World History

Virgin Islands | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts & Geography of Virgin Islands

History of Virgin Islands:

The Virgin Islands were inhabited by Arawak and Caribbean Indians. Most Native Americans died of disease when the Europeans arrived. Christopher Columbus was the first to discover these islands and named them Santa Ursula y Las Once Mil Vergenes.

In the 17th century the island was divided between the British and Danes. For a time, the islands were used to grow sugar cane, and slaves were imported from Africa to work the land. Today, most of the population is descended from African slaves.

In 1917, the United States purchased the Danish islands for $25 million. They are now US territories. Her four large islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands include St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and Water Island. Major islands in the British Virgin Islands include Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Joost Van Dyke.

Information about Virgin Islands:

Capital Charlotte Amalie
Population 98,651 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Charlotte Amalie (capital), St Croix, Cruz Bay
Borders North Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $5.075 billion (2021 wikipedia)
Currency US dollar (USD)

Flag of Virgin Islands:

Virgin Islands Economy Key Industries:

Virgin Islands Major Industries: tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Virgin Islands Agricultural Products: fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle

Virgin Islands Natural Resources: sun, sand, sea, surf

Virgin Islands Major Exports: refined petroleum products

Virgin Islands Major Imports: crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials

The Geography of Virgin Islands:

Total Size of Virgin Islands: 1,910 km2 (source: 2022 The world factbook)

Geographical Low Point of Virgin Islands: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point of Virgin Islands: Crown Mountain 475 m

Climate of Virgin Islands: subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September to November

General Terrain of Virgin Islands: mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

World Region or Continent of Virgin Islands:  Central America

Geographical Coordinates: 18 20 N, 64 50 W

The People of Virgin Islands & Culture

Virgin Islands Government Type: NA

Virgin Islands Nationality: Virgin Islander(s) (US citizens)

Virgin Islands National Holiday: Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 27 March (1917)

Virgin Islands Independence:

Virgin Islands National Symbol:

Virgin Islands National Anthem or Song: Virgin Islands March

Virgin Islands Languages Spoken: English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9% (2000 census)

Virgin Islands Religions: Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%.

Interesting Facts about Virgin Islands:

The U.S. Virgin Islands are not states, but “island territories” of the United States. An island area is like a territory that is an island.

In Denmark, the US Virgin Islands are known as the former Danish West Indies.

The national anthem is the Virgin Islands March.

The islands are nicknamed ‘Rock City’ for St. Thomas, ‘Love City’ for St. John and ‘Twin Cities’ for St. Croix.

Road traffic in the Virgin Islands is left-hand traffic.

Columbus visited this island in her 1493. Within 50 years, all native peoples were extinct.

Sugar cane has been an important crop for many years.

The United States purchased these islands from Denmark for $25 million. Official language is English.

Tourism is the island’s main industry. More than 2 million people visit each year.