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United States Virgin Islands

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Home> Countries> North America> United States Virgin Islands

Country Name

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI), officially the Virgin Islands of the United States of America, and also called the American Virgin Islands or the U.S. Virgin Islands.


The islands are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States.

The islands are part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles to the east of Puerto Rico and west of the British Virgin Islands.


Charlotte Amalie.

Reason for naming the country

The islands were named "Santa Úrsula y las Once Mil Vírgenes" by Christopher Columbus in 1493 after the legend of Saint Ursula and the 11,000 virgins. The name was later shortened to "the Virgin Islands".


The flag of the United States Virgin Islands was adopted on May 17, 1921.

It is composed of a golden eagle on a white background with a shield in the center. The shield is blue on top and then red and white striped on the rest of it. The eagle holds an olive branch in its left claws and three blue arrows in the right.

The letters V and I in blue are under each of the eagle’s outstretched wings.

The three arrows represent the three major islands, which are Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Croix.

The colors incorporated into the flag all have meaning. Yellow stands for the land, green for the hills, white for the clouds, blue for the water, and red for love.


English is the dominant language. Spanish is spoken by about 17% of the population, and other languages are spoken by 11% of the population.

Even during Danish ownership, Dutch (another Germanic language like Danish), was more common, specifically on St. Thomas and St. John, where the majority of the European settlers are Dutch.

In St. Croix, English was the dominant language. St. Croix was owned by the French until 1733 when the island was sold to the Danish West Indian and Guinea Company. By 1741, there were five times as many Englishmen on the island as Danes. English Creole emerged on St. Croix more so than Dutch Creole, which was more popular on St. Thomas and St. John.

Other languages spoken in the Danish West Indies included Irish, Scots, Spanish, and French, as well as Virgin Islands English Creole.


Christianity is the dominant religion in the U.S. Virgin Islands counting for 94.8% of the population. The largest Christian denominations were Baptist, Roman Catholic, and Episcopalian.

Owing to both their Danish past and American present, Protestantism on the islands has long been widespread. It was first introduced when Lutheranism was brought to the islands during the Danish colonization. The Danish crown also allowed other religious traditions on the islands including Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, the Moravian Church, and other Protestant groups. A number of neo-Protestant traditions including Pentecostalism, various evangelical Protestants, and the Seventh-day Adventists arrived later with the switch of allegiance from Denmark to the United States. There is also a strong Roman Catholic presence. Rastafari is also widespread.

St. Thomas is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere, as Sephardi Jews began to settle on the island in the 18th century as traders and merchants. The St. Thomas Synagogue in Charlotte Amalie is the second-oldest synagogue on American soil and the oldest in terms of continuous usage.


United States dollar (US$) (USD).

Time Zone

-04:00 GMT.

Government Regime

Devolved presidential constitutional dependency.


The climate of the U.S. Virgin Islands is tropical, and hot all year round, with a cooler period from December to April, with average highs around 28/29 °C (82/84 °F), and a hotter period from May to November, with highs around 31/32 °C (88/90 °F), during which, however, the heat is tempered by the breeze.

International Phone Code


Internet Code


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