The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the caribbean, is highly dependent on tourism, generating an estimated 45% of the national income. an estimated 820,000 tourists, mainly from the us, visited the islands in 2005. in the mid-1980s, the government began offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial revenues. roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by yearend 2000. the adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late 1994, which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the british virgin islands even more attractive to international business. livestock raising is the most important agricultural activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic food requirements. because of traditionally close links with the us virgin islands, the british virgin islands has used the us dollar as its currency since 1959.
Limited natural fresh water resources (except for a few seasonal streams and springs on tortola, most of the islands' water supply comes from wells and rainwater catchments)
24,041 (july 2008 est.)
Caribbean, between the caribbean sea and the north atlantic ocean, east of puerto rico
Total: 153 sq km
land: 153 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: comprised of 16 inhabited and more than 20 uninhabited islands; includes the islands of tortola, anegada, virgin gorda, jost van dyke
About 0.9 times the size of washington, dc
Conventional long form: none
conventional short form: british virgin islands
Name: road town
geographic coordinates: 18 27 n, 64 37 w
time difference: utc-4 (1 hour ahead of washington, dc during standard time)
Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
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