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Coordinates: 18°30′N 64°30′W / 18.500°N 64.500°W / 18.500; -64.500

British Virgin Islands

Flag

Coat of arms

Motto: "Vigilate" (Latin) "Be Vigilant"

Anthem: " God
God
Save the Queen" Territorial song: "Oh, Beautiful Virgin Islands"

Location of  British Virgin Islands  (circled in red)

Status British Overseas Territory

Capital and largest city Road Town 18°25.883′N 64°37.383′W / 18.431383°N 64.623050°W / 18.431383; -64.623050

Official languages English

Ethnic groups

76.5% Black 7% White 5% Hispanic 5% Multiracial 2% East Indian 4.5% Othera

Demonym Virgin Islander

Government Parliamentary dependency under constitutional monarchy

• Monarch

Elizabeth II

• Governor

Augustus Jaspert

• Deputy Governor

V. Inez Archibald

• Premier

Orlando Smith

• Responsible Ministerb (UK)

Tariq Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon

Legislature House of Assembly

Established as a dependency of the United Kingdom

• Separate

1960

• Autonomy

1967

Area

• Total

153 km2 (59 sq mi)

• Water (%)

1.6

Population

• 2010 census

28,054[1] (212th)

• Density

260/km2 (673.4/sq mi) (68th)

GDP (PPP) estimate

• Total

$853.4 million[2]

• Per capita

$43,366

Currency United States dollar
United States dollar
(USD)

Time zone AST (UTC-4)

Drives on the left

Calling code +1-284

ISO 3166 code VG

Internet TLD .vg

Source for all ethnic groups including labels: 2010 Census of Population For the Overseas Territories.

The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
(BVI), officially simply "Virgin Islands",[3] are a British Overseas Territory
British Overseas Territory
in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands
Leeward Islands
of the Lesser Antilles. The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island, which is about 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands had a population of about 28,000 at the 2010 Census, of whom approximately 23,500 lived on Tortola.[1] For the islands, the latest United Nations estimate (2016) is 30,661.[4] British Virgin Islanders are British Overseas Territories
British Overseas Territories
citizens and since 2002 are British citizens as well. Although the territory is not part of the European Union
European Union
and not directly subject to EU law, British Virgin Islanders are deemed to be citizens of the EU by virtue of their British citizenship.[5] Parts of the islands were damaged in September 2017 by Hurricane Irma. The most severe destruction was on Tortola.[6]

Contents

1 Name 2 History 3 Geography 4 Climate 5 Politics

5.1 Subdivisions 5.2 Law and criminal justice 5.3 Military

6 Economy

6.1 Tourism 6.2 Financial services

6.2.1 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

6.3 Agriculture and industry 6.4 Currency 6.5 Workforce

6.5.1 CARICOM status & The CARICOM Single Market Economy

7 Hurricane Irma 8 Transport 9 Demographics 10 Education 11 Religion 12 Culture

12.1 Language 12.2 Music 12.3 Literature

13 Sport 14 See also 15 References 16 External links

Name[edit] The official name of the territory is still simply the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is often used. This is commonly believed to distinguish it from the neighbouring American territory which changed its name from the "Danish West Indies" to "Virgin Islands of the United States" in 1917. However, local historians have disputed this, pointing to a variety of publications and public records dating from between 21 February 1857 and 12 September 1919 where the Territory is referred to as the British Virgin Islands.[7] British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
government publications continue to begin with the name "The territory of the Virgin Islands", and the territory's passports simply refer to the "Virgin Islands", and all laws begin with the words "Virgin Islands". Moreover, the territory's Constitutional Commission has expressed the view that "every effort should be made" to encourage the use of the name "Virgin Islands".[8] But various public and quasi-public bodies continue to use the name "British Virgin Islands" or "BVI", including BVI Finance, BVI Electricity Corporation, BVI Tourist Board, BVI Athletic Association, BVI Bar Association
BVI Bar Association
and others. In 1968 the British Government
British Government
issued a memorandum requiring that the postage stamps in the territory should say "British Virgin Islands" (whereas previously they had simply stated "Virgin Islands"), a practice which is still followed today.[7] This was likely to prevent confusion following on from the adoption of US currency in the Territory in 1959, and the references to US currency on the stamps of the Territory. History[edit] Main article: History of the British Virgin Islands The Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
were first settled by the Arawak from South America around 100 BC (though there is some evidence of Amerindian
Amerindian
presence on the islands as far back as 1500 BC).[9] The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the 15th century when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles
Lesser Antilles
islands, after whom the Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea is named. The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
was by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas. Columbus gave them the fanciful name Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins), shortened to Las Vírgenes (The Virgins), after the legend of Saint Ursula. The Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
claimed the islands by discovery in the early 16th century, but never settled them, and subsequent years saw the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Danish all jostling for control of the region, which became a notorious haunt for pirates. There is no record of any native Amerindian
Amerindian
population in the British Virgin Islands during this period, although most of the native population on nearby Saint Croix was killed or dispersed. The Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola by 1648. In 1672, the English captured Tortola
Tortola
from the Dutch, and the English annexation of Anegada
Anegada
and Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
followed in 1680. Meanwhile, over the period 1672–1733, the Danish gained control of the nearby islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix.

The ruins of St. Phillip's Church, Tortola, one of the most important historical ruins in the territory.

