The World Factbook (1990)/Virgin Islands

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The World Factbook (1990)
United States Central Intelligence Agency
Virgin Islands

pages 333–334

Virgin Islands (territory of the US)


World Factbook (1990) Virgin Islands.jpg

See regional map III



Geography


Total area: 352 km²; land area: 349 km²

Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 188 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: subtropical, tempered by easterly tradewinds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November

Terrain: mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

Natural resources: sun, sand, sea, surf

Land use: 15% arable land; 6% permanent crops; 26% meadows and pastures; 6% forest and woodland; 47% other

Environment: rarely affected by hurricanes; subject to frequent severe droughts, floods, earthquakes; lack of natural freshwater resources

Note: important location 1,770 km southeast of Miami and 65 km east of Puerto Rico, along the Anegada Passage—a key shipping lane for the Panama Canal; St. Thomas has one of the best natural, deep-water harbors in the Caribbean


People


Population: 99,200 (July 1990), growth rate -0.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 22 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -20 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 19 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 70 years male, 76 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.7 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Virgin Islander(s); adjective—Virgin Islander

Ethnic divisions: 74% West Indian (45% born in the Virgin Islands and 29% born elsewhere in the West Indies), 13% US mainland, 5% Puerto Rican, 8% other; 80% black, 15% white, 5% other; 14% of Hispanic origin

Religion: 42% Baptist, 34% Roman Catholic, 17% Episcopalian, 7% other

Language: English (official), but Spanish and Creole are widely spoken

Literacy: 90%

Labor force: 45,000 (1987)

Organized labor: 90% of the government labor force


Government


Long-form name: Virgin Islands of the United States

Type: organized, unincorporated territory of the US administered by the Office of Territorial and International Affairs, US Department of the Interior

Capital: Charlotte Amalie

Administrative divisions: none (territory of the US)

Independence: none (territory of the US)

Constitution: Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954 serves as the constitution

Legal system: based on US

National holiday: Transfer Day (from Denmark to US), 31 March (1917)

Executive branch: US president, governor, lieutenant governor

Legislative branch: unicameral Senate

Judicial branch: US District Court handles civil matters over $50,000, felonies (persons 15 years of age and over), and federal cases; Territorial Court handles civil matters up to $50,000 small claims, juvenile, domestic, misdemeanors, and traffic cases

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President George BUSH (since 20 January 1989), represented by Governor Alexander FARRELLY (since 5 January 1987); Lieutenant Governor Derek HODGE (since 5 January 1987)

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party, Marilyn Stapleton; Independent Citizens' Movement (ICM), Virdin Brown; Republican Party, Charlotte-Poole Davis

Suffrage: universal at age 18; indigenous inhabitants are US citizens, but do not vote in US presidential elections

Elections: Governor—last held NA 1986 (next to be held NA 1990); results—Alexander Farrelly (Democratic Party) defeated Adelbert Bryan (ICM);

Senate—last held 8 November 1988 (next to be held NA); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(15 total) number of seats by party NA;

US House of Representatives—last held 8 November 1988 (next to be held 6 November 1990); results—the Virgin Islands elects one nonvoting representative

Diplomatic representation: none (territory of the US)

Flag: white with a modified US coat of arms in the center between the large blue initials V and I; the coat of arms shows an eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and three arrows in the other with a superimposed shield of vertical red and white stripes below a blue panel


Economy


Overview: Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for more than 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. The manufacturing sector consists of textile, electronics, pharmaceutical, and watch assembly plants. The agricultural sector is small with most food imported. International business and financial services are a small but growing component of the economy. The world's largest petroleum refinery is at St. Croix.

GDP: $1.03 billion, per capita $9,030; real growth rate NA% (1985)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: 3.5% (1987)

Budget: revenues $315 million; expenditures $322 million, including capital expenditures of NA (FY88)

Exports: $3.4 billion (f.o.b., 1985); commodities—refined petroleum products; partners—US, Puerto Rico

Imports: $3.7 billion (c.i.f., 1985); commodities—crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials; partners—US, Puerto Rico

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate 12%

Electricity: 341,000 kW capacity; 507 million kWh produced, 4,650 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: tourism, government service, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Agriculture: truck gardens, food crops (small scale), fruit, sorghum, Senepol cattle

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $33.5 million

Currency: US currency is used

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October-30 September


Communications


Highways: 856 km total

Ports: St. Croix—Christiansted, Frederiksted; St. Thomas—Long Bay, Crown Bay, Red Hook; St. John—Cruz Bay

Airports: 2 total, 2 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways 1,220-2,439 m; international airports on St. Thomas and St. Croix

Telecommunications: 44,280 telephones; stations—4 AM, 6 FM, 3 TV; modern system using fiber optic cable, submarine cable, microwave radio, and satellite facilities; 90,000 radio receivers; 56,000 television sets


Defense Forces


Note: defense is the responsibility of the US