[94], The United States Virgin Islands Department of Education serves as the territory's education agency, and has two school districts: St. Thomas-St. John School District and St. Croix School District.[105]. [3][66] Other major sectors are the public sector, some limited agriculture, and small scale manufacturing, most notably rum production. [23] About 28.7% of families and 32.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.7% of those less than 18 years old and 29.8% of those 65 or more years old. Motor vehicles are driven on the left-hand side of the road in both the British and the U.S. Virgin Islands, although the steering wheels on most cars are located on the left side (as is the norm for drive-on-the-right localities). Previously known as the Danish West Indies of the Kingdom of Denmark–Norway (from 1754 to 1814) and the independent Kingdom of Denmark (from 1814 to 1917), they were sold to the United States by Denmark for $25,000,000 in the 1917 Treaty of the Danish West Indies,[3] and have since been an organized, unincorporated United States territory. Below is a table which represents the affiliation of the various islands: The total population of the Virgin Islands is 147,778: 104,901 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 31,758 in the British, and 11,119 in the Spanish. [97] Even during Danish ownership, Dutch, another Germanic language like Danish, was more common, at least during some of those 245 years, specifically on St. Thomas and St. John, where the majority of the European settlers are Dutch. [4] Tourism began to develop, over time becoming the most important sector of the Islands' economy. The British Virgin Islands consists of 4 larger islands and 32 smaller islands … Lou Mattei (Daily News Staff) (September 29, 2012). For Passport Guidelines visit Visitor Information. Like other territories, the U.S. Virgin Islands does not have U.S. [49][50], Months later, a federal lawsuit was filed in the federal District Court of the Virgin Islands. With the plantations no longer as profitable, Danish settlers began to abandon their estates, causing a significant drop in population and the overall economy. … [56][57][58] However, the U.S. Census Bureau divides each of the 3 main islands into 3 separate statistical entities (which are further divided into twenty (20) sub-districts). In practice, the two island groups are almost universally referred to as the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. [3][4], A 2012 economic report from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated a total of 2,414 business establishments generating $6.8 billion in sales, employing 32,465 people and paying $1.1 billion in payroll per year. They were allowed on the islands by the Danish royal court, but came under scrutiny when they denounced slavery. They are geologically and biogeographically the easternmost part of the Greater Antilles, the northern islands belonging to the Puerto Rico Trench and St. Croix being a displaced part of the same geologic structure. I would think that's just the name of the place. However, place names and surnames of Denmark-Norway origin are still commonly found throughout the islands. On the other hand, tourism and some other service industries were growing. The territory consists of three main islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, as well as several dozen smaller islands. The islands proved ideal for sugar plantations – sugarcane, produced by slaves from Africa, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The Virgin Islands (Spanish: Islas Vírgenes) are an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Serving the local population is also part of the role of these sectors. [3] The territory's capital is Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas. says land acquired from the feds is about to undergo large-scale improvements", "U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Review – VI", "St. Croix oil refinery gets $1.4 billion investment, plans to restart", "St. Croix barely escapes worst of Maria's wrath", "Five hurricane-related deaths confirmed", "Federal disaster relief begins on St. Croix", "After Hurricanes, Public Housing May Never Get Rebuilt", "Maria leaves St. Croix with a working hospital", "An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm", "8 U.S. Code § 1406 - Persons living in and born in the Virgin Islands", "Presidential election in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 2016", "Watch John Oliver Cast His Ballot for Voting Rights for U.S. [64] No further status referenda have been scheduled since. [35] The combined land area of the islands is roughly twice the size of Washington, D.C. The islands are administered in two groups—the British Virgin Islands and the United States Virgin Islands. In cricket, the country is represented by the West Indies. The manufacturing sector consists of mainly rum distilling. The United States Virgin Islands (abbreviated USVI) (Danish: Amerikanske Jomfruøer), officially the Virgin Islands of the United States of America (and also called the American Virgin Islands or the U.S. Virgin Islands) are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. The U.S. Virgin Islands are organized under the 1954 Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands and have since held five constitutional conventions. That translated to a per capita debt of $19,000, which was higher than the per capita debt in Puerto Rico which was undergoing a severe financial crisis at the time. The sights are beautiful as you watch ships come in on the horizon, and the… [99][100], Religion in the United States Virgin Islands (2010)[101], Christianity is the dominant religion in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are only two ways to get to the Virgin Islands, by air or by sea. Most energy is also generated from imported oil, leading to electricity costs four to five times higher than the U.S. The U.S. Virgin Islands consists of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and many other surrounding minor islands. A Debtwire analyst writing in Forbes indicated that nothing short of a miracle would prevent a financial collapse. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. [102][103][page needed] A number of neo-Protestant traditions including Pentecostalism, various evangelical Protestants and the Seventh-day Adventists arrived later with the switch of allegiance from Denmark to the United States. The St. Thomas Synagogue in Charlotte Amalie is the second-oldest synagogue on American soil, and oldest in terms of continuous usage. The Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by the Arawak and Carib, almost all of whom are thought to have perished during the colonial period due to enslavement, foreign disease, and mass extermination brought about by European colonists, as is the case in the rest of the Caribbean.[2]. Hurricane Hugo struck the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1989, causing catastrophic physical and economic damage, particularly on the island of St. Croix. But the most unusual is Saba, east of the U.S. Virgin Islands, rising almost 873 meters (2,864 feet) above the sea. [30] A third person had a fatal heart attack during the hurricane. Coordinates: 18°20′N 64°54′W / 18.34°N 64.90°W / 18.34; -64.90 (Virgin Islands of the United States), Unincorporated territory of the United States in the Caribbean, Unincorporated and organized U.S. territory in the United States, Virgin Islands of the United States of America, Location of the United States Virgin Islands, Topics relating to the United States Virgin Islands. † Physiographically, these are continental islands not a part of the volcanic Windward Islands arc. At the same time, the economics of continued possession weighed heavily on the minds of Danish decision makers, and a consensus in favor of selling emerged in the Danish parliament. It alleged that racial discrimination present in an all-white and segregated U.S. Congress of 1917 was the impetus to deny the right to vote to a majority non-white constituency. Euromonitor indicates that over 50% of the workforce is employed in some tourism-related work.