/div>British overseas territory, Caribbean Sea, located about 180 mi (290 km) northwest of Jamaica. The islands include Grand Cayman (the largest), Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Area: 102 sq mi (264 sq km). Population: (2009 est.) 55,000. Capital: George Town, on Grand Cayman. English is the official language. Though discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503, the islands were never occupied by the Spanish. Ceded to the British in 1670, they were subsequently settled by the English arriving from Jamaica. The islands were administered as a dependency of Jamaica until Jamaican independence in 1962. A constitution was enacted in 1972; it was replaced in 2009. The governor of the Cayman Islands is appointed by the British crown. The islands are a popular tourist area and a financial centre.