The British islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were planted when economic conditions were particularly favourable. The British introduced sugar cane which was to become the main crop and source of foreign trade, and slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations. The islands prospered economically until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a combination of the abolition of slavery in the territory, a series of disastrous hurricanes, and the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe
Europe
and the United States[10] significantly reduced sugar cane production and led to a period of economic decline. In 1917, the United States
United States
purchased St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix from Denmark
Denmark
for US$25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
were administered variously as part of the British Leeward Islands
Leeward Islands
or with St. Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government
British Government
on the islands. The islands gained separate colony status in 1960 and became autonomous in 1967. Since the 1960s, the islands have diversified away from their traditionally agriculture-based economy towards tourism and financial services, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean. Geography[edit]

Map of British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
(Note: Anegada
Anegada
is farther away from the other islands than shown)

Main article: Geography of the British Virgin Islands The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
comprise around 60 tropical Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, Tortola
Tortola
20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide, to tiny uninhabited islets, altogether about 150 square kilometres (58 square miles) in extent. They are located in the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
archipelago, a few miles east of the US Virgin Islands. The North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
lies to the north of the islands, and the Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea lies to the south. Most of the islands are volcanic in origin and have a hilly, rugged terrain. Anegada
Anegada
is geologically distinct from the rest of the group and is a flat island composed of limestone and coral. In addition to the four main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, other islands include (see also Islands of the British Virgin Islands):

Beef Island
Beef Island
(connected to Tortola) Cooper Island Ginger Island Great Camanoe Great Thatch Guana Island
Guana Island
(owned by Henry Jarecki) Little Thatch (owned by Curt and Nancy Richardson) Mosquito Island
Mosquito Island
(owned by Sir Richard Branson) Necker Island (owned by Sir Richard Branson) Norman Island
Norman Island
(owned by Henry Jarecki) Peter Island
Peter Island
(owned by Van Andel family) Salt Island Prickly Pear Eustatia Saba
Saba
Rock Frenchman's Cay
Cay
(connected to Tortola) Nanny Cay
Cay
(connected to Tortola) Scrub Island Sandy Cay Green Cay Sandy Spit Little Jost Van Dyke Great Tobago Little Tobago Dog Islands
Dog Islands
a.k.a. "The Dogs"

Climate[edit] Main article: Climate of the British Virgin Islands The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
have a tropical rainforest climate, moderated by trade winds. Temperatures vary little throughout the year. In the capital, Road Town, typical daily maxima are around 32 °C (89.6 °F) in the summer and 29 °C (84.2 °F) in the winter. Typical daily minima are around 24 °C (75.2 °F) in the summer and 21 °C (69.8 °F) in the winter. Rainfall averages about 1,150 mm (45.3 in) per year, higher in the hills and lower on the coast. Rainfall can be quite variable, but the wettest months on average are September to November and the driest months on average are February and March.

Climate data for Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 33 (91) 32 (89) 32 (89) 35 (95) 34 (93) 35 (95) 35 (95) 36 (96) 35 (95) 33 (92) 33 (91) 31 (87) 36 (96)

Average high °C (°F) 26 (79) 27 (80) 28 (82) 29 (84) 29 (85) 30 (86) 31 (87) 31 (87) 30 (86) 29 (85) 28 (82) 27 (80) 28.8 (83.6)

Average low °C (°F) 20 (68) 19 (67) 20 (68) 21 (69) 22 (71) 23 (73) 23 (73) 23 (73) 23 (73) 22 (72) 22 (71) 21 (69) 21.6 (70.6)

Record low °C (°F) 17 (62) 16 (60) 16 (60) 17 (62) 18 (64) 18 (65) 19 (66) 19 (66) 16 (61) 18 (64) 17 (63) 16 (60) 16 (60)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 74.2 (2.92) 63.2 (2.49) 55.4 (2.18) 84.6 (3.33) 116.6 (4.59) 70.6 (2.78) 83.1 (3.27) 112 (4.4) 156 (6.14) 133.4 (5.25) 178.8 (7.04) 112 (4.4) 1,239.9 (48.79)

Source: Intellicast[11]

Hurricanes occasionally hit the islands, with the hurricane season running from June to November. Hurricane Danny (2015)
Hurricane Danny (2015)
was the most recent until 7 September 2017 when Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
caused extensive damage.[12] Politics[edit] Main article: Politics of the British Virgin Islands

Legislative Council building in Road Town. The High Court sits upstairs.

Map of the European Union
European Union
in the world with overseas countries and territories and outermost regions

The territory operates as a parliamentary democracy. Ultimate executive authority in British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is vested in the Queen, and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands. The governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British government. Defence and most foreign affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom. The most recent constitution was adopted in 2007 (the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007)[13][14] and came into force when the Legislative Council was dissolved for the 2007 general election. The head of government under the constitution is the Premier (before the new constitution the office was referred to as Chief Minister), who is elected in a general election along with the other members of the ruling government as well as the members of the opposition. Elections are held roughly every four years. A cabinet is nominated by the Premier and appointed and chaired by the Governor. The Legislature consists of the Queen (represented by the Governor) and a unicameral House of Assembly made up of 13 elected members plus the Speaker and the Attorney General. The current Governor is Augustus Jaspert
Augustus Jaspert
(since 22 August 2017). The current Premier is Orlando Smith
Orlando Smith
(since 9 November 2011), who is leader of the ruling National Democratic Party. Subdivisions[edit] Main articles: Elections in the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
and Districts of the British Virgin Islands The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is a unitary territory. The territory is divided into nine electoral districts, and each voter is registered in one of those districts. Eight of the nine districts are partly or wholly on Tortola, and encompass nearby neighbouring islands. Only the ninth district ( Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
and Anegada) does not include any part of Tortola. At elections, in addition to voting their local representative, voters also cast votes for four "at-large" candidates who are elected upon a territory-wide basis. The territory is also technically divided into five administrative districts (one for each of the four largest islands, and then a fifth for all other islands), and into six civil registry districts (three for Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
and Anegada) although these have little practical relevance today. Law and criminal justice[edit] Main article: Law of the British Virgin Islands Crime in the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is comparatively low by Caribbean standards (and indeed compared to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands).[15] Whilst statistics and hard data are relatively rare, and are not regularly published by governmental sources in the British Virgin Islands, the Premier did announce that in 2013 there has been a 14% decline in recorded crime as against 2012.[16] Homicides are rare,[17] with just one incident recorded in 2013. The British and US Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
sit at the axis of a major drugs transshipment point between Latin America and the continental United States. The American DEA regards the adjacent US territories of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the US Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
as a "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area".[18] A co-operation agreement exists between the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
and the US Coast Guard allowing American forces to pursue suspected drug traffickers through the territorial waters of the British Virgin Islands. In August 2011 a joint raid between the American DEA and the Royal Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Police Force arrested a number of British Virgin Islands residents who are accused of being involved in major drugs transshipments,[19] although their extradition to the United States has become bogged down in protracted legal wrangling.[20] Military[edit] Main article: Military of the British Virgin Islands Economy[edit]

