macrohistory & world report

United States Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix, in the Caribbean Sea

The US Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas, Saint John
and Saint Croix, just east of Puerto Rico

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Tourism, trade, and other services are the primary economic activities, accounting for roughly 57% of GDP and about half of total civilian employment in 2010. The islands hosted nearly 2.74 million visitors – 2.2 million cruise ship and 536,000 air passengers – in 2011. Industry and government each account for about one-fifth of GDP. The manufacturing sector consists of rum distilling, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch assembly. The agriculture sector is small, with most food being imported... The government is working to improve fiscal discipline, to support construction projects in the private sector, to expand tourist facilities, to reduce crime, and to protect the environment."

Work force in agriculture
2003: 1%

Unemployment rate
2004: 6.2%.


July 2014: 104,170
July 2011: 109,666

Births / deaths
2014: 20.49 / 8.24

Net migration rate
2014: A net loss of 7.18 persons per 1,000 population.
2011: A net loss of 5.04 persons per 1,000 population
(Virgin Islanders are US citizens and free to migrate to the US)

Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2014: 6.79 deaths
2011: 7.24 deaths
2009: 7.56 deaths


Average life expectancy at birth
2014: 79.75 years
2011: 79.33 years
2009: 79.05
2008: 79.34 years

Ethnic groups
2000 census: black 76.2%, white 13.1%, Asian 1.1%, other 6.1%, mixed 3.5%

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


St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix islands a few miles east of Puerto Rico. South of British Virgin Islands. Hilly and mountainous. Together equivalent to 18.7 by 18.7 kilometers or 11.7 miles. The Virgin Islands are said to have fairly consistent weather through the year. In mid-july 2011 the temperature hovers around a high of 90 degrees and a low around 80.


Chief of state: President of the United States.

Under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as the Virgin Islands, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in the Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections. The governor and lieutenant governor of the Virgin Islands are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms and eligible for a second term.

Capital: Charlotte Amalie

Recent History

1917: United States buys the Virgin Islands from Denmark.

The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.