Coordinates: 49°11′24″N 2°6′36″W / 49.19000°N 2.11000°W / 49.19000; -2.11000
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
49°11′24″N 2°6′36″W / 49.19000°N 2.11000°W / 49.19000; -2.11000

Jèrri (
Bailiwick of Jersey
Location of Jersey (green) in Europe (dark grey)
Location of Jersey (green)


1.3% multiracial[4]
39% No religion
Kristina Moore
Calling code
UK postcode
ISO 3166 codeJE

Jersey (/ˈɜːrzi/; Jèrriais: Jèrri [ʒɛri]), also known as the Bailiwick of Jersey,[d][12][13][14] is an island country and self-governing British Crown Dependency near the coast of north-west France.[15][16][17] It is the largest of the Channel Islands and is 14 miles (23 km) from the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy.[18] The Bailiwick consists of the main island of Jersey and some surrounding uninhabited islands and rocks including Les Dirouilles, Les Écréhous, Les Minquiers, and Les Pierres de Lecq.[19]

Jersey was part of the Duchy of Normandy, whose dukes became kings of England from 1066. After Normandy was lost by the kings of England in the 13th century, and the ducal title surrendered to France, Jersey remained loyal to English Crown, though it never became part of the Kingdom of England. Between then and the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Jersey was at the frontline of Anglo-French wars and was invaded a number of times, leading to the construction of fortifications such as Mont Orgueil Castle and a thriving smuggling industry. During the Second World War, the island was invaded and occupied for five years by Nazi Germany. The island was liberated on 9 May 1945, which is now celebrated as the island's national day.[20]

Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems,[7] and the power of self-determination.[21] Jersey's constitutional relationship is with the Crown; it is not part of the United Kingdom,[22][23][24]. The Bailiff is the civil head, president of the States and head of the juridicary; the Lieutenant Governor represents the head of state, the British monarch; and, the Chief Minister is the head of government. Jersey's defence and international representation – as well as certain policy areas, such as nationality law – are the responsibility of the UK Government, but Jersey still has a separate international identity.[25]

The island has a large financial services industry, which generates 40% of its GVA.[6] British cultural influence on the island is evident in its use of English as the main language and Pound sterling as its primary currency. Additional British cultural similarities include: driving on the left, access to British television and newspapers, a school curriculum following that of England,[26] and the popularity of British sports, including cricket.[27] The island also has a strong Norman-French culture, such as its historic dialect of the Norman language, Jèrriais, being one of only two places in Normandy with government status for the language (the other being Guernsey), as well as the use of standard French in legal matters and officially in use as a government language, strong cultural ties to mainland Normandy as a part of the Normandy region, and place names with French or Norman origins. The island has very close cultural links with its neighbouring islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and they share a good-natured rivalry. Jersey and its people have been described as a nation.[28][29][30]


The Channel Islands are mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary as the following: Sarnia, Caesarea, Barsa, Silia and Andium, but Jersey cannot be identified specifically because none corresponds directly to the present names.[31] The name Caesarea has been used as the Latin name for Jersey (also in its French version Césarée) since William Camden's Britannia,[32] and is used in titles of associations and institutions today. The Latin name Caesarea was also applied to the colony of New Jersey as Nova Caesarea.[33][34]

Andium, Agna and Augia were used in antiquity.[35][36]

Scholars variously surmise that Jersey and Jèrri derive from jǫrð (Old Norse for 'earth') or jarl ('earl'), or perhaps the Norse personal name Geirr (thus Geirrsey, 'Geirr's Island').[37] The ending -ey denotes an island[38][39] (as in Guernsey or Surtsey).