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Main article: Economy of the British Virgin Islands As a tax haven with an opaque banking system,[21][22] the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
enjoys one of the more prosperous economies of the Caribbean
Caribbean
region, with a per capita average income of around $42,300 (2010 est.) [23] The average monthly income earned by a worker in the territory was US$2,452 as at the time of the 2010 Census.[1] 29% of the population fell into the "low income" category. Although it is common to hear criticism in the British Virgin Islands' press about income inequality, no serious attempt has been made by economists to calculate a Gini coefficient
Gini coefficient
or similar measure of income equality for the territory. A report from 2000 suggested that, despite the popular perception, income inequality was actually lower in the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
than in any other OECS state,[24] although in global terms income equality is higher in the Caribbean than in many other regions. The "twin pillars" of the economy are tourism and financial services. Politically, tourism is the more important of the two, as it employs a greater number of people within the territory, and a larger proportion of the businesses in the tourist industry are locally owned, as are a number of the highly tourism-dependent sole traders (for example, taxi drivers and street vendors). Economically however, financial services associated with the territory's status as an offshore financial centre are by far the more important. 51.8% of the Government's revenue comes directly from licence fees for offshore companies, and considerable further sums are raised directly or indirectly from payroll taxes relating to salaries paid within the trust industry sector (which tend to be higher on average than those paid in the tourism sector). Tourism[edit]

The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Tourism accounts for approximately 45% of national income. The islands are a popular destination for US citizens. In 2006 a total of 825,603 people visited the islands, of whom 443,987 were cruise ship passengers. Tourists frequent the numerous white sand beaches, visit The Baths
The Baths
on Virgin Gorda, snorkel the coral reefs near Anegada, or experience the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke. The BVI are known as one of the world's greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats are a very popular way to visit less accessible islands. Every year since 1972 the BVI has hosted the Spring Regatta, which is a seven-day collection of sailing races throughout the islands. A substantial number of the tourists who visit the BVI are cruise ship passengers, and although they produce far lower revenue per head than charter boat tourists and hotel based tourists, they are nonetheless important to the substantial - and politically important - taxi driving community. Only Virgin Islanders are permitted to work as taxi drivers. Financial services[edit] Financial services account for over half of the income of the territory. The majority of this revenue is generated by the licensing of offshore companies and related services. The British Virgin Islands is a significant global player in the offshore financial services industry. In 2000 KPMG
KPMG
reported in its survey of offshore jurisdictions for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
government that over 45% of the world's offshore companies were formed in the British Virgin Islands.[25] Since 2001, financial services in the British Virgin Islands have been regulated by the independent Financial Services Commission. At the end of 2012 the banking sector of the British Virgin Islands comprised six commercial banks[26] and one restricted bank, 12 authorised custodians, two licensed money services businesses and one licensed financing service provider.[27] As such the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is frequently labelled as a "tax haven" by campaigners and NGOs,[28] and has been expressly named in anti-tax haven legislation in other countries on various occasions.[29] Successive governments in the British Virgin Islands have fought against the tax haven label, and made various commitments to tax exchange and recording beneficial ownership information of companies following the 2013 G8 summit. On 10 September 2013 British Prime Minister David Cameron
David Cameron
said "I do not think it is fair any longer to refer to any of the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies as tax havens. They have taken action to make sure that they have fair and open tax systems. It is very important that our focus should now shift to those territories and countries that really are tax havens."[30] In the April 2016 Panama Papers
Panama Papers
leak, the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
was the most commonly used tax haven by clients of Mossack Fonseca.[31] Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act[edit] On June 30, 2014, The British Virgin Islands[32] was deemed to have an Inter- Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the United States
United States
of America with respect to the "Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act" of the United States of America. The Model 1 Agreement (14 Pages)[33] recognizes that: The Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
provided a copy of the Letter of Entrustment which was sent to the Government of the British Virgin Islands, to the Government of the United States
United States
of America "via diplomatic note of May 28, 2014". The Letter of Entrustment dated July 14, 2010 was originally provided to the Government of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
and authorized the Govt of the BVI "to negotiate and conclude Agreements relating to taxation that provide for exchange of information on tax matters to the OECD standard" (Paragraph 2 of the FATCA Agreement). Via an "Entrustment Letter" dated March 24, 2014, The Govt of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, authorized the Govt of the BVI to sign an agreement on information exchange to facilitate the Implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.[34] On March 27, 2017, the US Treasury site disclosed that the Model 1 agreement and related agreement were "In Force" on July 13, 2015. Agriculture and industry[edit] Agriculture and industry account for only a small proportion of the islands' GDP. Agricultural produce includes fruit, vegetables, sugar cane, livestock and poultry, and industries include rum distillation, construction and boat building. Currency[edit] The official currency of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
has been the United States dollar
United States dollar
(US$) since 1959, the currency also used by the United States
United States
Virgin Islands. Workforce[edit] The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is heavily dependent on migrant workers, and over 50% of all workers on the islands are of a foreign descent. Only 37% of the entire population were born in the territory.[1] The national labour-force is estimated at 12,770, of whom approximately 59.4% work in the service sector but less than 0.6% are estimated to work in agriculture (the balance in industry).[35] CARICOM status & The CARICOM Single Market Economy[edit] According to the membership section of the CARICOM Community site, as of July 2, 1991,[36] The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
holds Associate Member[37] status in CARICOM. In recognition of the CARICOM (Free Movement) Skilled Persons Act which came into effect in July 1997 in some of the CARICOM countries such as Jamaica
Jamaica
and which has been adopted in other CARICOM countries,[38] such as Trinidad and Tobago,[39][40] it is possible that CARICOM nationals who hold the "A Certificate of Recognition of Caribbean
Caribbean
Community Skilled Person" may be allowed to work in the BVI under normal working conditions. Hurricane Irma[edit] The islands were struck by Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
on 6 September 2017, causing extensive damage,[41] as well as four deaths in the BVI.[42] A state of emergency was declared by the Caribbean
Caribbean
Disaster Emergency Management Agency.[43][44] The most significant damage was on Tortola.[45] The UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
visited Tortola on 13 September 2017 and said that he was reminded of photos of Hiroshima after it had been hit by the atom bomb.[46] By 8 September, the UK government
UK government
sent troops with medical supplies and other aid.[47] More troops were expected to arrive a day or two later, but the ship HMS Ocean, carrying more extensive assistance, was not expected to reach the islands for another two weeks, however.[48] Entrepreneur Richard Branson, a resident of Necker Island (British Virgin Islands), called on the UK government
UK government
to develop a massive disaster recovery plan for British islands that were damaged. That should include "both through short-term aid and long-term infrastructure spending", he said.[49] Premier Orlando Smith
Orlando Smith
also called for a comprehensive aid package to rebuild the BVI. On 10 September, PM Theresa May pledged £32 million to the Caribbean
Caribbean
for a Hurricane relief fund; the UK government
UK government
would also match donations made by the public via the British Red Cross appeal.[50] Specifics were not provided to the news media as to the amount that would be allocated to the Virgin Islands.[43][51] Boris Johnson's visit to Tortola
Tortola
on 13 September 2017 during his Caribbean
Caribbean
tour was intended to confirm the UK's commitment to helping restore British islands but he provided no additional comments on the aid package.[52][53] He did confirm that HMS Ocean (L12)
HMS Ocean (L12)
was on the way to the BVI items like timber, buckets, bottled water, food, baby milk, bedding and clothing, as well as ten pickup trucks, building materials and hardware.[54] Transport[edit] Main article: Transport in the British Virgin Islands There are 113 kilometres (70 mi) of roads. The main airport, Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, also known as Beef Island Airport, is located on Beef Island, which lies off the eastern tip of Tortola
Tortola
and is accessible by the Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
Bridge. Cape Air, LIAT
LIAT
and Air Sunshine
Air Sunshine
are amongst the airlines offering scheduled service. Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
and Anegada
Anegada
have their own smaller airports. Private air charter services operated by Island Birds Air Charter fly directly to all three islands from any major airport in the Caribbean. Helicopters are used to get to islands with no runway facilities; Antilles Helicopter Services is the only helicopter service based in the country. The main harbour is in Road Town. There are also ferries that operate within the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
and to the neighbouring United States
United States
Virgin Islands. As in the UK and in the United States Virgin Islands, cars in the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
drive on the left, however they differ in that nearly all cars are left hand drive,[55] being imported from the United States. The roads are often quite steep, narrow and winding, and ruts can be a problem when it rains. Cyril E. King Airport
Cyril E. King Airport
in the US Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
has flights to a wider range of destinations, so is also used for travelling to the British Virgin Islands. Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of the British Virgin Islands As of the 2010 Census, the population of the territory was 28,054.[1] At the time of the 2003 census the population was around 21,730. The majority of the population (83%) are Afro-Caribbean, descended from slaves brought to the islands by the British. Other large ethnic groups include those of British and other European origin. The 2004 Census reports:

83.4% African 7% European/Caucasian 9.6% Others*

* Includes Indian, Carib/Amerindian, Black/Carib mixed, and mixed-race Hispanic The 2010 Census reports the main places of origin of residents as follows:[1]

37% local born (many locals go to St. Thomas or the United States
United States
for maternity services) 7.2% Guyana 7.0% St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6.0% Jamaica 5.5% United States 5.4% Dominican Republic 5.3% United States
United States
Virgin Islands

* Includes Indian, Carib/Amerindian, Black/Carib mixed, and mixed-race Hispanic. About 4% of the population is of Hispanic origin, irrespective of race, primarily from Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the Dominican Republic. The territory has also been recently relieving immigrants from many islands in Lesser Antilles. The islands are heavily dependent upon migrant labour. In 2004, migrant workers accounted for 50% of the total population. 32% of workers employed in the British Virgin Islands work for the government. Unusually, the territory has one of the highest drowning mortality rates in the world being higher than other high risk countries such as China and India.[56] 20% of deaths in the British Virgin Islands during 2012 were recorded as drownings,[57][58] all of them being tourists. Despite this, the territory's most popular beach still has no lifeguard presence.[57][59] Education[edit] Main article: Education in the British Virgin Islands The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
operates several government schools as well as private schools. There is also a community college, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, that is located on the eastern end of Tortola. This college was named after Lavity Stoutt, the first Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands.[60] It is extremely common for students from the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
to travel overseas for tertiary education, either to the University of the West Indies, or to colleges and universities in either the United Kingdom, United States, or Canada. The literacy rate in the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is high at 98%.[35] Religion[edit] Over 90% of the population who indicated a religious affiliation at the 2010 Census were Christian[61] with the largest individual Christian denominations being Methodist
Methodist
(17.6%),[61] Anglican
Anglican
(12%), Church of God
God
(11%) and Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
(9%).[62] The Constitution of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
commences with a professed national belief in God.[63] Hindus
Hindus
and Muslims constitute each approximately 1.2% of the population according to Word Religion Database 2005.[64]

Religion in % of population National Census 2001[62]

