The Cayman Islands are a leading offshore financial services jurisdiction situated in the northwest Caribbean. With a relatively small local labour pool the primary pillars of the Islands’ economy – financial services and tourism - are heavily dependent on workers from overseas. Out of a population of approximately 55,5002 and a total workforce of some 36,0002 there are presently over 20,300 non-permanent foreign workers living in the Islands. The Islands are socially and culturally diverse, with some 120 nationalities represented in the population.
The number of foreign workers as at 31st December 2016 stands at 24,453. These figures include work permit holders and non-Caymanian Government contract workers.
The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries and were administered by Jamaica after 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies. When the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency. The territory has transformed itself into a significant offshore financial center.