Humans have lived on the island since at least 12000 BCE, with evidence of habitation in the Palaeolithic period (La Cotte de St Brelade) and Neolithic dolmens, such as La Hougue Bie. Evidence of Bronze Age and early Iron Age settlements can be found in many locations around the island.[40]

Archaeological evidence of Roman influence has been found, in particular at Les Landes.[41] Christianity was brought to the island by migrants from Brittany in c. fifth - sixth century CE.[42] In the sixth century, the island's patron saint Helier lived at the Hermitage on L'Islet (now Elizabeth Castle). Legend states that Helier was beheaded by raiders and subsequently lifted his head and walked to shore.[43]

In the ninth century the island was raided by Vikings and in 933 it was annexed to Normandy by William Longsword.[44]: 22  When Duke William the Conqueror became King of England in 1066, the island remained part of the Norman possessions. However, in 1204, when Normandy was finally returned to the French king, the island remained a possession of the English crown, though never incorporated into England.[42]: 25 Traditionally it is said that Jersey's self-governance originates from the Constitutions of King John, however this is disputed.[44]: 25  Nevertheless, the island continued to follow Norman customs and laws. The King also appointed a Bailiff and a Warden (now Lieutenant-Governor). The period of English rule was marked by wars between England and France, as such a military fortress was built at Mont Orgueil.[42]: 25–8 

During the

In 1769, the island suffered food supply shortages, leading to an insurrection on 28 September known as the Corn Riots. The States met at Elizabeth Castle and decided to request help from the King. However, in 1771 the Crown demanded reforms to the island's governance, leading to the Code of 1771 and removed the powers of the Royal Court to make laws without the States.[42] In 1781, during the American Wars of Independence, the island was invaded by a French force which captured St Helier, but was defeated by Major Peirson's army at the Battle of Jersey.[48]

The 19th century saw the improvement of the road network under General Don,[49] the construction of two railway lines, the improvement of transport links to England, and the construction of new piers and harbours in St Helier.[42] This grew a tourism industry in the island and led to the immigration of thousands of English residents, leading to a cultural shift towards a more anglicised island culture. Island politics was divisively split between the conservative Laurel party and the progressive Rose party, as the lie of power shifted increasingly to the States from the Crown.[42] In the 1850s, the French author Victor Hugo lived in Jersey, but was expelled for insulting the Queen, so he moved on to Guernsey.[42]

During the

Red Cross supplies and news of the success of the Allied advance in Europe. During the Nazi occupation, a resistance cell was created by communist activist Norman Le Brocq and the Jersey Communist Party, whose communist ideology of forming a 'United Front' led to the creation of the Jersey Democratic Movement.[53] The Channel Islands were one of the last places in Europe to be liberated. 9 May is celebrated as the island's Liberation Day, where there are celebrations in Liberation Square. After Liberation, the States was reformed, becoming wholly democratically elected, and universal franchise was implemented. Since liberation, the island has grown in population and adopted new industries, especially the finance industry.[42]


Jersey is a Crown Dependency and is not part of the United Kingdom – it is officially part of the British Islands. As one of the Crown Dependencies, Jersey is autonomous and self-governing, with its own independent legal, administrative and fiscal systems.[54] Jersey's government has described Jersey as a "self-governing, democratic country with the power of self-determination".[55]

Because Jersey is a dependency of the British Crown, King Charles III reigns in Jersey.[56] "The Crown" is defined by the Law Officers of the Crown as the "Crown in right of Jersey".[57] The King's representative and adviser in the island is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey – Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd since 8 October 2022. He is a point of contact between Jersey ministers and the UK Government and carries out some functions in relation to immigration control, deportation, naturalisation and the issue of passports.[58]

In 1973, the Royal Commission on the Constitution set out the duties of the Crown as including: ultimate responsibility for the 'good government' of the Crown Dependencies; ratification of island legislation by Order-in-Council (royal assent); international representation, subject to consultation with the island authorities before concluding any agreement which would apply to them; ensuring the islands meet their international obligations; and defence.[59]

Legislature and government

Jersey's unicameral legislature is the States Assembly. It includes 49 elected members: 12 Connétables (often called 'constables', heads of parishes) and 37 deputies (representing constituencies), all elected for four-year terms as from the October 2011 elections.[60] Jersey has one of the lowest voter turnouts internationally, with just 33% of the electorate voting in 2005, putting it well below the 77% European average for that year.[61]

