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Virgin Islands US
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Flag of Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands

Country Profile

Capital City: Charlotte Amalie (on St. Thomas)

Other Towns: Frederiksted and Christiansted on St. Croix.

Local Time: UTC -4h

Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico.
Area: 350 sq km
Terrain: Mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land.

Climate: subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September to November.

Government: Organized, unincorporated territory of the USA with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior.

Nationality: Virgin Islander(s)
Population: 100 000
Ethnic Groups: black 75%, white 13%, Asian 2%, other 6%, mixed 4%
Religions: Baptist, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian
Languages: English 76%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 17%, French or French Creole 7%
Literacy: NA


Currency: US Dollar (USD)

Natural resources: Sun, sand, sea, surf

Agriculture products: Fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle.

Industries: Tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics.

Exports partners:
USA, Puerto Rico

Imports partners: USA, Puerto Rico

Internet Links

Official Sites of US Virgin Islands

The Government of the United States Virgin Islands

Senate of the US Virgin Islands

Map of Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands Maps

Map of Central America and the Caribbean


Virgin Islands

Background:  During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into
two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane,
produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th
and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion,
which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.

Geography Virgin Islands

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

Geographic coordinates:  18 20 N, 64 50 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 352 sq km water: 3 sq km land: 349 sq km

Area - comparative:  twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  188 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate:  subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively
low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May
to November

Terrain:  mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point:
Crown Mountain 474 m

Natural resources:  sun, sand, sea, surf

Land use:  arable land: 15% permanent crops: 6% other: 79% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  NA sq km

Natural hazards:  several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe
droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes

Environment - current issues:  lack of natural freshwater resources

Geography - note:  important location along the Anegada Passage - a key
shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Saint Thomas has one of the best
natural deepwater harbors in the Caribbean

People Virgin Islands

Population:  123,498 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 26.7% (male 16,926; female 16,012) 15-64
years: 64.2% (male 35,801; female 43,443) 65 years and over: 9.1%
(male 4,851; female 6,465) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.04% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  15.85 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  5.58 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.75 male(s)/female total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  9.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   82.53 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.24 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Virgin Islander(s) adjective: Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups:  black 80%, white 15%, other 5% note: West Indian (45%
born in the Virgin Islands and 29% born elsewhere in the West Indies)
74%, US mainland 13%, Puerto Rican 5%, other 8%

Religions:  Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%

Languages:  English (official), Spanish, Creole

Literacy:  definition: NA total population: NA% male: NA% female: NA%

Government Virgin Islands

Country name:  conventional long form: United States Virgin Islands
conventional short form: Virgin Islands former: Danish West Indies

Dependency status:  organized, unincorporated territory of the US
with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the
jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the

Government type:  NA

Capital:  Charlotte Amalie

Administrative divisions:  none (territory of the US); there are no
first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government,
but there are three islands at the second order; Saint Croix, Saint John,
Saint Thomas

National holiday:  Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 27 March (1917)

Constitution:  Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954

Legal system:  based on US laws

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal; note - indigenous inhabitants
are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections

Executive branch:  chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US
(since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (Since 20
January 2001) election results: Dr. Charles Wesley TURNBULL elected
governor; percent of vote - Dr. Charles W. TURNBULL (Democrat) 58.9%,
former Governor Roy L. SCHNEIDER (ICM) 41.1% elections: US president and
vice president elected on the same ticket for four-year terms; governor
and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for
four-year terms; election last held 3 November 1998 (next to be held
NA November 2002) head of government:  Governor Gererd LUZ James II
(since 5 January 1999) cabinet: NA

Legislative branch:  unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected by
popular vote to serve two-year terms) elections: last held 7 November 2000
(next to be held NA November 2002) election results: percent of vote by
party - NA%; seats by party - Democratic Party 6, ICM 2, independents 4,
no party affiliation 3 note: the Virgin Islands elects one non-voting
representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held
7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2002); results - Donna

Judicial branch:  US District Court of the Virgin Islands (under Third
Circuit jurisdiction); Territorial Court (judges appointed by the governor
for 10-year terms)

Political parties and leaders:  Democratic Party [Arturo WATLINGTON];
Independent Citizens' Movement or ICM [Usie RICHARDS]; Republican Party

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ECLAC (associate), Interpol
(subbureau), IOC

Diplomatic representation in the US:  none (territory of the US)

Diplomatic representation from the US:  none (territory of the US)

Flag description:  white, with a modified US coat of arms in the center
between the large blue initials V and I; the coat of arms shows a yellow
eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and three arrows in the other
with a superimposed shield of vertical red and white stripes below a
blue panel

Economy Virgin Islands

Economy - overview:  Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting
for more than 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. The islands normally
host 2 million visitors a year. The manufacturing sector consists of
petroleum refining, textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch
assembly. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported.
International business and financial services are a small but growing
component of the economy. One of the world's largest petroleum refineries
is at Saint Croix. The islands are subject to substantial damage from
storms. The government is working to improve fiscal discipline, support
construction projects in the private sector, expand tourist facilities,
reduce crime, and protect the environment.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $1.8 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  NA%

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  NA%

Labor force:  48,356 (2002 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 1%, industry 20%, services 79%
(1990 est.)

Unemployment rate:  4.9% (March 1999)

Budget:  revenues: $364.4 million expenditures: $364.4 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)

Industries:  tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling,
construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  1.02 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(1999) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  948.6 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products:  fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle

Exports:  $NA

Exports - commodities:  refined petroleum products

Exports - partners:  US, Puerto Rico

Imports:  $NA

Imports - commodities:  crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building

Imports - partners:  US, Puerto Rico

Debt - external:  $NA

Economic aid - recipient:  $NA

Currency:  US dollar (USD)

Currency code:  USD

Exchange rates:  the US dollar is used

Fiscal year:  1 October - 30 September

Communications Virgin Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:  62,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  2,000 (1992)

Telephone system:  general assessment: NA domestic: modern, uses
fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay international: submarine
cable and satellite communications; satellite earth stations - NA

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 5, FM 11, shortwave 0 (2002)

Radios:  107,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  2 (2002)

Televisions:  68,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .vi

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  50 (2000)

Internet users:  12,000 (2000)

Transportation Virgin Islands

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 856 km paved: NA km unpaved: NA km (2000)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Cruz Bay, Port

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  2 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2001)

Military Virgin Islands

Military - note:  defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues Virgin Islands

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Virgin Islands Daily News

Island News and information
St. Thomas Source

St. Croix Source

St. John Source

Arts & Culture
Caribbean Island Art & Soul

Reichhold Center for the Arts

Business & Economy
St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Virgin Islands Yellow Pages

Cape Air

Destination US Virgin Islands - Travel and Tour Guides
Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

United States Virgin Islands Tourist, Vacation and Business Guide

Virtual VI Guide to St. John

Virtual VI Guide to St. Thomas

Coral World

UVI Libraries

University of the Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National

Virgin Islands - History and Geography

Virgin Islands Digital Collection

Virgin Islands History




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