General Information

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI; also called the American Virgin Islands), officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 133.73 square miles (346.36 km2). The territory’s capital is Charlotte Amalie on the island of Saint Thomas.

Population

United States Virgin Islands has a population of 106,792

Political Structure

The U.S. Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated United States territory. While they are U.S. citizens, U.S. Virgin Islanders are ineligible to vote for the President of the United States. The U.S. Democratic and Republican parties allow U.S. Virgin Islands citizens to vote in their presidential primary elections for delegates to the respective national conventions. People born in the U.S. Virgin Islands derive their U.S. citizenship from Congressional statute. The main political parties in the U.S. Virgin Islands are the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands, the Independent Citizens Movement, and the Republican Party of the Virgin Islands. Additional candidates run as independents.

Infrastructure and Economy

Tourism is the primary economic activity. The islands normally host up to 2 million visitors a year, many of whom visit on cruise ships. Additionally, the islands frequently are a starting point for private yacht charters to the neighboring British Virgin Islands. Euromonitor indicates that over 50 percent of the workforce is employed in some tourism-related work.

The manufacturing sector consists of mainly rum distilling. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. International business and financial services are a small but growing component of the economy. Most energy is also generated from imported oil, leading to electricity costs four to five times higher than the U.S. mainland.

Language

English is currently the dominant language and Spanish is spoken by about 17% of the population.

Currency

USD