Jersey, officially referred to as the Bailiwick of Jersey, is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the Island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small Islands that are no longer inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs.
The Island of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. It is the most southerly of the British Isles, located 100 miles south of mainland Britain and 14 miles from the northwest coast of France. St Helier is the Island’s capital.
The climate is temperate with mild winters and cool summers compared to the British Isles. The average annual temperature, 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) is similar to the South Coast of England.
The Island has numerous residents born outside Jersey; 47% of the population are not native to the Island. The total resident population is estimated at 100,800 (Dec 14).
Approximately 30 percent of the population is concentrated in St Helier, the Island's only town. The 2011 census identified around 40 percent of the population as Jersey / Norman descent and 40 percent of British (English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish) descent. The largest minority groups in the Island are Portuguese (around 7 percent, especially Madeiran); and Irish.
0.7% (Mar 15)
5.7% (2013 Annual Social Survey)
100,800 (Dec 2014)
*source States of Jersey
Although Jersey has two official languages: English and French, English is by far the most widely used. In addition, Jèrriais, a variety of the ancient Norman language, has been the dominant language of the Bailiwick, but the past century has seen a great decline in its use, as well as the use of French.
Jersey’s domestic airport is localised at the parish of St Peter near the capital St Helier. With 200+ flights a week on average and domestic and European countries served, Jersey is an easy to reach destination.
Reaching Jersey by ferry is also an option as the Island’s main port is situated in the heart of St Helier. Boats depart from the South Coast of England (Portsmouth and Weymouth) and the North of France (St Malo) as well as from the Island of Guernsey.
Other key infrastructure includes:
- 33 international banks employing more than 3,000 professionals
- Over 12,000 finance industry professionals, the largest number of any British Offshore centre
- Access to all major accountancy firms and 5 first tier legal practices.
Jersey history is influenced by its strategic location between the northern coast of France and the southern coast of England; the Island's recorded history extends over a thousand years.
Trade laid the foundations of prosperity, aided by neutrality between England and France. The Jersey way of life involved agriculture, milling, fishing, shipbuilding, and production of woollen goods. 19th century improvements in transport links brought tourism to the Island.
During World War II, Jersey was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1 July 1940 until 9 May 1945, when Germany surrendered. The Channel Islands were one of the last places in Europe to be liberated.