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Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, located in the
Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of
the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting
the U.S. Virgin Islands. Technically the name of the Territory is
simply the "Virgin Islands", but in practice since 1917
they have been almost universally referred to as the "British
Virgin Islands" to distinguish the islands from the American
Territory. To add to the regional confusion, the Puerto Rican islands
of Culebra, Vieques and surrounding islands began referring to themselves
as the "Spanish Virgin Islands" as part of a tourism drive
in the early 2000s.
The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola,
Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other
smaller islands and cays. Approximately fifteen of the islands are
inhabited. The largest island, Tortola, is approximately 20 km (approx.
12 mi) long and 5 km (approx. 3 mi) wide. The islands have a total
population of about 22,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on
Tortola. Road Town, the capital, is situated on Tortola.
The British Virgin Islands comprise around sixty semi-tropical
Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, Tortola 20
km (approx. 12 mi) long and 5 km (approx. 3 mi) wide, to tiny uninhabited
islets. They are located in the Virgin Islands archipelago, a few
miles east of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The North Atlantic Ocean
lies to the north of the islands, and the Caribbean Sea lies to
the south. Most of the islands are volcanic in origin and have a
hilly, rugged terrain. Anegada is geologically distinct from the
rest of the group and is a flat island composed of limestone and
In addition to the four main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda,
Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, other islands include:
The British Virgin Islands enjoy a tropical
climate, moderated by trade winds. Temperatures vary little throughout
the year. In the capital, Road Town, typical daily maxima are around
32 °C (90 °F) in the summer and 29 °C (84 °F) in the
winter. Typical daily minima are around 24 °C (75 °F) in the
summer and 21 °C (70 °F) in the winter. Rainfall averages
about 1150 mm (45 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. Hurricanes occasionally hit the islands, with the hurricane
season running from June to November.
The population of the Islands is around 21,730 at
2003. The majority of the population (83%) are Afro-Caribbean, descended
from the slaves brought to the islands by the British. Other large
ethnic groups include those of British and other European origin.
The 1999 census reports:
3.14% East Indian
* includes British, Portuguese, and Syrian/Lebanese.
The islands are predominantly Protestant Christian
(86%). The largest individual Christian denominations are Methodist
(33%), Anglican (17%), and the Catholic (10%).
Informaition sourced by www.wikipedia.org