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Virgin Islands of the United States: a former Danish colony

The archipelago of the United States Virgin Islands (Virgin Islands of the United States), is a territory of the United States of America, purchased from Denmark in 1917, the archipelago is located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, between Puerto Rico and British Virgin Islands.

The United States Virgin Islands are part of the Virgin Islands divided between United Kingdom and the United States of America. Belong to the United States about 50 islands in the south-west of the archipelago, notably Saint Croix (207 sq km), Saint Thomas (83 sq. km) and Saint John (52 sq km), the capital of the territory is the city of Charlotte Amalie located on the southern coast of the island of Saint Thomas.

The islands are of volcanic origin, mountainous and with a rugged coastline, the highest mountain in the archipelago is the Crown Mountain (474 metres), located on the island of Saint Thomas. The islands are covered with thick green vegetation. The islands population is in the majority of African or mixed origin but there are also white and Asian minorities. The main economic resources are agriculture (sugar cane, bananas, citrus), fishing and tourism.

The Virgin Islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 during his second voyage. In 1672 the Danes established a colony on the island of Saint Thomas later were occupied also the islands of Saint John and Saint Croix. The eighteenth century was the period of greatest splendor the Virgin Islands which became the center of trade in this area of the Caribbean. In 1917, Denmark ceded the islands to the United States.

  • Area: 346 sqkm.
  • Population: 108,000 (2007 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.

This post is also available in: German

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