We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!



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

Geographic Coordinates:

 18 20 N, 64 50 W


 Total: 1,910 sq km
Land: 346 sq km
Water: 1,564 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Twice the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 188 km (Rank: 144)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September to November


 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: 5.71%
Permanent crops: 2.86%
Other: 91.43% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 1 sq km (2008)

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

Back to the Top



 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)


 English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9% (2000 census)


 Protestant 59% (Baptist 42%, Episcopalian 17%), Roman Catholic 34%, other 7%


 109,666 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 19.5% (male 10,886/female 10,470)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 33,280/female 38,210)
65 years and over: 15.3% (male 7,626/female 9,194) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 40.4 years
Male: 39.9 years
Female: 40.8 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 -0.08% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 11.41 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 7.17 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -5.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 95% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 CHARLOTTE AMALIE (capital) 54,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.058 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 7.24 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 7.97 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 6.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 79.33 years
Male: 76.29 years
Female: 82.55 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.8 children born/woman (2011 est.)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 90-95% est.
Male: NA
Female: NA (2005 est.)

Back to the Top


Country Name:

 Conventional long form: United States Virgin Islands
Conventional short form: Virgin Islands
Former: Danish West Indies
Abbreviation: USVI


 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

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


 None (territory of the US)

National Holiday:

 Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 31 March (1917)


 Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954

Legal System:

 US common law


 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

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 on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2014)

Election results: John DeJONGH reelected governor; percent of vote - John DeJONGH 56.3%, Kenneth MAPP 43.6%

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)

Elections: last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012)

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 2 November 2010 (next to be held on November 2012)

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:


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; white is a symbol of purity, the letters stand for the Virgin Islands

National Anthem:

 Name: "Virgin Islands March"
Lyrics/music: multiple/Alton Augustus ADAMS, Sr.

Note: adopted 1963; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)


 (territory of the US)

Back to the Top


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.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 2% (2002 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $14,500 (2004 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 1%
Industry: 19%
Services: 80% (2003 est.)

Labor Force:

 49,820 (2007 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 1%
Industry: 19%
Services: 80% (2003 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 6.2% (2004)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 28.9% (2002)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%


 Revenues: $837 million
Expenditures: $837 million (FY08/09)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 2.2% (2003)

Agriculture - Products:

 Fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle


 Tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 843.6 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 784.5 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 17,440 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 85,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 380,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 442,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)


 $4.234 billion (2001)

Exports - Commodities:

 Refined petroleum products


 $4.609 billion (2001)

Imports - Commodities:

 Crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials

Exchange Rates:

 Convert United States Dollar to Any Currency

The US dollar is used

Back to the Top


Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 75,800 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 80,300 (2005)

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

Broadcast Media:

 About a dozen television broadcast stations including 1 public TV station; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; 24 radio stations broadcasting (2009)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 6, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2005)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 5 (2006)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 8,933 (2010)

Internet Users:

 30,000 (2009)

Back to the Top



 2 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 2
Over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)


 Total: 1,260 km (2008)

Ports and Terminals:

 Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Cruz Bay, Frederiksted, Limetree Bay

Back to the Top


Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 17,542
Females age 16-49: 20,946 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 744
Female: 788 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of the US

Back to the Top

Last Updated: December 2011

Virgin Islands Main Page World Factbook Main Page


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

($) United States Dollar (USD)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map