British Virgin Islands: Economy#

The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean, is highly dependent on tourism generating an estimated 45% of the national income. More than 934,000 tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in 2008. Because of traditionally close links with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has used the US dollar as its currency since 1959.

Livestock raising is the most important agricultural activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic food requirements.

In the mid-1980s, the government began offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial revenues. Roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by yearend 2000. The adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late 1994, which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international business.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$500 million (2010 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.095 billion (2008)
GDP - real growth rate1.3% (2010 est.)
-0.6% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,300 (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 68.9%
government consumption: 8.9%
investment in fixed capital: 25%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 91.8%
imports of goods and services: -94.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 1%
industry: 11.1%
services: 87.9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsfruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish
Industriestourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore banking center
Industrial production growth rate2.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force12,770 (2004)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 0.6%
industry: 40%
services: 59.4% (2005)
Unemployment rate8.7% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $300 million
expenditures: $300 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues27.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.1% (2016 est.)
0.9% (2015 est.)
Current account balance$362.6 million (2011 est.)
$279.8 million (2010 est.)
Exports$23 million (2015 est.)
$23 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesrum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand
Imports$200 million (2015 est.)
$200 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesbuilding materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery
Debt - external$36.1 million (1997)
Exchange ratesthe US dollar is used