Caribbean Stats

U.S. Virgin Islands

Flag Location Map
Introduction - US Virgin Islands
Background
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 - US Virgin Islands
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: 1,910 sq km country comparison to the world: 181 land: 346 sq km water: 1,564 sq km
Area - comparative
twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
188 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September 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 475 m
Natural resources
sun, sand, sea, surf
Land use
arable land: 5.71% permanent crops: 2.86% other: 91.43% (2005)
Irrigated land
NA
Natural hazards
several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes
Environment - current issues
lack of natural freshwater resources
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 - US Virgin Islands
Population
109,825 (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 190
Age structure
0-14 years: 20.4% (male 11,394/female 11,048) 15-64 years: 65.9% (male 33,843/female 38,574) 65 years and over: 13.6% (male 6,747/female 8,219) (2009 est.)
Median age
total: 39.1 years male: 38.6 years female: 39.6 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate
-0.029% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 204
Birth rate
11.95 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 168
Death rate
6.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 143
Net migration rate
-5.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 164
Urbanization
urban population: 95% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 0.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 7.56 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 166 male: 8.28 deaths/1,000 live births female: 6.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 79.05 years country comparison to the world: 35 male: 76.02 years female: 82.26 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.85 children born/woman (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 153
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths
NA
Nationality
noun: Virgin Islander(s) (US citizens) adjective: Virgin Islander
Ethnic groups
black 76.2%, white 13.1%, Asian 1.1%, other 6.1%, mixed 3.5% (2000 census)
Religions
Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%
Languages
English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9% (2000 census)
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 90-95% est. male: NA female: NA (2005 est.)
Education expenditures
NA
Government - US Virgin Islands
Country name
conventional long form: United States Virgin Islands conventional short form: Virgin Islands former: Danish West Indies abbreviation: USVI
Dependency status
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
NA
Capital
name: Charlotte Amalie geographic coordinates: 18 21 N, 64 56 W time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
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
Independence
none (territory of the US)
National holiday
Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 31 March (1917)
Constitution
Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954
Legal system
based on US laws
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal; island residents are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch
chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009) head of government: Governor John DeJONGH (since 1 January 2007) cabinet: NA (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as the Virgin Islands, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in the Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 7 and 21 November 2006 (next to be held November 2010) election results: John DeJONGH elected governor; percent of vote - John DeJONGH 57.3%, Kenneth MAPP 42.7%
Legislative branch
unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms) elections: last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 10, ICM 2, independent 3 note: the Virgin Islands elects one non-voting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010)
Judicial branch
US District Court of the Virgin Islands (under Third Circuit jurisdiction); Superior Court of the Virgin Islands (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
IOC, UPU, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (territory of the US)
Diplomatic representation from the US
none (territory of the US)
Flag description
white field 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 its right talon and three arrows in the left with a superimposed shield of seven red and six white vertical stripes below a blue panel
Economy - US Virgin Islands
Economy - overview
Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for 80% of GDP and employment. The islands hosted 2.4 million visitors in 2008. The manufacturing sector consists of petroleum refining, rum distilling, textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch assembly. One of the world's largest petroleum refineries is at Saint Croix. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. International business and financial services are small but growing components of the economy. The islands are vulnerable to substantial damage from storms. The government is working to improve fiscal discipline, to support construction projects in the private sector, to expand tourist facilities, to reduce crime, and to protect the environment.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$1.577 billion (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 190
GDP (official exchange rate)
$NA
GDP - real growth rate
2% (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 80
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$14,500 (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 80
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 1% industry: 19% services: 80% (2003 est.)
Labor force
49,820 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 189
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 1% industry: 19% services: 80% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate
6.2% (2004) country comparison to the world: 60
Population below poverty line
28.9% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Budget
revenues: $837 million expenditures: $837 million (FY08/09)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.2% (2003) country comparison to the world: 71
Agriculture - products
fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle
Industries
tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics
Industrial production growth rate
NA%
Electricity - production
776.4 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 152
Electricity - consumption
722 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 150
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production
17,620 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 75
Oil - consumption
72,860 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 88
Oil - exports
388,000 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 34
Oil - imports
480,600 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 26
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl country comparison to the world: 117
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 116
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 124
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 91
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 118
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 122
Exports
$4.234 billion (2001) country comparison to the world: 109
Exports - commodities
refined petroleum products
Imports
$4.609 billion (2001) country comparison to the world: 112
Imports - commodities
crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials
Debt - external
$NA
Exchange rates
the US dollar is used
Communications - US Virgin Islands
Telephones - main lines in use
74,200 (2008) country comparison to the world: 153
Telephones - mobile cellular
80,300 (2005) country comparison to the world: 186
Telephone system
general assessment: modern system with total digital switching, uses fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay domestic: full range of services available international: country code - 1-340; submarine cable connections to US, the Caribbean, Central and South America; satellite earth stations - NA
Radio broadcast stations
AM 6, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2005)
Television broadcast stations
5 (2006)
Internet country code
.vi
Internet hosts
8,726 (2009) country comparison to the world: 121
Internet users
30,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 180
Transportation - US Virgin Islands
Airports
2 (2009) country comparison to the world: 202
Airports - with paved runways
total: 2 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)
Roadways
total: 1,257 km (2007) country comparison to the world: 179
Ports and terminals
Charlotte Amalie, Limetree Bay
Military - US Virgin Islands
Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 17,820 females age 16-49: 21,193 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 831 female: 873 (2009 est.)
Military - note
defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues - US Virgin Islands
Disputes - international
none