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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Virgin Islands  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Virgin Islands

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Virgin Islands
Background:
Definition Field Listing
During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.
   Geography    Virgin Islands
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
18 20 N, 64 50 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 352 sq km
water: 3 sq km
land: 349 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
188 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Crown Mountain 474 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
sun, sand, sea, surf
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 15%
permanent crops: 6%
other: 79% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
lack of natural freshwater resources
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
important location along the Anegada Passage - a key shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Saint Thomas has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the Caribbean
   People    Virgin Islands
Population:
Definition Field Listing
123,498 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 26.7% (male 16,926; female 16,012)
15-64 years: 64.2% (male 35,801; female 43,443)
65 years and over: 9.1% (male 4,851; female 6,465) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.04% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
15.85 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.58 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 78.43 years
female: 82.53 years (2002 est.)
male: 74.55 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.24 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Virgin Islander(s)
adjective: Virgin Islander
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
black 80%, white 15%, other 5%
note: West Indian (45% born in the Virgin Islands and 29% born elsewhere in the West Indies) 74%, US mainland 13%, Puerto Rican 5%, other 8%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Spanish, Creole
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Virgin Islands
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: United States Virgin Islands
conventional short form: Virgin Islands
former: Danish West Indies
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
organized, unincorporated territory of the US with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Charlotte Amalie
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three islands at the second order; Saint Croix, Saint John, Saint Thomas
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 27 March (1917)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on US laws
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal; note - indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (Since 20 January 2001)
election results: Dr. Charles Wesley TURNBULL elected governor; percent of vote - Dr. Charles W. TURNBULL (Democrat) 58.9%, former Governor Roy L. SCHNEIDER (ICM) 41.1%
elections: US president and vice president elected on the same ticket for four-year terms; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 3 November 1998 (next to be held NA November 2002)
head of government: Governor Dr. Charles Wesley TURNBULL (since 5 January 1999) and Lieutenant Governor Gererd LUZ James II (since 5 January 1999)
cabinet: NA
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Democratic Party 6, ICM 2, independents 4, no party affiliation 3
note: the Virgin Islands elects one non-voting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2002); results - Donna M. CHRISTIAN-CHRISTENSON (Democrat) elected
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
US District Court of the Virgin Islands (under Third Circuit jurisdiction); Territorial Court (judges appointed by the governor for 10-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Party [Arturo WATLINGTON]; Independent Citizens' Movement or ICM [Usie RICHARDS]; Republican Party [Gary SPRAUVE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ECLAC (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of the US)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of the US)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
white, with a modified US coat of arms in the center between the large blue initials V and I; the coat of arms shows a yellow eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and three arrows in the other with a superimposed shield of vertical red and white stripes below a blue panel
   Economy    Virgin Islands
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for more than 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. The islands normally host 2 million visitors a year. The manufacturing sector consists of petroleum refining, textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch assembly. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. International business and financial services are a small but growing component of the economy. One of the world's largest petroleum refineries is at Saint Croix. The islands are subject to substantial damage from storms. The government is working to improve fiscal discipline, support construction projects in the private sector, expand tourist facilities, reduce crime, and protect the environment.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1.8 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
48,356 (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 1%, industry 20%, services 79% (1990 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.9% (March 1999)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $364.4 million
expenditures: $364.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
1.02 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
948.6 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
refined petroleum products
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Puerto Rico
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Puerto Rico
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
USD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 October - 30 September
   Communications    Virgin Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
62,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
2,000 (1992)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: modern, uses fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: submarine cable and satellite communications; satellite earth stations - NA
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 5, FM 11, shortwave 0 (2002)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
107,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2002)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
68,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.vi
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
50 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
12,000 (2000)
   Transportation    Virgin Islands
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 856 km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km (2000)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Cruz Bay, Port Alucroix
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2001)
   Military    Virgin Islands
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Virgin Islands
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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