Isle of Man
Capital city: Douglas
Population: 85,467 (2021)
Land area: 572 km²
Official language: English and Manx Gaelic (about 2% has some knowledge)
Legal system: Manx customary law
Time zone: GMT+01:00
Currency: Manx pound
GDP: 6.30 USD Billion (2021 est.)
Main industries: medical and health, financial and business services, construction, retail and public administration
Principal exports: fish, agricultural produce, lead, ore, paper, lien and sail cloth
The Isle of Man is a small island marooned in the middle of the Irish Sea. It has a well-balanced and diversified economy with a modern infrastructure and dynamic business environment. It is one of the most diversified of the Crown Dependencies and small International Business Centers (the IBCs) globally.
As of 2020, The Isle of Man is home to 85,032 people. 60% of the population British (50% English, 5% Scottish, 5% Welsh), 15% is Manx, 10% is Irish, 7% South African, 5% Australian and 3% American.
The official language of the Isle of Man is Manx, which is a Goidelic Celtic language. Although Manx is the official language English is also considered a de facto language used in Isle of Man. There are several religions that are practiced in the Isle of Man, but Anglican Christianity is predominant (40.5%). Populations of Eastern Orthodox Christians, Methodists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, and Jews are also living in the territory.
In 1266, the King of Norway sold the mandate over the territory to Scotland, and the island came under the control of England in 1341. In 1406 the English crown handed over the island to Sir John Stanley who ruled the island with his family until 1736. Interestingly, the Stanley’s refused to be called royal titles and instead adopted the title “lord of Man,” instead which still holds to this day. The lordship of Man passed to the dukes of Atholl in 1736.
In the following years however, the island became a major centre for the illegal trade, thus depriving the British government of valuable customs revenues. Due to this, the British Parliament purchased the island once more in 1765 and acquired the Atholl family’s remaining control on the island by 1828.
Legal System and Government
The Island does not have a written constitution but takes as its sources of law the Acts of Tynwald; Acts of Parliament of the UK (on external matters only); Customary law, and Manx common law and equity. The territory uses subsidiary legislation from either parliament.
The legal system in the Isle of Man has a common law base, although the common law of England and Wales is not binding on Manx courts. It is, however, persuasive if the decision is from the House of Lord (now the Supreme Court) or the Court of Appeal. Arbitration in the Isle of Man is governed by the Arbitration Act 1976 and Part 13, Chapter 6 of 2009 Rules.
Financial services, manufacturing, and tourism are key elements of the economy. The presence of financial, professional, and business services contributed to the development of high-end industries in the Isle of Man (e.g., advanced engineering and ICT). The Government offers low taxes and other incentives to high-tech companies and financial institutions to locate on the island. This has paid off in creating employment opportunities in high-income industries. As a result, agriculture, and fishing, once the main drivers of the economy, have declined in their contributions to GDP.
The Government has been committed to strengthening the relationship with emerging markets and attracting FDI. It has the largest Alternative Investment Market (the AIM) listed companies because of its comprehensive infrastructure to support companies to list on AIM or the London Stock Exchange (the LSE). Most of these companies are from sectors ranging from alternative energy to industrial engineering to industrial transportation.