Statistical information British Virgin Islands 1996British%20Virgin%20Islands

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British Virgin Islands in the World
British Virgin Islands in the World

Iberostar Hotels

British Virgin Islands - Introduction 1996
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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 1996
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Location: Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 150 km²
Land: 150 km²
Comparative: about 0.8 times the size of Washington, DC
Comparative note: Includes the island of Anegada

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 80 km

Maritime claims
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

Extremes lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Sage 521 m

Natural resources: Negligible
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 7%
Permanent pastures: 33%
Forests and woodland: 7%
Other: 33%

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


British Virgin Islands - People 1996
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13,195 (July 1996 est.)
13,027 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.29% (1996 est.)
1.27% (1995 est.)

Noun: British Virgin Islander(s)
Adjective: British Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups:
Black 90%
White, Asian

Languages: English (official)

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)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.29% (1996 est.)
1.27% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
20.19 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
20.25 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
6.05 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
6.07 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.2 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
1.5 migrants/1000 population 1995 est. Infant Mortality Rate:
19.16 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
19.33 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: limited natural fresh water resources (except for a few seasonal streams and springs on Tortola, most of the island's water supply comes from wells and rainwater catchment)
Current issues Natural hazards: hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)
International agreements: NA
International agreements note: Strong ties to nearby U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72.78 years (1996 est.); 72.73 years (1995 est.)
Male: 70.93 years (1996 est.); 70.88 years (1995 est.)
Female: 74.75 years (1996 est.); 74.7 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.26 children born/woman (1996 est.)
2.27 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1991 est.)
Total population: 97.8%
Male: 98%
Female: 98%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

British Virgin Islands - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: British Virgin Islands Abbreviation:BVI

Government type: Dependent territory of the U.K.

Capital: Road Town

Administrative divisions: None (dependent territory of the U.K.)

Dependent areas

Independence: None (dependent territory of the U.K.)

National holiday: Territory Day, 1 July

Constitution: 1 June 1977

Legal system: English law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (of the United Kingdom since 6 February 1952), hereditary monarch, is represented by Governor David MACKILLIGIN (since NA June 1995) who was appointed by the queen
Head of government: Chief Minister Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 15 May 1995; appointed after the death of former Chief Minister H. Lavity STOUTT) was appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council
Cabinet: Executive Council; appointed by the governor

Legislative branch: Unicameral Legislative Council:Election last held 20 February 1995 (next to be held on NA February 2000; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(13 total) VIP 6, CCM 2, UP 2, independents 3

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: Caricom (associate), CDB, ECLAC (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS (associate), UNESCO (associate)

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of British%20Virgin%20Islands: Blue with the flag of the U.K. 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)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

British Virgin Islands - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The economy, one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean, is highly dependent on tourism, which generates an estimated 45% of the national income. In 1985, the government began offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial revenues. 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 traditional close links with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands have used the dollar as their currency since 1959.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1991)

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

Light industry
Concrete block
Offshore financial center

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 4% (1985)

Labor force: 4,911 (1980)
By occupation: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NEGL% (1992)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $77.1 million (FY93/94); $51 million (1991)
Expenditures: $76.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY93/94); $88 million, including capital expenditures of $38 million (1991)

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: total value. $2.7 million (f.o.b., 1988)
Fresh fish

Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Puerto Rico

Imports: total value:$11.5 million (c.i.f., 1988)
Building materials

Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Puerto Rico

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: U.S. currency is used

British Virgin Islands - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 50 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,148 kWh (1993)

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 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 6,291 telephones (1990 est.); worldwide external telephone service
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: submarine cable communication links to Bermuda

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

British Virgin Islands - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

British Virgin Islands - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 3
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine: None

Ports and terminals

British Virgin Islands - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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