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British Virgin Islands (2001)

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British Virgin Islands 2001 year

 British Virgin Islands
Administrative divisions none (overseas territory of the UK)
Age structure 0-14 years:
22.77% (male 2,399; female 2,339)

15-64 years:
72.31% (male 7,741; female 7,309)

65 years and over:
4.92% (male 555; female 469) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products fruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish
Airports 3 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

914 to 1,523 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Area total:
150 sq km

150 sq km

0 sq km

includes the island of Anegada
Area - comparative about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC
Background First settled by the Dutch in 1648, the islands were soon after (1672) annexed by the English. The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.
Birth rate 15.18 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$121.5 million

$115.5 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)
Capital Road Town
Climate subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds
Coastline 80 km
Constitution 1 June 1977
Country name conventional long form:

conventional short form:
British Virgin Islands

Currency US dollar (USD)
Death rate 4.42 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $36.1 million (1997)
Dependency status overseas territory of the UK
Diplomatic representation from the US none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation in the US none (overseas territory of the UK)
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $2.6 million (1995)
Economy - overview The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean, is highly dependent on tourism, which generates an estimated 45% of the national income. An estimated 350,000 tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in 1997. 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. An estimated 250,000 companies were on the offshore registry by yearend 1997. 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, is expected to make 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 dollar as its currency since 1959.
Electricity - consumption 39.1 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 42 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point:
Mount Sage 521 m
Environment - current issues limited natural fresh water resources (except for a few seasonal streams and springs on Tortola, most of the islands' water supply comes from wells and rainwater catchment)
Ethnic groups black 90%, white, Asian
Exchange rates the US dollar is used
Executive branch chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Francis J. SAVAGE (since NA)

head of government:
Chief Minister Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 15 May 1995)

Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the Legislative Council

none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $6.2 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand
Exports - partners Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
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)
GDP purchasing power parity - $311 million (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


92% (1996 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $16,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 18 30 N, 64 30 W
Geography - note strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
Highways total:
132 km

132 km

0 km (1997)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Illicit drugs transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $220 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery
Imports - partners Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US
Independence none (overseas territory of the UK)
Industrial production growth rate 4% (1985)
Industries tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore financial center
Infant mortality rate 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2% (2000)
International organization participation Caricom (associate), CDB, ECLAC (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS (associate), UNESCO (associate)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 16 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal (one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the High Court); Magistrate's Court; Juvenile Court; Court of Summary Jurisdiction
Labor force 4,911 (1980)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

33% (1993 est.)
Languages English (official)
Legal system English law
Legislative branch unicameral Legislative Council (13 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, one member from each of 9 electoral districts, four at-large members; members serve five-year terms)

last held 17 May 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)

election results:
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - VIP 7, CCM 1, NDP 5
Life expectancy at birth total population:
75.64 years

74.74 years

76.59 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:
97.8% (1991 est.)


Location Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims exclusive fishing zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
3 NM
Merchant marine total:
1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 70,285 GRT/6,946 DWT

ships by type:
passenger 1 (2000 est.)
Military - note defense is the responsibility of the UK
National holiday Territory Day, 1 July
Nationality noun:
British Virgin Islander(s)

British Virgin Islander
Natural hazards hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)
Natural resources NEGL
Net migration rate 11.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
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 NA
Population 20,812 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.22% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Road Town
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 9,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Protestant 86% (Methodist 45%, Anglican 21%, Church of God 7%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5%, Baptist 4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other 2%), Roman Catholic 6%, none 2%, other 6% (1981)
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.06 male(s)/female

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

total population:
1.06 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
worldwide telephone service


submarine cable to Bermuda
Telephones - main lines in use 10,000 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
Television broadcast stations 1 (plus one cable company) (1997)
Terrain coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly
Total fertility rate 1.72 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 3% (1995)
Waterways none
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