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British Virgin Islands

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Virgin Islands
Overseas territory of the United Kingdom
Motto: "Vigilate" (Latin)
"Be Vigilant"
Anthem: God Save the Queen  (official)
Territorial song: Oh, Beautiful Virgin Islands  (official)
and largest city
Road Town
18°25.883′N 64°37.383′W / 18.431383°N 64.62305°W / 18.431383; -64.62305
Official languages English
Ethnic groups
Demonym Virgin Islander
Government British Overseas Territoryc
 -  Monarch Elizabeth II
 -  Governor William Boyd McCleary
 -  Deputy Governor Vivian Inez Archibald
 -  Premier Orlando Smith
 -  Responsible Ministerd (UK) Mark Simmonds MP
Legislature House of Assembly
British Overseas Territory
 -  Separate 1960 
 -  Autonomous territory 1967 
 -  Total 153 km2 (216th)
59 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.6
 -  2012 estimate 27,800[1]
 -  2005 census 27,000[2] (212th)
 -  Density 260/km2 (68th)
673/sq mi
GDP (PPP) estimate
 -  Total $853.4 million[3]
 -  Per capita $43,366
Currency United States dollar (USD)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC-4)
Calling code +1-284
Internet TLD .vg
a. Mostly British and Portuguese.
b. Mostly Puerto Ricans.
c. Parliamentary democratic dependency under constitutional monarchy.
d. For the Overseas Territories.

The British Virgin Islands are part of the Virgin Islands chain of islands shared by both the United States and the United Kingdom. It has sixteen inhabited and more than twenty uninhabited islands, and it includes the island of Anegada. It has an area of 153 km². Over 22,000 people live there, many fewer than the United States Virgin Islands.

The capital city, Road Town, is on Tortola, one of the islands in the group.


In 1666 England took over the islands. The first lieutenant governor was appointed in 1701, but the British Virgin Islands were usually governed as part of other groups of islands in the Caribbean until 1960 when last legal links with the Leeward Islands were abolished.

A new constitution was given in 2007.[4] It grants more control over everyday life to the Islanders, and lists the protection a person can expect from the government. The Chief Minister will become the Prime Minister, and the Legislative Council will be called the House of Assembly.


Other websites

A visual guide to the British Virgin Islands