British Virgin Islands

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The Virgin Islands, often called the British Virgin Islands (BVI), is a British overseas territory, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S. Virgin Islands. British Virgin Islands government publications had traditionally continued to commence with "The Territory of the Virgin Islands", but recently, more legislation now simply refers to the Territory as the "British Virgin Islands". [note 1][citation needed]

The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. Approximately fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island which is approximately 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands have a total population of about 22,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on Tortola.

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History

The Virgin Islands were first settled by the Arawak from South America around 100 BC (though there is some evidence of Amerindian presence on the islands as far back as 1500 BC).[2] The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the fifteenth century when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles islands, after whom the Caribbean Sea is named.

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