2001 1991

Methodist 22.7 32.9

Anglican 11.6 16.7

Church of God 11.4 9.2

Roman Catholic 9.5 10.5

Pentecostal 9.1 4.1

Seventh Day Adventist 8.4 6.3

Baptist 8.2 4.7

None 6.4 3.6

Other 3.4 4.4

Not stated 2.7 1.1

Jehovah's Witnesses 2.2 2.1

Hindu 2.0 2.2

Muslim 0.9 0.6

Evangelical 0.5 –

Moravian 0.5 0.6

Rastafarian 0.4 0.2

Presbyterian 0.4 0.7

Bahai 0.03 0.00

Brethren 0.03 0.04

Salvation Army 0.03 0.04

Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of the Virgin Islands Language[edit] Main article: Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Creole The primary language is English, although there is a local dialect. Spanish is spoken by Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Spanish-speaking immigrants. Music[edit] Main article: Music of the Virgin Islands The traditional music of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
is called fungi after the local cornmeal dish with the same name, often made with okra. The special sound of fungi is due to a unique local fusion between African and European music. It functions as a medium of local history and folklore and is therefore a cherished cultural form of expression that is part of the curriculum in BVI schools. The fungi bands, also called "scratch bands", use instruments ranging from calabash, washboard, bongos and ukulele, to more traditional western instruments like keyboard, banjo, guitar, bass, triangle and saxophone. Apart from being a form of festive dance music, fungi often contains humorous social commentaries, as well as BVI oral history.[65] Literature[edit] Among the noted names in Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
literature are Alphaeus Osario Norman (1885-1942), Verna Penn Moll, Jennie Wheatley, and Patricia G. Turnbull. Their poetry and that of 22 other writers, including the fastly emerging poet and literary critic Richard Georges, can be found in Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in The Virgin Islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke), an anthology edited by Lasana M. Sekou
Lasana M. Sekou
in 2016.[66] Sport[edit] See also: Cricket in the West Indies Because of its location and climate the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
has long been a haven for sailing enthusiasts. Sailing is regarded as one of the foremost sports in all of the BVI. Calm waters and steady breezes provide some of the best sailing conditions in the Caribbean.[67] Many sailing events are held in the waters of this country, the largest of which is a week-long series of races called the Spring Regatta, the premier sailing event of the Caribbean, with several races hosted each day. Boats include everything from full-size mono-hull yachts to dinghies. Captains and their crews come from all around the world to attend these races. The Spring Regatta is part race, part party, part festival. There are races, games, and music during the day, and some partying at night. The Spring Regatta is normally held during the first week of April.[68] Since 2009, the BVI have made a name for themselves as a host of international basketball events. The BVI hosted three of the last four events of the Caribbean
Caribbean
Basketball Championship (FIBA CBC Championship). See also[edit]

Outline of the British Virgin Islands List of British Virgin Islanders

British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
portal Caribbean
Caribbean
portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom
portal

