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Countries > Virgin Islands (U.S.) Virgin Islands  (U.S.) Flag

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Capital: Charlotte Amaile, St. Thomas
Population: 98,000
Virgin Islands  (U.S.) Map

(territory of the US)

Geography

Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates: 18 20 N, 64 50 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 352 sq km
land: 349 sq km
water: 3 sq km

Area - comparative: twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 188 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November

Terrain: mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Crown Mountain 474 m

Natural resources: sun, sand, sea, surf

Land use:
arable land: 15%
permanent crops: 6%
permanent pastures : 26%
forests and woodland: 6%
other: 47%(1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts, floods, and earthquakes

Environment - current issues: lack of natural freshwater resources

Environment - international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified : NA

Geography - note: 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

Population: 123,498 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
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: 1.04% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 15.85 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:5.58 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
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: 9.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.43 years
male:74.55 years
female: 82.53 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.24 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Nationality:
noun : Virgin Islander(s)
adjective: Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups: black 80%, white 15%, other 5%

Religions: Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%

Languages: English (official), Spanish, Creole

Literacy: NA

Government

Country name:
conventional long form : Virgin Islands of the United States
conventional short form: Virgin Islands
former: Danish West Indies

Data code: VQ

Dependency status: organized, unincorporated territory of the US; administered by the Office of Territorial and International Affairs, US Department of the Interior

Government type: NA

National capital: Charlotte Amalie

Administrative divisions: none (territory of the US)

National holiday: Transfer Day, 31 March (1917) (from Denmark to US)

Constitution: Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954

Legal system: based on US laws

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal; note - indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections

Executive branch:
chief of state : President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (Since 20 January 2001)
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
elections : Dr. Charles Wesley TURNBULL elected governor; percent of vote - Dr. Charles W. TURNBULL (Democrat) 58.9%, former Governor Roy L. SCHNEIDER (ICM) 41.1%
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%

Legislative branch: unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: l 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: 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: Democratic Party [Arturo WATLINGTON]; Independent Citizens' Movement or ICM [Usie RICHARDS]; Republican Party [Gary SPRAUVE]

International organization participation: ECLAC (associate), IOC

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of the US)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of the US)

Flag description: 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

Economy - overview: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: purchasing power parity - $1.8 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services : NA%

Inflation rate - consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:
total:48,356 (2002 est.)
by occupation: agriculture, industry, services, other (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate: 4.9% (March 1999)

Budget:
revenues: $364.4 million
expenditures : $364.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)

Industries: tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Industrial production growth rate: 12% (year NA)

Electricity - capacity: NA kW

Electricity - production: 1.02 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 948.6 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: truck garden products, fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle

Exports:
total value: $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities : refined petroleum products
partners: US, Puerto Rico

Imports:
total value: $2.2 billion (c.i.f., 1992)
commodities: crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials
partners: US, Puerto Rico

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September

Communications

Telephones: 62,000 (1997)

Telephone system:
domestic : modern, uses fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: submarine cable and satellite communications; satellite earth stations - NA

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 11, shortwave 0 (2002)

Radios: 107,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (2002)

Televisions: 68,000 (1997)

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total : 856 km
paved: NA km
unpaved : NA km (2000)

Ports and harbors: Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Cruz Bay, Port Alucroix

Merchant marine: none(2002 est.)

Airports: 2 (2001)
note: international airports on Saint Thomas and Saint Croix (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2001)

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none