British Virgin Islands


British Virgin Islands

Introduction ::British Virgin Islands

Background:

First inhabited by Arawak and later by Carib Indians, the Virgin Islands were settled by the Dutch in 1648 and then annexed by the English in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967. The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.

Geography ::British Virgin Islands

Location:

Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates:

18 30 N, 64 30 W

Area:

total: 151 sq km

country comparison to the world: 220

land: 151 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: comprised of 16 inhabited and more than 20 uninhabited islands; includes the islands of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke

Area - comparative:

about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

80 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate:

subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds

Terrain:

coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mount Sage 521 m

Natural resources:

NEGL

Land use:

arable land: 6.67%

permanent crops: 6.67%

other: 86.67% (2011)

Irrigated land:

NA

Natural hazards:

hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)

Environment - current issues:

limited natural freshwater resources except for a few seasonal streams and springs on Tortola; most of the islands' water supply comes from wells and rainwater catchments

Geography - note:

strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

People and Society ::British Virgin Islands

Nationality:

noun: British Virgin Islander(s)

adjective: British Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups:

black 82%, white 6.8%, other 11.2% (includes Indian and mixed) (2008)

Languages:

English (official)

Religions:

Protestant 84% (Methodist 33%, Anglican 17%, Church of God 9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6%, Baptist 4%, other 15%), Roman Catholic 10%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other 2%, none 2% (1991)

Population:

31,912 (July 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 215

Age structure:

0-14 years: 17.4% (male 2,734/female 2,831)

15-24 years: 14.8% (male 2,251/female 2,460)

25-54 years: 49.9% (male 7,549/female 8,384)

55-64 years: 10.3% (male 1,628/female 1,654)

65 years and over: 7.6% (male 1,180/female 1,241) (2013 est.)

Median age:

total: 35.3 years

male: 35.3 years

female: 35.4 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.4% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Birth rate:

10.78 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 179

Death rate:

4.89 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 189

Net migration rate:

18.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Urbanization:

urban population: 41% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

ROAD TOWN (capital) 10,000 (2011)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.92 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female

total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 13.93 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 121

male: 15.85 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.12 years

country comparison to the world: 57

male: 76.86 years

female: 79.45 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.24 children born/woman (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 220

Drinking water source:

improved:

urban: 98% of population

rural: 98% of population

total: 98% of population

unimproved:

urban: 2% of population

rural: 2% of population

total: 2% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Education expenditures:

4.3% of GDP (2010)

country comparison to the world: 98

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.8%

male: NA

female: NA (1991 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2009)

Government ::British Virgin Islands

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: British Virgin Islands

abbreviation: BVI

Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing

Government type:

NA

Capital:

name: Road Town

geographic coordinates: 18 25 N, 64 37 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:

Territory Day, 1 July (1956)

Constitution:

13 June 2007

Legal system:

English common law

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Boyd MCCLEARY (since 20 August 2010)

head of government: Premier Orlando SMITH (since 9 November 2011)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the House of Assembly

(For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed premier by the governor

Legislative branch:

unicameral House of Assembly (13 elected seats, a speaker elected by the 13 members of the House of Assembly, and 1 non-voting ex officio member in the attorney general; members are elected by direct popular vote, 1 member from each of nine electoral districts, 4 at-large members; members serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 7 November 2011 (next to be held in 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NDP 49.4%, VIP 42%, other 8.6%; seats by party - NDP 9, VIP 4

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include the British Virgin Islands; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 3 High Court judges reside in member states; 3 High Court judges reside on the British Virgin Islands

judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts

Political parties and leaders:

Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Ethlyn SMITH]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Orlando SMITH]; United Party or UP [Gregory MADURO]; Virgin Islands Party or VIP [Ralph T. O'NEAL]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

The Family Support Network; The Women's Desk

other: environmentalists

International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description:

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin word VIGILATE (Be Watchful); the islands were named by COLUMBUS in 1493 in honor of Saint Ursula and her 11 virgin followers (some sources say 11,000) who reputedly were martyred by the Huns in the 4th or 5th century; the figure on the banner holding a lamp represents the saint, the other lamps symbolize her followers

National anthem:

note: as a territory of the United Kingdom, ""God Save the Queen"" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::British Virgin Islands

Economy - overview:

