British Virgin Islands

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  Central America and Caribbean  :: British Virgin Islands (overseas territory of the UK)  page last updated on November 14, 2011 Introduction ::British Virgin IslandsGeography ::British Virgin IslandsBackground:First inhabited by Arawak and later by Carib Indians, the Virgin Islands were settled by the Dutchin 1648 and then annexed by the English in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of theLeeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967. The economy is closelytied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legalcurrency.  Location:Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto RicoGeographic coordinates:18 30 N, 64 30 WMap references:Central America and the Caribbean Area:total: 151 sq kmcountry comparison to the world:219land: 151 sq kmwater: 0 sq km note: comprised of 16 inhabited and more than 20 uninhabited islands; includes the islands of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost van DykeArea - comparative:about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DCLand boundaries:0 kmCoastline:80 kmMaritime claims:territorial sea: 3 nmexclusive fishing zone: 200 nmClimate:subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade windsTerrain:coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hillyElevation extremes:lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 mhighest point: Mount Sage 521 m Natural resources: NEGLLand use:arable land: 20% permanent crops: 6.67%other: 73.33% (2005)Irrigated land: NA  People and Society ::British Virgin Islands   hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)Environment - current issues:limited natural freshwater resources (except for a few seasonal streams and springs on Tortola,most of the islands' water supply comes from wells and rainwater catchments)Geography - note:strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico    Nationality:noun: British Virgin Islander(s)adjective: British Virgin Islander Ethnic groups: black 82%, white 6.8%, other 11.2% (includes Indian and mixed) (2008)Languages:English (official)Religions:Protestant 84% (Methodist 33%, Anglican 17%, Church of God 9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6%,Baptist 4%, other 15%), Roman Catholic 10%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other 2%, none 2% (1991)Population:25,383 (July 2011 est.)country comparison to the world:217Age structure:0-14 years: 19.6% (male 2,526/female 2,457)15-64 years: 74.1% (male 9,631/female 9,174)65 years and over: 6.3% (male 827/female 768) (2011 est.)Median age:total: 32.9 yearsmale: 32.9 yearsfemale: 32.8 years (2011 est.)Population growth rate:1.741% (2011 est.)country comparison to the world:64Birth rate:14.5 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)country comparison to the world:141Death rate:4.49 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)country comparison to the world:199 Net migration rate:7.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)country comparison to the world:13Urbanization:urban population: 41% of total population (2010)rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major cities - population:ROAD TOWN (capital) 9,000 (2009)  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/femaleunder 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female65 years and over: 1.07 male(s)/femaletotal population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2011 est.)Infant mortality rate:total: 13.63 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world:126male: 15.47 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 11.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 77.63 yearscountry comparison to the world:59male: 76.32 yearsfemale: 78.99 years (2011 est.)Total fertility rate:1.71 children born/woman (2011 est.)country comparison to the world:166Drinking water source:improved:urban: 98% of populationrural: 98% of populationtotal: 98% of populationunimproved:urban: 2% of populationrural: 2% of populationtotal: 2% of population (2008)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2008)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NAHIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NAHIV/AIDS - deaths: NAEducation expenditures:3.2% of GDP (2007)country comparison to the world:126Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 97.8%male: NAfemale: NA (1991 est.)
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