British Virgin Islands General Information

British Virgin Islands General Information

General: First settled by the Dutch in 1648, the islands were subsequently annexed by the British (1672). According to e Hotel at, the economy is closely tied to the larger and more populated US Virgin Islands to the west; the local currency is the US dollar.


Location: Caribbean Sea region, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico.
Geographical coordinates: 18° 30′ N. latitude, 64° 30′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico,
Area: total: 150 km2; land surface area: 150 km2; water surface area: 0 km2; note: including Anegada Island.
Comparative area: approximately 0.9 of the area of ​​Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 80 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing rights zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: subtropical; wet; high temperatures soften the action of the trade winds.
Terrain: coral islands are relatively flat; volcanic islands are steep, hilly.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Sage 521 m.
Natural resources: negligible.
Land use: arable land: 20%; cultivated land: 7%; pastures: 33%; forests and plantations: 7%; others: 33% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October).
Current environmental issues: limited drinking water resources (apart from a few streams and streams that dry up during the dry season on Tortola, wells and rainwater harvesting provide most of the drinking water).
International Environmental Treaties:
Geography Note: Close ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.


Population: 20,812 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 22.77% (male 2,399; female 2,339); 15 to 64 years old: 72.31% (male 7,741; female 7,309); over 65: 4.92% (male 555; female 469) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.22% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 15.18 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 4.42 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 11.39 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.06 male/female; over 65: 1.18 male/female; for the general population: 1.06 male/female (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 20.3 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 75.64 years; men: 74.74 years; women: 76.59 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.72 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: residents of the British Virgin Islands; adjective: pertaining to the British Virgin Islands.
Ethnic groups: Black 90%, White, Asian.
Believers: Protestant 86% (Methodist 45%, Angpican 21%, Church of God 7%, Seventh Day Adventist 5%, Baptist 4%, Jehovah’s Witness 2%, other 2%), Roman Catholic 6%, non-denominational 2%, other 6% (1981).
Language(s): English (official).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 97.8% (1991 est.); men: no data; women: no data. State Name:


Common long form: no;
conventional short form: British Virgin Islands; abbreviation: BVI. Dependency State: British Overseas Territory.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Road Town.
Administrative division: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
Independence: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
National holiday: Territory Day, 1 July.
Constitution: adopted June 1, 1977.
Legal system: English legal system.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
head of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since February 6, 1952), represented by Governor Francis J. SAVAGE (for how long – no data);
head of government: Chief Minister Ralph T. O’NEAL (since May 15, 1995);
Government: executive council appointed by the governor from members of the Legislative Council; elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the governor is appointed by the monarch; the chief minister is appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Council (13 seats; members are elected by direct universal suffrage, one representative from each of the 9 constituencies and 4 from the population of the islands as a whole; term of office – five years); elections: elections last held 17 May February 1999 (next to be held in 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; seat distribution among parties: VIP 7, CCM 1, NDP 5.
Judiciary: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consists of High Court and Court of Appeal; one of the Justices of the Supreme Court is a permanent resident of the islands and presides over the High Court; Magistrate’s Court; Juvenile Court; Court of General Jurisdiction.
Political parties and leaders: Concerned Citizens’ Movement (CCM) (Ethlyn SMITH); National Democratic Party (NDP) (Orlando SMITH); United Party (UP) (Conrad MADURO); Virgin Islands Party (VIP) (Ralph O’Neill).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: Ca-ricom (associate), CDB, ECLAC (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS (associate), UNESCO (associate).
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
US Diplomatic Representation: None (UK Overseas Territory).
Flag Description: blue with the flag of Great Britain in the upper left and the coat of arms of the Virgin Islands in the center of the outer half of the flag; the emblem depicts a woman, on each side of which there is a vertical column of six oil lamps, above an inscription consisting of one Latin word VIGILATE (Be careful).


Economy overview: One of the most stable and prosperous economies in the Caribbean region is heavily dependent on tourism, which provides approximately 45% of national income. Approximately 350,000 tourists, mostly from the United States, visited the islands in 1997. In the mid-1980s. the government has begun offering offshore services to companies wishing to register on the islands, and registration fees now make up a significant portion of revenue. By the end of 1997, approximately 250,000 companies were registered. The passage of a comprehensive insurance law in 1994 that ensures business confidentiality while maintaining legitimate criminal investigation capabilities should make the islands even more attractive to international business. Livestock breeding is the most important agricultural industry; infertile soils limit the ability to meet domestic food needs. Due to traditional close ties with the nearby US Virgin Islands, the US dollar has been the local currency since 1959.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $311 million (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 6% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: PPP $16,000 (2000 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 1.8%; industry: 6.2%; services: 92% (1996 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 2% (2000).
Labor force: 4,911 people (1980).
Employment structure: agriculture – no data, industry – no data, services – no data.
Unemployment rate: 3% (1995).
Budget: revenues: $121.5 million; expenditures: $115.5 million, including capital expenditures – n/a (1997).
Economic sectors: tourism, light industry, construction, production of rum, concrete blocks, offshore financial center.
Growth in industrial production: 4% (1985).
Electricity generation: 42 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 39.1 million kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: fruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish.
Export: $6.2 mb (2000).
Exports: rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand.
Export partners: US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, US.
Import: $220 million (2000)
Imports: building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery.
Import partners: US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, US.
External debt: $36.1 million (1997) Economic aid recipient: $2.6 million (1995)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: US dollar.
Currency code: USD.
Exchange rate: US dollar is used.
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 10,000 (1997).
Mobile cellular phones: no data available.
Telephone system: telephone connection with the whole world; internal: no data; international: submarine cable to Bermuda.
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 4, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 9,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 1 (and one cable company) (1997).
Televisions: 4,000 (1997).
Internet country code: vg
Internet service providers: 16 (2000).
Number of users: no data.


Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 132 km; coated: 132 km; unpaved: 0 km (1997).
Ports and harbors: Road Town.
Merchant fleet: total: 1 vessel (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 70,285 gross register tons / 6,946 long tons of carrying capacity; ships of different types: passenger ships – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 3 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 2; from 914 to 1523 m:1; less than 914 m: 1 (1999 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 1; 914 to 1523 m:1 (1999 est.).

British Virgin Islands General Information

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