The existence of a separate and distinctive Gibraltarian people on their tiny part of the Iberian peninsula cannot be denied, however much the Spanish government may wish to disregard it. ‘Los llanitos son españoles en su casi totalidad’ (The Gibraltarians are almost entirely Spanish), said Franco in 1956.1 The Gibraltarians themselves take a totally opposite view. They have never had any doubt about ‘their community’ within its clearly perceived boundaries, geographical and cultural, and within which they find their individual and collective identities. Much has been written on the history of this fascinating self-governing colony, from pre-history to modern times. Some works have given due attention to the people but none has dealt comprehensively with the complex factors and influences which have helped determine the nature of present-day Gibraltarian society. This study endeavours to do that; to tease out and analyse these various factors and influences and to assess their significance as the community faces a possibly less certain future.