From the 2022 elections, the role of Senators was abolished and the eight senators were replaced with an increased number of deputies. The 37 deputies are now elected from nine super constituencies, rather than in individual parishes. Although efforts were made the remove the Connétables, they will continue their historic role as States members.[62]

There are also five non-voting members appointed by the Crown: the

judiciary and as civic head of the island carries out various ceremonial roles.[65]


Council of Ministers, consisting of a Chief Minister and nine ministers, makes up the leading body of the Government of Jersey.[66][67] Each minister may appoint up to two assistant ministers.[68] A Chief Executive is head of the civil service.[69] Some governmental functions are carried out in the island's parishes.[70]


Jersey is a distinct jurisdiction for the purposes of conflict of laws, separate from the other Channel Islands, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[71]

Jersey law has been influenced by several different legal traditions, in particular

legal system is therefore described as 'mixed' or 'pluralistic', and sources of law are in French and English languages, although since the 1950s the main working language of the legal system is English.[73]

The principal court is the

judiciary are appointed by the Bailiff.[65]

External relations

Jersey Airport greets travellers with "Welcome to Jersey" sign in Jèrriais

The external relations of Jersey are overseen by the External Relations Minister of the Government of Jersey.[75][76] In 2007, the Chief Minister and the UK Lord Chancellor signed an agreement that established a framework for the development of the international identity of Jersey.[77]


Tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) have been signed directly by the island with several countries.[78][79] The Government maintains offices (some in partnership with Guernsey) in Caen,[80] London[81] and Brussels.[82]

Jersey is a member of the

Jersey Independence has in the past been discussed in the States Assembly. Former External Relations Minister Sir Philip Bailhache has at various times warned that the island may need to go independent.[86] It is not Jersey Government policy to seek independence, but the island is prepared if it needed to do so.[87][88][89]

Jersey is a third-party European country to the

free movement of people did not apply to Jersey.[91][92]

Administrative divisions

Jersey is divided into twelve parishes (which have civil and religious functions). They are all named after their parish church. The Connétable is the head of the parish. They are elected at island general elections and sit ex oficio in the States Assembly.[70]

The parishes have various civil administrative functions, such as roads (managed by the Road Committee) and policing (through the Honorary Police). Each parish is governed through direct democracy at Parish Assemblies, consisting of all eligible voters resident in the parish. The Procureurs du Bien Public are the legal and financial representatives of these parishes.[70]

The parishes of Jersey are further divided into vingtaines (or, in St. Ouen, cueillettes).[93]


Map of islands of Bailiwick
of Jersey

Jersey is an island measuring 46.2 square miles (119.6 km2) (or 66,436 vergées),[6] including reclaimed land and intertidal zone. It lies in the English Channel, about 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) from the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy, France, and about 87 nautical miles (161 km; 100 mi) south of Great Britain.[f] It is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands and part of the British Isles, with a maximum land elevation of 143 m (469 ft) above sea level.[94]

About 24% of the island is built-up. 52% of the land area is dedicated to cultivation and around 18% is the natural environment.[95]

It lies within longitude -2° W and latitude 49° N. It has a coastline that is 43 miles (70 km) long and a total area of 46.2 square miles (119.6 km2). It measures roughly 9 miles (14 km) from west to east and 5 miles (8 km) north to south, which gives it the affectionate name among locals of "nine-by-five".[96]

The island is divided into twelve parishes; the largest is St Ouen and the smallest is St Clement. The island is characterised by a number of valleys which generally run north-to-south, such as Waterworks Valley, Grands Vaux, Mont les Vaux, although a few run in other directions, such as Le Mourier Valley. The highest point on the island is Les Platons at 136 m (446 ft).[97]

There are several smaller island groups that are part of the Bailiwick of Jersey, such as Les Minquiers and Les Écrehous, however unlike the smaller islands of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, none of these are permanently inhabited.[98]