The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean, is highly dependent on tourism generating an estimated 45% of the national income. More than 934,000 tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in 2008. In the mid-1980s, the government began offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial revenues. Roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by yearend 2000. The adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late 1994, which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international business. Livestock raising is the most important agricultural activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic food requirements. Because of traditionally close links with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has used the US dollar as its currency since 1959.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$500 million (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 215

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.095 billion (2008)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.3% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 152

-0.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$42,300 (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 34.3%

government consumption: 8.4%

investment in fixed capital: 23.5%

investment in inventories: -0.4%

exports of goods and services: 109.7%

imports of goods and services: -75.5%

(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 1%

industry: 11.7%

services: 87.3% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:

fruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish

Industries:

tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore financial center

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Labor force:

12,770 (2004)

country comparison to the world: 214

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 0.6%

industry: 40%

services: 59.4% (2005)

Unemployment rate:

8.7% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget:

revenues: $300 million

expenditures: $300 million (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

27.4% of GDP (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

0% of GDP (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 47

Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.2% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

2.5% (2011 est.)

Current account balance:

$362.6 million (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

$279.8 million (2010 est.)

Exports:

$26 million (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

$25 million (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:

rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand

Imports:

$310 million (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 199

$320 million (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:

building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery

Debt - external:

$36.1 million (1997)

country comparison to the world: 194

Exchange rates:

the US dollar is used

Energy ::British Virgin Islands

Electricity - production:

50 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 206

Electricity - consumption:

46.5 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 206

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

10,000 kW (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 198

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 200

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 137

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 200

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 141

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

1,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 141

Refined petroleum products - imports:

783 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 197

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

147,800 Mt (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 200

Communications ::British Virgin Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:

26,800 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 182

Telephones - mobile cellular:

46,800 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 201

Telephone system:

general assessment: good overall telephone service

domestic: fixed line connections exceed 80 per 100 persons and mobile cellular subscribership is roughly 150 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-284; connected via submarine cable to Bermuda; the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable provides connectivity to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean (2011)

Broadcast media:

1 private TV station; multi-channel TV is available from cable and satellite subscription services; about a half dozen private radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.vg

Internet hosts:

505 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 182

Internet users:

4,000 (2002)

country comparison to the world: 207

Transportation ::British Virgin Islands

Airports:

4 (2013)

country comparison to the world: 190

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

Roadways:

total: 200 km

country comparison to the world: 208

paved: 200 km (2007)

Ports and terminals:

seaport(s): Road Harbor

Military ::British Virgin Islands

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 7,266 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 6,057

females age 16-49: 5,805 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 168

female: 162 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues ::British Virgin Islands

Disputes - international:

none

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe; large offshore financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering"

The World Factbook. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • British Virgin Islands — Britische Jungferninseln …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • British Virgin Islands —   [ brɪtɪʃ vəːdʒɪn aɪləndz], die östlichen Virgin Islands …   Universal-Lexikon

  • British Virgin Islands — Infobox Country conventional long name = British Virgin Islands common name = British Virgin Islands |125px |100px national motto = Vigilate spaces|2(Latin) Be Watchful national anthem = God Save the Queen official languages = English ethnic… …   Wikipedia

  • British Virgin Islands — a British colony comprising several small islands (largest, Tortola) in the West Indies, E of Puerto Rico. 10,500; 67 sq. mi. (174 sq. km). Cap.: Road Town. * * * British Virgin Islands Introduction British Virgin Islands Background: First… …   Universalium

  • British Virgin Islands —    The British Virgin Islands comprise 36 islands on the northeast edge of the Caribbean Sea. They were successively inhabited by the Carib and Arawak peoples, the Spanish, the Dutch and finally, in the 17th century, the British, who introduced… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • British Virgin Islands — Îles Vierges britanniques British Virgin Islands …   Wikipédia en Français

  • British Virgin Islands — Sp Mergẽlių Sãlos (Didžióji Britãnija) Ap British Virgin Islands L D. Britanijos valda Mergelių salyne, M. Antiluose …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • British Virgin Islands — geographical name the E islands of the Virgin Islands group; a British possession capital Road Town (on Tortola Island) area 59 square miles (153 square kilometers), population 14,786 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • British Virgin Islands — noun more than 40 northeastern Virgin Islands (15 inhabited); a dependent territory of the United Kingdom • Instance Hypernyms: ↑possession • Part Holonyms: ↑Virgin Islands …   Useful english dictionary

  • British Virgin Islands — noun → Virgin Islands (def. 3) …   Australian English dictionary


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