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f The BVI Beacon
BVI Beacon
"Portrait of a population: 2010 Census published" p. 4, 20 November 2014 ^ "The World Factbook". cia.gov.  ^ According to the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Constitution Order, 2007, the territory's official name is simply 'Virgin Islands'. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ Although under Council Regulation No. 1932/2006 BOTCs "without the right of abode in the UK" were classified as non-EU nationals, the conferment of British citizenship in 2002 means most BOTCs acquired the right of abode in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
along with British citizenship and hence are not considered by the EU as third-country nationals. ^ "Survivors on Tortola
Tortola
recall storm horror". BBC News. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.  ^ a b Moll, Peter (15 December 2016). "Victorian news mined for VI history". BVI Beacon.  ^ "About the Territory". Government of the Virgin Islands. Retrieved 31 March 2015.  ^ Wilson, Samuel M. ed. The Indigenous People of the Caribbean. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997. ISBN 0-8130-1692-4 ^ In the United Kingdom, a major market for sugar from the Territory, the Sugar Duties Act 1846
Sugar Duties Act 1846
also created a considerable downward effect on the price of Caribbean
Caribbean
sugar cane. ^ " Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
historic weather averages in British Virgin Islands". Intellicast. Retrieved 4 July 2012.  ^ " Richard Branson
Richard Branson
'devastated' about Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
destruction". 7 September 2017.  ^ "Explanatory Memorandum to the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Constitution Order 2007" (PDF).  ^ "The Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Constitution Order 2007".  ^ "Which Caribbean
Caribbean
Islands are the Safest, Most Dangerous?". About.com. Retrieved 18 November 2013.  ^ "Crimes down by 14% – Premier". BVI News. 13 January 2014.  ^ "How safe is the Caribbean? An Island by Island Look". International Business Times. 22 December 2011.  ^ "US sees shift in cocaine trafficking". BVI Beacon. 9 February 2012.  ^ US Justice Department (25 August 2011). "Thirteen Indicted for Airdropping Multi-Hundred Kilogram Quantities of Cocaine in the Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea and for Money Laundering Offenses". Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.  ^ "Three Years On & Extradition Proceedings Still Unsettled". BVI Platinum. 8 September 2014.  ^ Fox, Ben (2009-05-09). "Islands resent crackdown of the tax havens by G-20". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2016-04-02.  ^ McKenzie, Nick; Baker, Richard (2013-11-18). "Leighton Holdings linked to 'corrupt' fees for Iraq pipeline contracts". The Australian. Retrieved 2016-04-02. (subscription required) ^ CIA. Economy: British Virgin Islands. The World Factbook, CIA publications, 19 December. 2006. Retrieved 25 December. 2006. ^ Dennis C. Canterbury. European Bloc Imperialism. ISBN 9004184953.  ^ Review of Financial Regulation in the Crown Dependencies (Cmnd Paper 4855 of 2000). HMSO. Part III, paragraph 1.3. ISBN 0 10 148554 9. Retrieved 19 September 2014.  ^ "List of Banks in British Virgin Islands". thebanks.eu.  ^ "Annual Report 2012 (Final)". bvifsc.vg.  ^ Leigh, David; Frayman, Harold; Ball, James (25 November 2012). "Offshore secrets: British Virgin Islands, land of sand, sea and secrecy". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2015.  ^ See for example the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act ^ International Adviser (12 September 2013). "Jersey, Guernsey, IoM revel in Cameron's 'not tax havens' comments".  BBC News
BBC News
(10 September 2013). "David Cameron: Crown dependency tax haven banner 'not fair'".  ^ Karmanau, Yuras (April 4, 2016). "Ukrainian president under fire over Panama
Panama
Papers". Associated Press. Retrieved April 4, 2016.  ^ "Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)". www.treasury.gov.  ^ https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Documents/FATCA-Agreement-BVI-6-30-2014.pdf ^ https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Documents/FATCA-Agreement-BVI-6-30-2014.pdf. ^ a b The Times. "British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
– workforce". Retrieved 2012-03-19.  ^ Secretariat, CARICOM. "Country Profile for British Virgin Islands — Caribbean
Caribbean
Community (CARICOM) Secretariat". caricom.org.  ^ Secretariat, CARICOM. " Caribbean
Caribbean
Community (CARICOM) —Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat". caricom.org.  ^ ": Caribbean
Caribbean
Single Market Economy (CSME) :.:: Ministry of Labour and Social Security ::.:". www.mlss.gov.jm.  ^ Security, Immigration Division Ministry of National. "CSME". immigration.gov.tt.  ^ http://www.caribbeanjobs.com/careers/page/How-to-Apply-for-a-CARICOM-Skills-Certificate.aspx ^ " Richard Branson
Richard Branson
'devastated' about Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
destruction". 7 September 2017.  ^ CNN, Eliza Mackintosh and Donie O'Sullivan,. "Don't forget about us: Irma's desperate Caribbean
Caribbean
survivors".  ^ a b "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.  ^ Bosotti, Aurora (8 September 2017). " Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
damage UPDATE: British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Destroyed by deadly storm". Daily Express.  ^ "Paradise lost: Tortola
Tortola
seeks UK aid after Irma".  ^ " Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
reminded of Hiroshima on visit to Irma-hit Tortola".  ^ (now), Naaman Zhou; Yuhas, Alan; Weaver, Matthew; Farrer, Martin; (earlier), and Martin Pengelly; Pilkington, Ed (12 September 2017). " Caribbean
Caribbean
in chaos as Irma brings floods to Florida Keys – as it happened" – via www.theguardian.com.  ^ Farmer, Ben; Swinford, Steven (8 September 2017). "British response to Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
'found wanting', senior MPs say, as Royal Navy arrives in Caribbean" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.  ^ (now), Naaman Zhou; Yuhas, Alan; Weaver, Matthew; Farrer, Martin; (earlier), and Martin Pengelly (12 September 2017). " Caribbean
Caribbean
in chaos as Irma brings floods to Florida Keys – as it happened" – via www.theguardian.com.  ^ CNN, Hilary Clarke and Samantha Beech,. "European leaders step up Irma relief effort in Caribbean".  ^ Siddique, Haroon; Pengelly, Martin (11 September 2017). "What we know so far as Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma
lashes Florida" – via www.theguardian.com.  ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hurricane-irma-foreign-secretarys-visit-to-the-uk-overseas-territories-in-the-Caribbean ^ "French, British officials view Irma's damage, vow island aid". 14 September 2017.  ^ Stinson, Nicole (14 September 2017). "Hurricane Irma: British marines hunt Caribbean
Caribbean
prison inmates after storm jailbreak".  ^ "British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
(British Overseas Territory) travel advice - GOV.UK". fco.gov.uk.  ^ "Drowning", publication World Health Organization ^ a b The BVI Beacon, Thursday, August 15, 2013 article entitled "Report: Passports up, marriages down last year". ^ Annual Report of the Civil Registry and Passport Office for 2012 which includes "For the 20 percent that represented drowning, all were tourists who died from snorkelling or diving in the VI waters in and around caves at Norman Island, as well as near Virgin Gorda...The Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
should, therefore put safety measures in place such as the dissemination of information to hotels, dive shops and marinas." The same report confirms that the deaths of 86 persons were recorded in the Territory during 2012. ^ "No lifeguards at Cane Garden Bay & Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
beaches". virginislandsnewsonline.com.  ^ British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Schools Archived 23 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine., BVI Government website ^ a b The BVI Beacon
BVI Beacon
"Portrait of a population: 2010 Census published" pg. 6, 20 November 2014 ^ a b "National Population Census Report 2001 – The British Virgin Islands" (PDF). Caribbean
Caribbean
Community Secretariat. 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-07.  ^ The second paragraphs of the recitals (appearing between Article 1 and Article 2) contains the words: "[T]he society of the Virgin Islands is based upon certain moral, spiritual and democratic values including a belief in God." ^ cited in "Mapping the Global Muslim
Muslim
Population" (PDF). Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-07.  ^ Penn, Dexter J.A. Music of the British Virgin Islands: Fungi Archived 26 May 2012 at Archive.is. Retrieved 13 January 2008. ^ "BVI Book Of Poetry Set For Year End Reveal".  ^ "The Best Sailing". Retrieved 2011-12-16.  ^ "Yacht Races". vacationtortola.com. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutBritish Virgin Islandsat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Learning resources from Wikiversity

Directories

British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
from UCB Libraries GovPubs British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Guide from The Moorings

NGO sources

"Non-Self-Governing Territories listed by General Assembly in 2002". United Nations Special
Special
Committee of 24 on Decolonization. Retrieved 10 March 2005. 

Official sites and overviews

The Government of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
(official government site) The Government of the BVI, London Office — Official government site HM Governor's Office in the British Virgin Islands Old Government House Museum, British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Tourist Board The British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Ports Authority — Official site National Parks Trust of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
— Official site British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Financial Services Commission — Official site "British Virgin Islands". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 

Wikimedia content

Wikimedia Atlas of British Virgin Islands

Articles related to the British Virgin Islands

 Geographic locale

Lat. and Long. 18°25′53″N 64°37′23″W / 18.43139°N 64.62306°W / 18.43139; -64.62306 (Road Town)

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Sovereign states

Entire

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Antigua
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United States

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Venezuela

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Caribbean
Caribbean
Community (CARICOM)

Secretariat (Secretary-General)

Members

Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda Bahamas1 Barbados Belize Dominica Grenada Guyana Haiti1 Jamaica Montserrat2 St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago

Associate members

Anguilla Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Turks and Caicos Islands

Observers

Aruba Colombia Curaçao Dominican Republic Mexico Puerto Rico Sint Maarten Venezuela

Institutions

Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) Court of Justice (CCJ) Disaster Emergency Management (CDEMA) Examinations Council (CXC) Meteorological Institute (CMI) Meteorological Organisation (CMO) Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Single Market and Economy (CSME)

Related organizations

CARIFORUM Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
Caribbean
States (OECS)

1 Member of the Community but not of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) 2 British overseas territory awaiting entrustment to join the CSME

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Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
Caribbean
States (OECS)

Members

Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda Dominica Grenada Montserrat St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Associate members

