Channel Islands: Jersey and Guernsey
Status: Crown dependencies
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey: John McColl (2011)
Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey: Peter Walker (2011)
Total area: 45 sq mi (117 sq km) (Jersey), 75 sq mi (194 sq km) (Guernsey)
Populations (2011 est.): Jersey, 94,949 (growth rate: 0.826%); birth rate: 11.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.94/1000; life expectancy: 79.6; Guernsey, 65,345 (growth rate: 0.41%); birth rate: 10.04/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.54/1000; life expectancy: 81.47
Capital of Jersey (2003 est.): St. Helier, 28,600
Capital of Guernsey (2003 est.): St. Peter Port, 16,488
Monetary units: Guernsey pound; Jersey pound
This group of islands, lying in the English Channel off the northwest coast of France, belonged to the Duchy of Normandy until it passed to the English Crown with the Norman conquest of 1066. It was the only British possession occupied by Germany during World War II. English and French are commonly spoken (though use of the latter is declining), and a Norman-French patois survives.
For administrative purposes, the islands are divided into the Bailiwick of Jersey (45 sq mi; 116 sq km), including the Ecrehous rocks and Les Minquiers, and the Bailiwick of Guernsey (30 sq mi; 78 sq km), including Alderney (3 sq mi; 7.8 sq km), Sark (2 sq mi; 5.2 sq km), Herm, Jethou, Brechou, and other smaller islands. The Channel Islands enjoy tax sovereignty, and their exports are protected by British tariff barriers. Financial services, tourism, market gardening, and dairy farming are important industries.
See also Encyclopedia: Channel Islands.