing Census 1999 . Economics & Statistics Office, Grand Cayman (retrieved 2013-05-07). This page has many earlier census reports.
  10. [10] The Cayman Islands' 2010 Census of Population and Housing Report . Economics & Statistics Office, Grand Cayman (dated 2011-11, retrieved 2013-05-07).
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