[78]. In the 1990s, a Puerto Rican tourism campaign renamed the Passage Islands as the Spanish Virgin Islands,[citation needed] though they are seldom[clarification needed] identified as such on maps and atlases. The annual population growth is −0.12%. Full- and low-power television stations are split between St. Thomas and St. Croix. How to Move to the US Virgin Islands. When visiting an island during a vacation, most people are looking for a great beach. Every year, Transfer Day is recognized as a holiday, to commemorate the acquisition of the islands by the United States. A U.S. Congressional resolution disapproving of the proposed constitution and requesting that the Fifth Constitutional Convention reconvene to consider changes to address these issues was signed into law (Pub.L. [7][better source needed] During the 17th–18th centuries, a sizable Jewish community also began to settle on the islands. The Virgin Islands ( Spanish: Islas Vírgenes) are an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. [74] By January 23, 2017, this had increased to $2 billion. The territory is largely Afro-Caribbean in origin.[3]. The Treaty of the Danish West Indies was signed in August 1916,[18] with a referendum on the sale held in Denmark in December 1916 in which voters approved the decision to sell. The islands are part of the North American Numbering Plan, using area code 340, and island residents and visitors are able to call most toll-free U.S. [23] Since refining ended, the 34-million-barrel tank farm has operated as a crude oil and petrochemical storage facility for third-party customers. English has been the predominant language since 1917, when the islands were transferred from Denmark to the United States. The British Virgin Islands and the other two U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John and St. Thomas, were far enough northeast to avoid the worst from Maria, but were still massively impacted, with great destruction everywhere. Moving to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) can be the adventure of a lifetime. John). U.S. citizens thus do not have to clear customs when arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but do when traveling to the mainland. The United States began to take an interest in the islands, and in 1867, a treaty to sell St. Thomas and St. John to the U.S. was agreed but never effected. Territories", "Choose or Lose: U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017", "Statement by the Press Secretary on S.J.Res. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. [39] Although those born on the islands are U.S. citizens, U.S. Virgin Islanders residing in the territory are ineligible to vote for the president of the United States. After both hurricanes, the office of V.I. The remaining 200 acres (81 ha) of the island were purchased from the United States Department of the Interior in May 2005 for $10, a transaction that marked the official change in jurisdiction. There are several national park sites, such as the Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, Buck Island Reef National Monument, Christiansted National Historic Site, and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. While there is an abundance of sea mammals, the only endemic land mammal found in the U.S.V.I. However, in June 2009, Governor John de Jongh, Jr. rejected the resulting constitutional draft, saying the terms of the document would "violate federal law, fail to defer to federal sovereignty and disregard basic civil rights". During the submarine warfare phases of the war, the United States, fearing that the islands might be seized by Germany as a submarine base,[17] again approached Denmark about buying them. We have reviews of the best places to see in U.S. Virgin Islands. The highest point is Crown Mountain on St. Thomas at 1,555 feet (474 m).[34][4]. The islands were again struck by hurricanes Bertha, Georges, Lenny, and Omar in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2008, respectively, but damage was not as severe in those storms. Beef Island is the site of the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (IATA code EIS), the main commercial airport that serves Tortola and the rest of the British Virgin Islands. [3] Tourism and related categories are the primary economic activities. No the Virgin islands are not countries. A United States Territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)—a cluster of tropical islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea—began welcoming leisure travelers again on September 19, following a one-month hiatus and with new protocols in place.. Weather stations on St. Croix recorded 5 and 10 inches of rain from the hurricane, and estimates for St. John and St. Thomas were somewhat less. [23] Such visitors do not spend large amounts of money ($146.70 each on average) but as a group, they contributed $339.8 million to the economy in 2012. [8], In 1733, St. John was the site of one of the first significant slave rebellions in the New World when Akan-Akwamu slaves from the Gold Coast (modern Ghana) took over the island for six months. In 2010, the population was 106,405,[5] with current estimates putting the population at 106,235 (July 2020), most of them being of Afro-Caribbean descent. The archipelago is separated from the true Lesser Antilles by the Anegada Passage and from the main island of Puerto Rico by the Virgin Passage. When the mainland United States is on standard time, the U.S. Virgin Islands are one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. You'll have your choice of four amazing island options: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and Water Island. A wind gust to 86 mph was reported at St. Thomas. In the territory, the population in 2010 was distributed with 31.6% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles to the east of Puerto Ricoand west of … The United States Virgin Islands enjoy a tropical climate, with little seasonal change throughout the year. The University of the Virgin Islands provides higher education leading to associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees, with campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix. John. Roughly three-quarters of islanders are black in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, while the majority of inhabitants in Culebra and Vieques are Puerto Rican of European descent, with a significant Afro-Puerto Rican community. For other uses, see, Outlying territories of European countries, History of the United States Virgin Islands, Learn how and when to remove this template message, BVI.gov: British Virgin Islands government website, U.S. Office of Insular Affairs: United States Virgin Islands government website, Digital Library of the Caribbean: University of the Virgin Islands information, Sovereign states and dependent territories, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Virgin_Islands&oldid=996739816, Geography of the United States Virgin Islands, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2011, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from July 2011, Articles needing additional references from January 2019, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 10:33. 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