U.S. Virgin Islands

The aftermath of Hurricane Marilyn on the island of St. Thomas, 1995

The Virgin Islands of the United States (commonly called the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands or USVI) are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, along with the much smaller but historically distinct Water Island, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 133.73 square miles (346.4 km2).

As of the 2010 census the population was 106,405, mostly composed by those of Afro-Caribbean descent. Tourism is the primary economic activity, although there is a significant manufacturing sector.

Formerly the Danish West Indies, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. They are classified by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and are currently an organized, unincorporated United States territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands are organized under the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and have since held five constitutional conventions. The last and only proposed Constitution adopted by the Fifth Constitutional Convention in 2009 was rejected by the U.S. Congress in 2010, which urged the convention to reconvene to address the concerns Congress and the Obama administration have had with the proposed document. The convention is slated to reconvene in October 2012 to address these concerns.

U.S. Virgin Islands
352 km²
108,708 hab.

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