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Gibraltar: Country and Foreign Investment

Population, Language and Culture

In July, 2013, the population is estimated to be around 29,111. The official language is English although Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian are also spoken. The ethnic groups settled in Gibraltar include Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The history of the Rock of Gibraltar is rich and varied due to its strategic location. Once dominated by Rome, the cape fell to the Goths who ruled for a further three centuries. The Berber Tarik-ibn-Zeyad took Gibraltar in 711, giving the Rock its name (a corruption of Jebel Tarik, Tarik's Rock). Gibraltar remained under moorish occupation for six centuries. Spain finally reclaimed Gibraltar in the late 15th century, and kept it until the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713), when the Treaty of Utrecht ceded the Rock to Great Britain "for ever." Spain's last attempt to take it back by force was in 1779.

During the nineteenth century, Gibraltar developed into an impregnable fortress and a prosperous society developed within its walls. It remained a key British military and naval outpost until very recently and British culture has heavily influenced most aspects of Gibraltarian life. In modern times Spain has pursued its claim to Gibraltar in every possible way short of force of arms; but the population will have none of it, and no resolution of the problem is in sight.

Gibraltar is predominantly Roman Catholic (74%) with Protestant, Muslim and Jewish minorities.



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