Statistical information British Virgin Islands 1989British%20Virgin%20Islands

Map of British Virgin Islands | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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British Virgin Islands in the World

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British Virgin Islands - Introduction 1989
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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.

British Virgin Islands - Geography 1989
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries

Coastline: 80 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds

Terrain: coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly


Natural resources: negligible
Land use

Land use: 20% arable land; 7% permanent crops; 33% meadows and pastures; 7% forest and woodland; 33% other

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: strong ties to nearby U.S. Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands - People 1989
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Population: 12,124 (July 1989), growth rate 1.1% (1989)

Nationality: noun - British Virgin Islander(s; adjective - British Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups: over 90% black, remainder of white and Asian origin

Languages: English (official)

Religions: majority Methodist; others include Anglican, Church of God, Seventh-Day Adventist, Baptist, and Roman Catholic

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 20 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: - 3 migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: subject to hurricanes and tropical storms from July to October

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 15 deaths/1000 live births (1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 71 years male, 77 years female (1989)

Total fertility rate: 2.2 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 98%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

British Virgin Islands - Government 1989
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Country name: conventional long form: none

Government type: colony of the UK

Capital: Road Town

Administrative divisions: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Dependent areas

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

National holiday: Territory Day, 1 July

Constitution: 1 June 1977

Legal system: English law; justice is administered by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and Courts of Summary Jurisdiction and Magistrates; there is a resident puisne judge on the islands

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State - Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor John Mark Ambrose HERDMAN (since NA 1986; Head of Government - Chief Minister H. Lavity STOUTT (since NA 1986)

Legislative branch: Executive Council (Cabinet) consists of the governor as chairman, four ministers of the legislature, and an ex officio member who is the attorney general; Legislative Council consists of the speaker (elected from outside the Council), nine elected members, and an ex officio member who is the attorney general

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: Commonwealth

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Flag descriptionflag of British%20Virgin%20Islands: 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 a vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin word VIGILATE (Be Watchful)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

British Virgin Islands - Economy 1989
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Economy overview: The economy is highly dependent on the tourist industry, which generates about 21% of the national income. In 1985 the government offered offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and, in consequence, incorporation fees generated about $2 million in 1987. Livestock raising is the most significant agricultural activity. The islands' crops, limited by poor soils, are unable to meet food requirements.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: livestock (including poultry), fish, fruit, vegetables

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

Industrial production growth rate: - 4.0% (1985)

Labor force: 4,911 (1980)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $26.2 million; expenditures $25.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1988 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $2.3 million (f.o.b., 1985)
Commodities: rum, fresh fish, gravel, sand, fruits, animals
Partners: U.S. Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US

Imports: $72.0 million (c.i.f., 1985)
Commodities: building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery
Partners: U.S. Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $4.5 million (1985)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: US currency is used

British Virgin Islands - Energy 1989
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

British Virgin Islands - Communication 1989
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

British Virgin Islands - Military 1989
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

British Virgin Islands - Transportation 1989
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 3 total, 3 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways less than 1,220 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

British Virgin Islands - Transnational issues 1989
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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