Anguilla British Virgin Islands Martinique

Financial institutions

East Caribbean
Caribbean
dollar Eastern Caribbean
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Securities Exchange

Other institutions

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Caribbean
Supreme Court

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Constituent countries

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Overseas territories

Akrotiri and Dhekelia1 Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic Territory2 British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Islands Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands

Crown dependencies

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Isle of Man Jersey

Former colonies

List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom

1 Sovereign Base Areas.   2 Partial suspension of sovereignty due to the Antarctic Treaty.

v t e

Dependencies of European Union
European Union
states

Denmark

Faroe Islands Greenland

France

Clipperton Island French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Adélie Land Île Amsterdam Crozet Islands Îles Éparses Kerguelen Islands Île Saint-Paul

New Caledonia Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis and Futuna

Netherlands

Aruba Caribbean
Caribbean
Netherlands Curaçao Sint Maarten

United Kingdom

Crown dependencies

Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey

Sovereign Base Areas

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Overseas territories

Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic Territory British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Islands Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands

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Outlying territories of European countries

Territories under European sovereignty but closer to or on continents other than Europe
Europe
(see inclusion criteria for further information).

Denmark

Greenland

France

Clipperton Island French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Adélie Land Crozet Islands Île Amsterdam Île Saint-Paul Kerguelen Islands Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean

Guadeloupe Martinique Mayotte New Caledonia Réunion Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis and Futuna

Italy

Pantelleria Pelagie Islands

Lampedusa Lampione Linosa

Netherlands

Aruba Caribbean
Caribbean
Netherlands

Bonaire Saba Sint Eustatius

Curaçao Sint Maarten

Norway

Bouvet Island Peter I Island Queen Maud Land

Portugal

Azores Madeira

Spain

Canary Islands Ceuta Melilla Plazas de soberanía

Chafarinas Islands Alhucemas Islands Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

United Kingdom

Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic Territory British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Islands Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands

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British Empire

Legend Current territory Former territory * Now a Commonwealth realm Now a member of the Commonwealth of Nations Historical flags of the British Empire

Europe

1542–1800 Ireland (integrated into UK) 1708–1757, 1763–1782 and 1798–1802 Minorca Since 1713 Gibraltar 1800–1813 Malta
Malta
(Protectorate) 1813–1964 Malta
Malta
(Colony) 1807–1890 Heligoland 1809–1864 Ionian Islands 1878–1960 Cyprus 1921–1937 Irish Free State

North America

17th century and before 18th century 19th and 20th century

1579 New Albion 1583–1907 Newfoundland 1605–1979 *Saint Lucia 1607–1776 Virginia Since 1619 Bermuda 1620–1691 Plymouth 1623–1883 Saint Kitts 1624–1966 *Barbados 1625–1650 Saint Croix 1627–1979 *Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1628–1883 Nevis 1629–1691 Massachusetts Bay 1632–1776 Maryland since 1632 Montserrat 1632–1860 Antigua 1635–1644 Saybrook 1636–1776 Connecticut 1636–1776 Rhode Island 1637–1662 New Haven

1643–1860 Bay Islands Since 1650 Anguilla 1655–1850 Mosquito Coast 1655–1962 *Jamaica 1663–1712 Carolina 1664–1776 New York 1665–1674 and 1702–1776 New Jersey Since 1666 Virgin Islands Since 1670 Cayman Islands 1670–1973 *Bahamas 1670–1870 Rupert's Land 1671–1816 Leeward Islands 1674–1702 East Jersey 1674–1702 West Jersey 1680–1776 New Hampshire 1681–1776 Pennsylvania 1686–1689 New England 1691–1776 Massachusetts Bay

1701–1776 Delaware 1712–1776 North Carolina 1712–1776 South Carolina 1713–1867 Nova Scotia 1733–1776 Georgia 1754–1820 Cape Breton Island 1762–1974 *Grenada 1763–1978 Dominica 1763–1873 Prince Edward Island 1763–1791 Quebec 1763–1783 East Florida 1763–1783 West Florida 1784–1867 New Brunswick 1791–1841 Lower Canada 1791–1841 Upper Canada Since 1799 Turks and Caicos Islands

1818–1846 Columbia District/Oregon Country1 1833–1960 Windward Islands 1833–1960 Leeward Islands 1841–1867 Canada 1849–1866 Vancouver Island 1853–1863 Queen Charlotte Islands 1858–1866 British Columbia 1859–1870 North-Western Territory 1860–1981 *British Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda 1862–1863 Stickeen 1866–1871 British Columbia 1867–1931 * Dominion
Dominion
of Canada2 1871–1964 Honduras 1882–1983 * Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis 1889–1962 Trinidad and Tobago 1907–1949 Newfoundland3 1958–1962 West Indies Federation

1. Occupied jointly with the United States. 2. In 1931, Canada
Canada
and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. See Name of Canada. 3. Gave up self-rule in 1934, but remained a de jure Dominion until it joined Canada
Canada
in 1949.

South America

1631–1641 Providence Island 1651–1667 Willoughbyland 1670–1688 Saint Andrew and Providence Islands4 1831–1966 Guiana Since 1833 Falkland Islands5 Since 1908 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands5

4. Now a department of Colombia. 5. Occupied by Argentina during the Falklands War
Falklands War
of April–June 1982.

Africa

17th and 18th centuries 19th century 20th century

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 1792–1961 Sierra Leone 1795–1803 Cape Colony

Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 1806–1910 Cape of Good Hope 1807–1808 Madeira 1810–1968 Mauritius 1816–1965 The Gambia 1856–1910 Natal 1862–1906 Lagos 1868–1966 Basutoland 1874–1957 Gold Coast 1882–1922 Egypt

1884–1900 Niger Coast 1884–1966 Bechuanaland 1884–1960 Somaliland 1887–1897 Zululand 1890–1962 Uganda 1890–1963 Zanzibar 1891–1964 Nyasaland 1891–1907 Central Africa 1893–1968 Swaziland 1895–1920 East Africa 1899–1956 Sudan

1900–1914 Northern Nigeria 1900–1914 Southern Nigeria 1900–1910 Orange River 1900–1910 Transvaal 1903–1976 Seychelles 1910–1931 South Africa 1914–1960 Nigeria 1915–1931 South-West Africa 1919–1961 Cameroons6 1920–1963 Kenya 1922–1961 Tanganyika6 1923–1965 and 1979–1980 Southern Rhodesia7 1924–1964 Northern Rhodesia

6. League of Nations mandate. 7. Self-governing Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
unilaterally declared independence in 1965 (as Rhodesia) and continued as an unrecognised state until the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. After recognised independence in 1980, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
was a member of the Commonwealth until it withdrew in 2003.

