British Virgin Islands: economy, history, population and state structure.

British Virgin Islands: economy, history, population and state structure.

British Virgin Islands: economy, history, population and state structure.
General information about the British Virgin Islands.
Overseas territory of Great Britain on the eastern part of the same name islands in the West Indies. They consist of 36 islands, 20 of which are uninhabited. The total area of 153.4 km2, the population of 21.3 thousand people. (estimate 2002). The administrative center is Rod Town (9.0 thousand people, estimate 2002) on the island of Tortola. The official language is English. National Day – Territory Day on July 1. The monetary unit is the US dollar (since 1959).
Associate member of CARICOM, ECLAC, etc.
Sights of the British Virgin Islands.
Geography of the British Virgin Islands.
The British Virgin Islands is part of the Lesser Antilles, located between 17 � 15 & # 8242; and 18 � 75 & # 8242; northern latitude and 64 � 18 � 8 �; and 64 � 84 & # 8242; west longitude. The largest islands (km2) are Tortola (54), Anegada (39), Virgin Gorda (21), Jost Van Dyke (9). They are washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the Caribbean Sea in the south, the length of the coastline is 80 km. Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke are of volcanic origin, the relief is hilly, the highest point on Tortola is Mount Sage (521 m), on Virdzhin Gorda – Gorda Peak (408 m). The rest of the islands are of coral origin, flat. Southeast of Anegada is the third largest in the world (18 km) coral reef. The deposit of copper on the Virdzhin-Gorda was developed by 1867. The climate is tropical, winter temperatures are + 22-28 � C, summer temperatures are + 26-31 � �. The average monthly precipitation is 100 mm. From July to October, tropical hurricanes are possible. Surface water sources only on Tortola. Forests are largely exterminated, occupying 7% of the territory. In the reserve on the island of Guan, the endemic appearance of the iguana is preserved. Coastal waters abound in fish and animals, including sea turtles.
The population of the British Virgin Islands.
Annual natural increase of 1.07% (estimate 2002), birth rate 15.1%, mortality 4.4%, infant mortality 19.6 people. for 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 75.9 years, incl. women – 76.8, men – 74.9. Immigration provides 80% of population growth. There are 100 women for 107 men. 89% of the population live on Tortola, 6% – on Virdzhin-Gorda. The descendants of former African slaves are 83% of the population, a group of immigrants from Europe, Asia (primarily from India) and mulatto. Literacy among adults – 98.2%. Protestants predominate (45% of Methodists, 21% of Anglicans), Catholics – 6%.
History of the British Virgin Islands.
Indian tribes of Arawak settled in the British Virgin Islands in the 1st century. BC. In the 15th century. AD replaced by the Caribs. The islands were discovered by the expedition of H. Columbus in 1493. In the beginning. 17th c. The Spaniards began to develop copper on the island of Virdzhin-Gorda. In 1648 the Dutch landed on the islands, from 1666 colonized by the British, who began the importation of slaves from Africa. Before the abolition of slavery in 1834, 7 thousand slaves were imported. In 1774 a legislative body was created, which initially elected exclusively representatives of the white population. In 1872-1956 were part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands, from 1960 – a separate territory. In 1967, the British Virgin Islands granted internal self-government and the right to form a government following the results of the general elections.
The state structure and political system of the British Virgin Islands.
Under the Constitution of 1967, the British Virgin Islands is a parliamentary democracy. Monarchy, the head of state is the Queen of Great Britain (since 1952 – Elizabeth II), represented by the governor (since 2002 – Tom Makan). The Governor is headed by the Executive Council consisting of the Chief Minister, 3 cabinet members and the Attorney General. Is responsible for foreign policy, defense, security, finance. Legislative power belongs to a unicameral Legislative Council consisting of 15 people. 9 parliamentarians are elected by universal direct vote for 4 years, 4 – appointed by the governor on the proposal of the chief minister and leader of the opposition. The Speaker and the Attorney General enter the Parliament in office. The Chief Minister is appointed by the governor following the election (since June 2003 – Orlando Smith). The National Democratic Party, established in 1998, received 52.4% of the vote and 8 seats in the Legislative Council in the 2003 elections and became the ruling party. The Party of the Virgin Islands has been operating since 1967, was in power in 1995-2003, won in the 2003 elections 42.2% of the vote and 5 seats and went into opposition. Other parties in the parliament are not represented.
Economy of the British Virgin Islands.
GDP in 2000 was $ 183 million, per capita $ 11,000, purchasing power parity $ 16,000. Inflation from 1.5 percent in 2001 increased to 3 percent in 2002. The number of employees (2001) – 13.9 thousand, unemployment in the 1990s. Stable below 5% of the economically active population. Over the past 30 years, there has been a dramatic restructuring of the economy of the British Virgin Islands from traditional agriculture to services, creating with ser. 1990’s. St. 90% of GDP. In the services sector, 88.8% of the economically active population are employed, including 15.6% in tourism, 0.5% in agriculture and fisheries, 3.0% in industry, 7.7%. Tourism, rapidly developing with the end. 1960s, provides approx. 45% of GDP, the number of tourists for 1997-2001 increased from 365.7 to 535.5 thousand people, 240 thousand of them – cruise ships, St. Petersburg arrives annually on yachts. 60 thousand people. Up to 80% of tourists from the US. Since 1986, the British Virgin Islands have become an offshore center of global scale, the number of commercial companies in which increased over the period 1993-2002 from 100 thousand to 350 thousand, in addition, there are 395 insurance companies and St.. 2,6 thousand mutual funds. The registration of offshore firms is given by St. 1/2 government revenues and 13% of GDP. On industry and construction in the 1990’s. 5% of GDP. Extraction of salt, sand and gravel, production of rum, construction of pleasure craft. The share of agriculture in the economy fell to 2.5%, provides less than 9/10 food needs. Growing of vegetables and fruits, poultry farming, sheep breeding. Fishing (at the level of 1 thousand tons per year) has an export orientation. The length of motor roads (2002) is 350 km, 11.3 thousand cars were registered (2001). There is no public transport. A ferry connection between the islands and the US Virgin Islands. International airport on the island of Beef, connected by a bridge with Tortola, local airports on Anegada and Virgin Gorda. Exports (2001) – $ 28 million, imports – $ 263 million. The main partners are Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, USA, Great Britain. Individuals with an annual income below $ 7,500 are not subject to income tax. Registered (2000) 7,9 thousand private cars.
Science and culture of the British Virgin Islands.
Universal compulsory and free primary education for children aged 5 to 11 years. The four largest islands have 18 public and 8 private schools. Secondary education (12-16 years) is also free. In the end. 2002, a draft law was introduced in the Legislative Council, providing for the introduction of compulsory secondary education. 2 public and 1 private secondary school. Secondary special education since 1993 is provided by the Community College of the British Virgin Islands. Higher education abroad, especially in the US Virgin Islands. Three weekly newspapers are published, there are 5 radio stations, a television station and cable television with 53 channels. In the Road Town, an ethnographic museum and botanical garden, in Carrot Bay in the north of the island of Tortola – the Museum of shells.
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