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United States Virgin Islands

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United States Virgin Islands

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Population: 109,750 (est.)

Language(s): English

Capital: Charlotte Amalie

Interesting Facts:

  • The US$ is the official currency of the USVI.
  • As in most Caribbean countries, Christianity is the dominant religion in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Protestantism is most prevalent, reflecting the territory’s Danish colonial heritage. There is also a strong Roman Catholic presence.There are also some Jews living in the Islands.
  • Virgin Islands National Park covers more than half of St. John.
  • St. Thomas has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the Caribbean.
  • The islands are 80 percent black and 15 percent white. There are also West Indian, French, and Hispanic ethnic groups.
  • The park is known for its beaches, reefs, and forests.One of the world’s largest petroleum refineries is at St. Croix.
  • The history of the islands is turbulent. It is filled with warring colonial powers, slavery, and the annihilation of its native people.
  • By 1596, the native population had been wiped out.
  • Tourism is the primary industry in the islands in terms of both economics and employment. There are over 2 million visitors per year. There is also a significant rum manufacturing sector.

The Virgin Islands of the United States (commonly called the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands or USVI) 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, along with the much smaller but historically distinct Water Island, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 133.73 square miles (346.4 km2).

As of the 2010 census the population was 106,405, mostly composed by those of Afro-Caribbean descent. Tourism is the primary economic activity, although there is a significant rum manufacturing sector.

Formerly the Danish West Indies, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. They are classified by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and are currently an organized, unincorporated United States territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands are organized under the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and have since held five constitutional conventions. The last and only proposed Constitution adopted by the Fifth Constitutional Convention in 2009 was rejected by the U.S. Congress in 2010, which urged the convention to reconvene to address the concerns Congress and the Obama administration have had with the proposed document. The convention reconvened in October 2012 to address these concerns, but was unable to produce a revised Constitution before its October 31 deadline.

Source: Wikipedia

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