The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea, in the centre of the British Isles, and is some 33 miles long and 13 wide. Covering 221 square miles and with a coastline of 100 miles the Island offers diverse landscapes from gently rolling hills to dramatic seascapes with countryside largely unchanged for many centuries. The Island’s highest point is Snaefell (‘Snow Mountain’) which rises to 2036 feet.
The Island has a population of 84,500 (2011 census) and is an internally self-governing dependent territory of the Crown which is not part of the United Kingdom. Tynwald, the Island’s 1,000 year-old parliament, makes its own laws and oversees all internal administration, fiscal and social policies. External issues, such as foreign representation and defence, are administered on the Island’s behalf by the UK government.
The Island has its own income tax and Customs and Excise services and enjoys independence from the UK on matters of direct taxation. It is a highly regulated politically stable low-tax jurisdiction and, as a consequence, has developed into a flourishing international business centre.
- The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom. It is a Crown Protectorate and represented on behalf of The Queen, the Lord of Mann, by the Lieutenant Governor;
- Head of the Isle of Man Government is the Chief Minister;
- Capital – Douglas;
- National symbol – the Three Legs of Mann. The motto ‘Quocunque Jerceris Stabit, which translates as ‘whithersoever you throw it, it will stand’ has been associated with the Isle of Man since about 1300;
- Longest river – Sulby, 17kms, 10.5 miles;
- First country to give women the vote (1881);
- First country in Europe to give 16-year-olds the vote (2006);
- The Island issues its own coins and notes but the currency has the equivalent of that in the UK;
- Manx currency is not legal tender outside the Island, but UK clearing banks accept Manx notes at face value;
- The Island issues its own stamps which must be used for mail sent from the Island.