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British Virgin Islands Population
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies
    << Back to British Virgin Islands Index

    The total population of the British Virgin Islands was estimated in 1986 to be 12,000. Annual population growth averaged 1.6 percent over the 1982-85 period. About 500 expatriates from Western Europe and North America also reportedly resided on the islands. Eighty-five percent of the total population lived on Tortola, 9 percent on Virgin Gorda, and about 3 percent each on the islands of Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. In general, the islands were underpopulated in comparison with most of the West Indies, having a population density of only 78.4 per square kilometer. Despite the relatively uncrowded conditions on the islands, the government applied very strict immigration controls against other Caribbean nationals attracted by the islands' relatively prosperous economy.

    The people of the British Virgin Islands are primarily black. Life expectancy at birth among the islanders in 1982 was 70.2 years. In 1982 the birth rate was 20.7, and the infant mortality rate was 42.6 per 1,000 live births. The overall population of the British Virgin Islands was young; 34 percent were under age 15, and only 8.6 percent were over age 60.

    In all three territories of the Leeward Islands, the predominant religion was Christianity. Approximately 42 percent of the population in the British Virgin Islands was Methodist, and 25 percent, Anglican. The remaining 33 percent of the population included Roman Catholics, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and members of the Church of God.

    Anguillians belonged mostly to Anglican or Methodist congregations; each denomination claimed 43 percent of the population. Baptists, Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and members of Apostolic Faith and Second Bethany Gospel Hall congregations accounted for the remaining 14 percent of the population. Anguillians were highly religious, which accounted for the great opposition to casino gambling proposals in the 1980s.

    Like the other two island groups, Montserrat was primarily Anglican and Methodist. Approximately 33 percent of Montserratians were Anglican, and 25 percent were Methodist. The remaining 42 percent of the population belonged to Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Pentecostal, or Roman Catholic congregations.

    Data as of November 1987

    NOTE: The information regarding British Virgin Islands on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of British Virgin Islands Population information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about British Virgin Islands Population should be addressed to the Library of Congress.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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