Welcome to the U.S. Virgin Islands
Comprising the main islands of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands is an organized, unincorporated territory of the U.S. That seems to suit Virgin Islanders just fine: a 1993 referendum on self-rule drew just 31.4 percent of voters, a turnout so low that the results were considered null and void. Although they are U.S. citizens, Virgin Islanders cannot vote in federal elections unless they do so from a U.S. state. While the U.S. islands are politically separate from the British Virgin Islands, the two chains share strong cultural ties. Both are culturally derived mainly from West African, European, and American influences, the dominant language being an English-based Creole dialect.
Hosting about two million visitors a year, the U.S. Virgin Islands' economy is primarily fueled by tourism, and no wonder—the islands' crystalline white sand beaches and year-round temperate climate provide a nearly inescapable allure, especially for Americans without passports who still long for an exotic, tropical sojourn. Still, for all the affluence and opulence on display in the islands' many resorts, more than 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Territory Name: U.S. Virgin Islands
Territory Motto: "United in Pride and Hope"
Name for Residents: U.S. Virgin Islanders
Time Zone: AST, GMT/UTC -4 (No Daylight Savings Time)
Capital City: Charlotte Amalie
Date Granted Territorial Status: March 31, 1917
Area: 133.73 square miles (346.36 km²)
Territory Population: 108,448 (2007 estimate)
Largest City:;Charlotte Amalie - 19,000 (2004)
Official Language: English
Highest Point: Crown Mountain, 1,555 ft (474 m)
Lowest Point: Caribbean Sea (sea level)
U.S. Virgin Islands Territory Flag
U.S. Virgin Islands Territory Seal
U.S. Virgin Islands Territory Map