The largest settlement is the town of

St Helier, including the built-up area of southern St Helier and neighbouring areas such as Georgetown, which also plays host to the island's seat of government. The town is the central business district, hosting a large proportion of the island's retail and employment, such as the finance industry.[99]

Outside of the town, many islanders live in suburban and rural settlements, especially along main roads leading out of town and even the more rural areas of the island have considerable amounts of development (St Ouen, the least densely populated parish still has 270 persons per square kilometre[100]). The south and east coasts from St Aubin to Gorey are largely urbanised. The second smaller urban area is the Les Quennevais area in St Brelade, which is home to a small precinct of shops,[101] a school, a park and a leisure centre.[102]

Most people across Jersey regularly travel from the rural settlements to St Helier and from the town to the rural areas for work and leisure purposes.[103]

Housing costs in Jersey are very high. The Jersey House Price Index has at least doubled between 2002 and 2020. The mix-adjusted house price for Jersey is £567,000, higher than any UK region (UK average: £249,000) including London (average: £497,000; highest of any UK region).[104]


The climate is an oceanic climate with mild winters and mild to warm summers.[105] The highest temperature recorded was 37.9 °C (100.2 °F) on 18 July 2022,[106] and the lowest temperature recorded was −10.3 °C (13.5 °F) on 5 January 1894. 2014 was the warmest year on record; the mean daily air temperature was 13.34 °C.[107] For tourism advertising, Jersey often claims to be "the sunniest place in the British Isles", which is true as Jersey has 342 hours of sunlight more than any place in the UK.[108] In 2011, Jersey received controversy for calling itself "the warmest place in the British Isles" during an advertising campaign.[109]

The following table contains the official Jersey Airport averages for 1981–2010 for Jersey, being located 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from St. Helier –

Climate data for Jersey Airport, elevation 84m, 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.0
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.3
Average low °C (°F) 4.3
Record low °C (°F) −10.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 93.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 66.1 91.6 134.0 196.5 236.7 245.4 252.7 235.3 184.6 118.8 79.9 63.2 1,904.8
Source: Met Office[110] and Voodoo Skies[111]


Jersey's economy is highly developed and services-focused, with a

GDP per capita of £45,320[9] in 2019. It is a mixed market economy, with free market principles and an advanced social security infrastructure.[112] 53,460 people were employed in Jersey as of December 2010: 24% in financial and legal services; 16% in wholesale and retail trades; 16% in the public sector; 10% in education, health and other private sector services; 10% in construction and quarrying; 9% in hotels, restaurants and bars.[6]

Economic sectors in Jersey by GVA (2019)[113]
Sector GVA (%) GVA (£mn)
Financial services 39.5% 1,966
Rental income 15.5% 771
Other business activities 11.7% 580
Public administration 8.6% 426
Construction 7% 350
Wholesale and retail 6.4% 319
Hotels, bars and restaurants 4.2% 210
Transport, storage and communication 3.5% 176
Electricity, gas and water 1.3% 65
Agriculture 1.2% 59
Manufacturing 1% 50

Thanks to specialisation in a few high-return sectors, at purchasing power parity Jersey has high economic output per capita, substantially ahead of all of the world's large developed economies. Gross national income in 2009 was £3.7 billion (approximately £40,000 per head of population).[6] However, this is not indicative of each individual resident's purchasing power and the actual standard of living in Jersey is comparable to that in the UK outside central London.[114]

Jersey is one of the world's largest offshore finance centres. The UK acts as a conduit for financial services between European countries and the island.[115] The growth of this sector however has not been without its controversies as Jersey has been characterised by critics and detractors as a place in which the "leadership has essentially been captured by global finance, and whose members will threaten and intimidate anyone who dissents."[61]

Tourism is an important economic sector for the island, however travel to Jersey is very seasonal. Accommodation occupancy is much higher in the summer months, especially August, than in the winter months (with a low in November). The majority of visitors to the island arrive by air from the UK.[116] On 18 February 2005, Jersey was granted Fairtrade Island status.[117]

Saint Clement, Jersey