British Indian Ocean Territory 2002British%20Indian%20Ocean%20Territory

 British Indian Ocean Territory | | | | | |
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British Indian Ocean Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory 


British Indian Ocean Territory - Introduction 2002
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Background: Established as a territory of the UK in 1965 a number of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) islands were transferred to the Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The largest and most southerly of the islands Diego Garcia contains a joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Former agricultural workers earlier residents in the islands were relocated primarily to Mauritius but also to the Seychelles between 1967 and 1973. In 2000 a British High Court ruling invalidated the local immigration order that had excluded them from the archipelago but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia.

British Indian Ocean Territory - Geography 2002
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Location: archipelago in the Indian Ocean south of India about one-half the way from Africa to Indonesia

Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S 71 30 E; note - Diego Garcia 7 20 S 72 25 E

Map referencePolitical Map of the World

Total: 54,400 km²
Land: 60 km²; Diego Garcia 44 km²
Water: 54,340 km²
Note: includes the entire Chagos Archipelago of 55 islands
Comparative: land area is about 0.3 times the size of Washington DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 698 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 3 nm
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate: tropical marine; hot humid moderated by trade winds

Terrain: flat and low (most areas do not exceed two meters in elevation)

Extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Natural resources
Land use

Land use

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: NA

Note: archipelago of 55 islands; Diego Garcia largest and southernmost island occupies strategic location in central Indian Ocean; island is site of joint US-UK military facility

British Indian Ocean Territory - People 2002
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Note: approximately 1,200 former agricultural workers resident in the Chagos Archipelago, often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois, were relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and 1970s; in November 2000 they were granted the right of return by a British High Court ruling, though no timetable has been set; in November 2002, there were approximately 4,000 UK and US military personnel and civilian contractors living on the island of Diego Garcia (July 2002 est.)


Ethnic groups



Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate

Death rate

Net migration rate

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth

Total fertility rate

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


School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

British Indian Ocean Territory - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: British Indian Ocean Territory
Conventional short form: none
Abbreviation: BIOT

Government type


Administrative divisions

Dependent areas


National holiday


Legal system: the laws of the UK where applicable apply

International law organization participation



Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
Head of government: Commissioner Tony CROMBIE (since January 2002); Administrator Tony HUMPHRIES (since February 2002); note - both reside in the UK
Cabinet: NA
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; commissioner and administrator appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation

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

Flag descriptionflag of British%20Indian%20Ocean%20Territory: white with six blue wavy horizontal stripes; the flag of the UK is in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the striped section bears a palm tree and yellow crown centered on the outer half of the flag

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

British Indian Ocean Territory - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: All economic activity is concentrated on the largest island of Diego Garcia where joint UK-US defense facilities are located. Construction projects and various services needed to support the military installations are done by military and contract employees from the UK Mauritius the Philippines and the US. There are no industrial or agricultural activities on the islands. When the Ilois return they plan to reestablish sugarcane production and fishing. The country makes money by selling fishing licenses and postage stamps.

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


Industrial production growth rate

Labor force
Labor force

Unemployment rate

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index


Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year

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



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates

British Indian Ocean Territory - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by the US military

Electricity consumption: NA kWh

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 Indian Ocean Territory - Communication 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
General assessment: separate facilities for military and public needs are available
Domestic: all commercial telephone services are available, including connection to the Internet
International: international telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .io

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

British Indian Ocean Territory - Military 2002
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

British Indian Ocean Territory - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1 (2002)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
Over 3047 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways




Total: NA
Paved: short section of paved road between port and airfield on Diego Garcia


Merchant marine

Ports and terminals: Diego Garcia

British Indian Ocean Territory - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia; in 2001 the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago evicted in 1965 and now residing chiefly in Mauritius were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation; the UK resists the Chagossians' demand for an immediate return to the islands; repatriation is complicated by the exclusive US military lease of Diego Garcia that restricts access to the largest island in the chain;

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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