Statistical information British Virgin Islands 2001British%20Virgin%20Islands

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


British Virgin Islands - Introduction 2001
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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 2001
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Location: Caribbean between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates: 18 30 N 64 30 W

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 150 km²
Land: 150 km²
Water: 0 km²
Note: includes the island of Anegada
Comparative: about 0.9 times the size of Washington DC

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: NEGL
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 7%
Permanent pastures: 33%
Forests and woodland: 7%
Other: 33% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)

Note: strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

British Virgin Islands - People 2001
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Population: 20,812 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 2.22% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: British Virgin Islander
Adjective: British Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups: black 90% white Asian

Languages: English (official)

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)

Demographic profile
Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.22% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 15.18 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 4.42 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 11.39 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 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 islands' water supply comes from wells and rainwater catchment)

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male/female
65 years and over: 1.18 male/female
Total population: 1.06 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 20.3 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 75.64 years
Male: 74.74 years
Female: 76.59 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.72 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: NA%
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

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 can read and write
Total population: 97.8% (1991 est.)
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

British Virgin Islands - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: British Virgin Islands
Abbreviation: BVI

Government type: NA

Capital: Road Town

Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Dependent areas

Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)

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 (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)
Cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the Legislative Council
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council

Legislative branch
Elections: 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

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

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]

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

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (overseas territory of the UK)
From the us: none (overseas 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 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 2001
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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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 6% (2000 est.)

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: 1.8%
Industry: 6.2%
Services: 92% (1996 est.)

Agriculture products: fruits vegetables; livestock poultry; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate: 4% (1985)

Labor force: 4,911 (1980)
By occupation agriculture: NA%
By occupation industry: NA%
By occupation services: NA%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 3% (1995)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $121.5 million
Expenditures: $115.5 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2% (2000)

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: $6.2 million (2000 est.)
Commodities: rum fresh fish fruits animals; gravel sand
Partners: Virgin Islands (US) Puerto Rico US

Imports: $220 million (2000 est.)
Commodities: building materials automobiles foodstuffs machinery
Partners: Virgin Islands (US) Puerto Rico US

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $36.1 million (1997)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: the US dollar is used

British Virgin Islands - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 42 million kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 39.1 million kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1999)

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 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
General assessment: worldwide telephone service
Domestic: NA
International: submarine cable to Bermuda

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .vg

Internet users: NA

Broadband fixed subscriptions

British Virgin Islands - Military 2001
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

British Virgin Islands - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 3 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
Total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 70,285 GRT/6,946 DWT
Ships by type: passenger 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

British Virgin Islands - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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