Asia

17th and 18th century 19th century 20th century

1685–1824 Bencoolen 1702–1705 Pulo Condore 1757–1947 Bengal 1762–1764 Manila and Cavite 1781–1784 and 1795–1819 Padang 1786–1946 Penang 1795–1948 Ceylon 1796–1965 Maldives

1811–1816 Java 1812–1824 Banka and Billiton 1819–1826 Malaya 1824–1948 Burma 1826–1946 Straits Settlements 1839–1967 Aden 1839–1842 Afghanistan 1841–1997 Hong Kong 1841–1946 Sarawak 1848–1946 Labuan 1858–1947 India 1874–1963 Borneo

1879–1919 Afghanistan (protectorate) 1882–1963 North Borneo 1885–1946 Unfederated Malay States 1888–1984 Brunei 1891–1971 Muscat and Oman 1892–1971 Trucial States 1895–1946 Federated Malay States 1898–1930 Weihai 1878–1960 Cyprus

1907–1949 Bhutan (protectorate) 1918–1961 Kuwait 1920–1932 Mesopotamia8 1921–1946 Transjordan8 1923–1948 Palestine8 1945–1946 South Vietnam 1946–1963 North Borneo 1946–1963 Sarawak 1946–1963 Singapore 1946–1948 Malayan Union 1948–1957 Federation of Malaya Since 1960 Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(before as part of Cyprus) Since 1965 British Indian Ocean Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
(before as part of Mauritius and the Seychelles)

8 League of Nations mandate. Iraq's mandate was not enacted and replaced by the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty

Oceania

18th and 19th centuries 20th century

1788–1901 New South Wales 1803–1901 Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania 1807–1863 Auckland Islands9 1824–1980 New Hebrides 1824–1901 Queensland 1829–1901 Swan River/Western Australia 1836–1901 South Australia since 1838 Pitcairn Islands

1841–1907 New Zealand 1851–1901 Victoria 1874–1970 Fiji10 1877–1976 Western Pacific Territories 1884–1949 Papua 1888–1901 Rarotonga/Cook Islands9 1889–1948 Union Islands9 1892–1979 Gilbert and Ellice Islands11 1893–1978 Solomon Islands12

1900–1970 Tonga 1900–1974 Niue9 1901–1942 *Australia 1907–1947 *New Zealand 1919–1942 and 1945–1968 Nauru 1919–1949 New Guinea 1949–1975 Papua and New Guinea13

9. Now part of the *Realm of New Zealand. 10. Suspended member. 11. Now Kiribati
Kiribati
and *Tuvalu. 12. Now the *Solomon Islands. 13. Now *Papua New Guinea.

Antarctica and South Atlantic

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 Since 1908 British Antarctic Territory15 1841–1933 Australian Antarctic Territory
Australian Antarctic Territory
(transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia) 1841–1947 Ross Dependency
Ross Dependency
(transferred to the Realm of New Zealand)

14. Since 2009 part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Ascension Island
Ascension Island
(1922–) and Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha
(1938–) were previously dependencies of Saint Helena. 15. Both claimed in 1908; territories formed in 1962 (British Antarctic Territory) and 1985 (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

v t e

Dialects and accents of Modern English by continent

Europe

United Kingdom

Received Pronunciation

England

Varieties by common name

Barrovian Black Country Brummie Bristolian Cheshire Cockney

"Mockney"

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West Midlands Yorkshire

Varieties by geographic location

East of England

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East Midlands North

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Barrow

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South

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Sussex

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Wales

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Ireland

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D4

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Channel Islands

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Elsewhere

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North and South America

United States

Varieties by common name

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Varieties by geographic location

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North South

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West

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Western Pennsylvania

Canada

Aboriginal Atlantic

Cape Breton Newfoundland Lunenburg

Standard

Ottawa Valley Pacific Northwest Quebec

Caribbean

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Elsewhere

Bermuda Falkland Islands Guyana

Oceania

Australia

Aboriginal Broad; Strine General South Australian Torres Strait West Australian

Elsewhere

Fiji New Zealand Palau Solomon Islands

Other continents

Africa

Cameroon Ghana Kenya Liberia Malawi Namibia Nigeria Sierra Leone South Africa

White

Cultivated General Broad Cape Flats

Black Indian

Uganda

Asia

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v t e

English-speaking world

Click on a coloured area to see an article about English in that country or region

Further links

Articles

English-speaking world History of the English language British Empire English in the Commonwealth of Nations Anglosphere

Lists

List of countries by English-speaking population List of countries where English is an official language

 

Countries and territories where English is the national language or the native language of the majority

Africa

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Americas

Anguilla Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados Belize Bermuda British Virgin Islands Canada Cayman Islands Dominica Falkland Islands Grenada Guyana Jamaica Montserrat Saba Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Trinidad and Tobago Turks and Caicos Islands United States United States
United States
Virgin Islands

Europe

Guernsey Ireland Isle of Man Jersey United Kingdom

Oceania

Australia New Zealand Norfolk Island Pitcairn Islands

 

Countries and territories where English is an official language, but not the majority first language

Africa

Botswana Cameroon The Gambia Ghana Kenya Lesotho Liberia Malawi Mauritius Namibia Nigeria Rwanda Sierra Leone Somaliland South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

Americas

Puerto Rico

Asia

Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Hong Kong Special
Special
Administrative Region India Pakistan Philippines Singapore

Europe

Gibraltar Malta

Oceania

American Samoa Cook Islands Fiji Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia Nauru Niue Northern Mariana Islands Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tokelau Tuvalu Vanuatu

Dependencies shown in italics.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 124830

.