British Virgin Islands



Official Country Name
British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands Overview
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.

British Virgin Islands Economy
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 350,000 tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in 1998. Tourism suffered in 2002 because of the lackluster US economy. 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.

British Virgin Islands Location
British Virgin Islands is located in Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Region
British Virgin Islands is located in Caribbean

British Virgin Islands Population
British Virgin Islands has population of 23,098 (July 2006 est.)

British Virgin Islands Climate
British Virgin Islands has subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds

British Virgin Islands Terrain
coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly

British Virgin Islands Natural Resources
NEGL

Ethnic Groups in British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands has the following ethnic groups - black 83%, white, Indian, Asian and mixed

British Virgin Islands 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%, none 2%, other 2% (1991)

British Virgin Islands Languages
English (official)

British Virgin Islands Capital
British Virgin Islands capital is Road Town

British Virgin Islands Currency
British Virgin Islands currency is US dollar

Map of British Virgin Islands