The Virgin Islands of the United States archipelago is a territory belonging to the United States of America. Until 1917 these islands were a possession of Denmark. In that year they were bought by the United States. The archipelago is located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, between Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands. The US Virgin Islands are most famous for their beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters.
The US Virgin Islands are part of the Virgin Islands archipelago which is now divided between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. About 50 islands and islets of this archipelago located in the southwestern part of the archipelago belong to the United States. The most important of which are Saint Croix (207 sq km), Saint Thomas (83 sq km) and Saint John (52 sq km). The town of Charlotte Amalie, located on the southern coast of the island of Saint Thomas, is the capital of the area.
MOUNTAIN ISLANDS OF VOLCANIC ORIGIN
The US Virgin Islands are mountainous islands of volcanic origin and have jagged coastlines. The highest mountain in the archipelago is Crown Mountain (474 meters), which is located on the island of Saint Thomas. The islands are very green and covered with dense vegetation. The population of the islands is mostly of African or mixed origin but there are also white and Asian minorities. The main economic resources are agriculture, fishing and tourism. The islands mainly grow sugar cane, banana trees and citrus fruits.
The Virgin Islands were discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage. However, the Spaniards were not very interested in their colonization. Control of the island of Saint Croix was disputed for years between the French, the Dutch and the British. For a short time (1651-1664) the Knights of Malta also ruled the island of Saint Croix. Later in 1672 the Danes settled on the island of Saint Thomas. Later the Danes also occupied the islands of Saint John (1694) and Saint-Croix (1733). The eighteenth century was the period of greatest splendor for the Danish Virgin Islands which became above all the center of trade in this area of the Caribbean. Finally in 1917 the islands were ceded from Denmark to the United States.
- Area: 346 sqkm.
- Population: 108,000 (2019 data) (Blacks 76%, Whites 13%, Mulattos (descendants of European and African) 6%, Asian 1%).
- State Capital: Charlotte Amalie (Saint Thomas).
- Language: Official language is English.
- Religion: Christian 98% (Baptist 42%, Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%).
- Currency: American Dollar (USD)
- Time: UTC -4 hours.
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