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Virgin Islands (U.K.) Country Profile

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Virgin Islands (U.K.) at a Glance

Location:Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico
Climate:subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds
Terrain:coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly
Hazards:hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)
Population:24,491 (July 2009 est.)

A Brief Profile of Virgin Islands (U.K.)

First inhabited by Arawak and later by Carib Indians, the Virgin Islands were settled by the Dutch in 1648 and then annexed by the English in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967. The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.

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