Isle of Man

Status: Crown dependency

Lieutenant Governor: Adam Wood (2011)

Chief Minister: Allan Bell (2011)

Total area: 227 sq mi (588 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 85,421 (growth rate: 0.882%); birth rate: 11.36/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.27/1000; life expectancy: 80.76

Capital (2009 est.): Douglas, 26,000

Monetary unit: Isle of Man pound

National Holiday: Tynwald Day, July 5

Major sources and definitions

The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea, equidistant from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Among its earliest inhabitants were Celts, and their language, Manx, which is closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic, remained the everyday speech of the people until the first half of the 19th century. Manx now has no native speakers. Norse (Viking) invasions began about 800, and the island was a dependency of Norway until 1266. During this period the Isle of Man came under a Scandinavian system of government that has remained practically unchanged ever since. The island entered the control of England in 1341. After allowing a succession of feudal lords to rule the island, the British parliament purchased sovereignty over the island in 1765. The Isle of Man continues to be administered according to its own laws by a government composed of the lieutenant governor, a legislative council, and a House of Keys, one of the most ancient legislative assemblies in the world.

See also Encyclopedia: Isle of Man.


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