British Virgin Islands Flag Icon

British Virgin Islands Country Guide

Explore British Virgin Islands in North America

British Virgin Islands with the capital city Road Town is located in North America (Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 154 square kilometres (about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC) with 21,730 citizens.

Interactive map of British Virgin Islands

The landscape offers coral islands relatively flat and volcanic islands steep, hilly. The average density of population is approximately 142 per km². The notable climate conditions in British Virgin Islands can be described as subtropical with humid, temperatures moderated by trade winds. Potential threats by nature are hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October).

To reach someone in British Virgin Islands dial +1-284 prior to a number. There are 20,100 installed telephones. And there are 24,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 850, 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".vg". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 115V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of British Virgin Islands

Blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin word VIGILATE (Be Watchful); the islands were named by COLUMBUS in 1493 in honor of Saint Ursula and her 11 virgin followers (some sources say 11,000) who reputedly were martyred by the Huns in the 4th or 5th century; the figure on the banner holding a lamp represents the saint, the other lamps symbolize her followers.

First inhabited by Arawak and later by Carib Indians, the Virgin Islands were settled by the Dutch in 1648 and then annexed by the English in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967. The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.

National administrative regions of British Virgin Islands

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: North America
Capital: Road Town
Size 153 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 59 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC
Population 21,730
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .vg
Telephone Country Prefix +1-284
Mobile Phone Connections 24,000
Landline Phone Connections 20,100

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 151 (sq km) 220

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 31,912 215
Population growth rate 2.40 (%) 33
Birth rate 10.78 (births/1,000 population) 178
Death rate 4.89 (deaths/1,000 population) 188
Net migration rate 18.11 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 4
Infant mortality rate 13.93 (deaths/1,000 live births) 121
Life expectancy at birth 78.12 (years) 57
Total fertility rate 1.24 (children born/woman) 220
Education expenditures 4.30 (% of GDP) 98


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 500,000,000 215
GDP - real growth rate 1.30 (%) 156
GDP - per capita (PPP) 42,300 25
Labor force 12,770 214
Unemployment rate 8.70 (%) 100
Taxes and other revenues 27.4 (% of GDP) 106
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 4.00 (%) 117
Current account balance 362,600,000 48
Exports 38,500,000 201
Imports 275,100,000 202
Debt - external 36,100,000 194


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 50,000,000 (kWh) 207
Electricity - consumption 46,500,000 (kWh) 207
Electricity - installed generating capacity 10000 (kW) 202
Electricity - from fossil fuels 100.0 (% of total installed capacity) 42
Refined petroleum products - consumption 1,000 (bbl/day) 203
Refined petroleum products - imports 783 (bbl/day) 198
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 147,800 (Mt) 201


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 26,800 182
Telephones - mobile cellular 46,800 201
Internet hosts 505 182
Internet users 4,000 207


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 4 190
Roadways 200 (km) 208

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

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