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British Virgin Islands (2008)

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British Virgin Islands 2008 year

 British Virgin Islands
Administrative divisions none (overseas territory of the UK)
Age structure 0-14 years: 20.2% (male 2,410/female 2,337)

15-64 years: 74.5% (male 9,004/female 8,534)

65 years and over: 5.4% (male 665/female 602) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products fruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish
Airports 3 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Area total: 153 sq km

land: 153 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
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.
Birth rate 14.82 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $204.7 million

expenditures: $180.4 million (2004)
Capital name: Road Town

geographic coordinates: 18 27 N, 64 37 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds
Coastline 80 km
Constitution 13 June 2007
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: British Virgin Islands

abbreviation: BVI
Death rate 4.42 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $36.1 million (1997)
Dependency status overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing
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 $NA
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. An estimated 820,000 tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in 2005. 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.
Electricity - consumption 41.85 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 45 million kWh (2005)
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 catchments)
Ethnic groups black 83%, other 17% (includes white, Indian, Asian and mixed)
Exchange rates the US dollar is used
Executive branch chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor David PEAREY (since 18 April 2006)

head of government: Premier Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 23 August 2007)

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

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed premier by the governor
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $25.3 million (2002)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand
Exports - partners Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US (2006)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 1.8%

industry: 6.2%

services: 92% (1996 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 18 30 N, 64 30 W
Geography - note strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Illicit drugs transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe; large offshore financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $187 million (2002 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 604.3 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery
Imports - partners Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US (2006)
Independence none (overseas territory of the UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore financial center
Infant mortality rate total: 16.13 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 18.82 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2% (2005)
International organization participation Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO (associate), UPU
Irrigated land NA
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 12,770 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 0.6%

industry: 40%

services: 59.4% (2005)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 6.67%

other: 73.33% (2005)
Languages English (official)
Legal system English law
Legislative branch unicameral House of Assembly (13 elected seats 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; to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 20 August 2007 (next to be held in 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - VIP 45.2%, NDP 39.6%, independent 15.2%; seats by party - VIP 10, NDP 2, independent 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 76.86 years

male: 75.71 years

female: 78.07 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.8% (1991 est.)

male: NA%

female: NA%
Location Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Military - note defense is the responsibility of the UK
National holiday Territory Day, 1 July (1956)
Nationality noun: British Virgin Islander(s)

adjective: British Virgin Islander
Natural hazards hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)
Natural resources NEGL
Net migration rate 8.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 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 23,552 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.923% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2004)
Religions Protestant 86% (Methodist 33%, Anglican 17%, Church of God 9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6%, Baptist 4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other 15%), Roman Catholic 10%, other 2%, none 2% (1991)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.031 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.055 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.105 male(s)/female

total population: 1.053 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: worldwide telephone service

domestic: NA

international: country code - 1-284; connected via submarine cable to Bermuda; the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) optic submarine cable provides connectivity to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean (2007)
Telephones - main lines in use 11,700 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 8,000 (2002)
Television broadcast stations 1 (plus 1 cable company) (1997)
Terrain coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly
Total fertility rate 1.72 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 3.6% (1997)
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