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US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands

Summary

The U.S. Virgin Islands is a territory of the United States.1 The territory is in many ways an extension of the mainland United States with the same governing bodies and benefits, but Islanders often have lower standards of living and much higher poverty rates. However, the islands boast diverse ecosystems which are in need of protection due to rapid population growth and industrialization.2 1 http://everything-everywhere.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-territories-of-the-united-states/
2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/aq.html

Explore US Virgin Islands Subcases

Click and view US Virgin Islands subcases and learn more about our US Virgin Islands

Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

The islands are at risk of losing land because of rising ocean water levels, and it has already lost coral reef areas because of pollution.1 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Division of Environmental Quality have embarked on multi-year protection projects to monitor pollution levels, prevent erosion, clean up contaminated areas, and replant native species to preserve the biodiversity.2

Family

Much of the population has a mixed background coming mainly from indigenous groups with large populations from Africa, Asia, France, and Denmark.1 The typical family has an average of two children.2

Human Rights

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.1 There are special programs set up to provide services for victims of abuse.

Education

Education is compulsory for children aged 6-17, and all of the primary and secondary schools are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Private institutions, licensing, and academic testing standards are overseen by local education departments.1 Children are instructed in English. Students can chose to attend local institutions of higher education or universities in the United States.

Poverty

Poverty is a pressing issue and significantly more prevalent than in the United States. 22% of the population of the U.S. Virgin Islands live below the poverty line.1

Religion

Over 90% of people in the territories identify as Christians, mainly Roman Catholics.1 Although this is the most common religion, many combine their Christian beliefs with traditional religious practices as well.

Clean Water

A large portion of Islanders use water from structures that violate federal health standards like contamination levels.1 The United States’ Environment Protection Agency offers special grants to improve or build new drinking water infrastructures, but they still struggle to meet water standards due to poor monitoring.2

Economy

The U.S. Virgin Islands have recently seen a decrease in tourism and investments which has caused their economy to struggle.1 Their economy is largely based on communal farming and fisheries, with fish and tourism being their largest exports.2

Government

The U.S. Virgin Islands have a representative in Congress who can vote in committee.1 They have their own local government and tax system that consists of a chief governor, legislative body, and court system. Islanders are considered citizens of the United States at birth.2

Health

There is an independent Department of Public Health administered by local officials with direction from the U.S. mainland. There is one hospital located in the capital city with smaller health facilities scattered throughout the land.1 The U.S. Virgin Islands face many health concerns common in developing nations like malnutrition and infectious tropical diseases. In 2016, Zika was a serious health concern mostly in pregnant women.2

Children

Youth comprise approximately 20% of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ population.1 There are many organized youth sport and extracurricular opportunities organized through the local government and funded by the United States Department of Education. Nearly all public and privately funded grants available to youth in the mainland U.S. for studies and enrichment programs are also available for those living in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Animals

The U.S. Virgin Islands have a diverse array of animal life with many species found only on one specific island.1 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated sea turtle monitoring services in the U.S. Virgin Islands to maintain the number of sea turtles and protect their eggs during mating season.2

US Virgin Islands

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