Photos of Anguilla

Anguilla, one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, is composed of scrub-covered coral and limestone, which can be seen in this photograph of Limestone Bay. The island's many bays and pristine beaches draw visitors from around the world, making tourism Anguilla's main industry.

Introduction

Background

English settlers from Saint Kitts first colonized Anguilla in 1650. Great Britain administered the island until the early 19th century, when -- against the wishes of the inhabitants -- Anguilla was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980, when Anguilla became a separate British dependency. In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage on the island, particularly to communications and residential and business infrastructure.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates

18 15 N, 63 10 W

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean

Area

total: 91 sq km

land: 91 sq km

water: 0 sq km

comparison ranking: total 225

Area - comparative

about one-half the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds

Terrain

flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone

Elevation

highest point: Crocus Hill 73 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Natural resources

salt, fish, lobster

Land use

agricultural land: 0% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 61.1% (2018 est.)

other: 38.9% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2020)

Population distribution

most of the population is concentrated in The Valley in the center of the island; settlmement is fairly uniform in the southwest, but rather sparce in the northeast

Natural hazards

frequent hurricanes and other tropical storms (July to October)

Geography - note

the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles

People and Society

Population

total: 19,416

male: 9,107

female: 10,309 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 219; male 219; total 219

Nationality

noun: Anguillan(s)

adjective: Anguillan

Ethnic groups

African/Black 85.3%, Hispanic 4.9%, mixed 3.8%, White 3.2%, East Indian/Indian 1%, other 1.6%, unspecified 0.3% (2011 est.)

note: data represent population by ethnic origin

Languages

English (official)

Religions

Protestant 73.2% (includes Anglican 22.7%, Methodist 19.4%, Pentecostal 10.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.3%, Baptist 7.1%, Church of God 4.9%, Presbyterian 0.2%, Brethren 0.1%), Roman Catholic 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other Christian 10.9%, other 3.2%, unspecified 0.3%, none 4.5% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.8% (male 2,056/female 1,992)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 5,958/female 7,147)

65 years and over: 11.7% (2024 est.) (male 1,093/female 1,170)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 38.6

youth dependency ratio: 24.4

elderly dependency ratio: 14.1

potential support ratio: 7.1 (2021)

Median age

total: 37.1 years (2024 est.)

male: 34.8 years

female: 39 years

comparison ranking: total 83

Population growth rate

1.74% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 53

Birth rate

11.8 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 154

Death rate

4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 204

Net migration rate

10.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 9

Population distribution

most of the population is concentrated in The Valley in the center of the island; settlmement is fairly uniform in the southwest, but rather sparce in the northeast

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.47% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

1,000 THE VALLEY (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.1 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 208

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.6 years (2024 est.)

male: 80 years

female: 85.3 years

comparison ranking: total population 26

Total fertility rate

1.72 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 157

Gross reproduction rate

0.85 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.5% of population

total: 97.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population

total: 2.5% of population (2017 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.1% of population

total: 99.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.9% of population

total: 0.9% of population (2017 est.)

Education expenditures

4% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 119

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Environment

Environment - current issues

supplies of potable water sometimes cannot meet increasing demand largely because of poor distribution system

Climate

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds

Land use

agricultural land: 0% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 61.1% (2018 est.)

other: 38.9% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.47% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Anguilla

etymology: the name Anguilla means "eel" in various Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French) and likely derives from the island's lengthy shape

Government type

parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Capital

name: The Valley

geographic coordinates: 18 13 N, 63 03 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: name derives from the capital's location between several hills

Administrative divisions

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Independence

none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Anguilla Day, 30 May (1967)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest 1 April 1982

amendments: amended 1990, 2012, 2017, 2019

Legal system

common law based on the English model

Citizenship

see United Kingdom

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor Julia CROUCH (since 11 September 2023)

head of government: Premier Dr. Ellis WEBSTER (since 30 June 2020) 

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from among elected members of the House of Assembly

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed premier by the governor

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Assembly (11 seats; 7 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 2 appointed by the governor, and 2 ex-officio members - the attorney general and deputy governor; members serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 29 June 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APM 7, AUF 4; composition - men 8, women 3, percentage women 27.3%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, travelling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside in the member states, though none on Anguilla

judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: Magistrate's Court; Juvenile Court

Political parties and leaders

Anguilla Progressive Movement or APM [Dr. Ellis WEBSTER]; (formerly Anguilla United Movement or AUM)
Anguilla United Front or AUF [Cora RICHARDSON-HODGE]

International organization participation

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UNESCO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (overseas territory of the UK); alternate contact is the US Embassy in Barbados [1] (246) 227-4000

Flag description

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Anguillan coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts three orange dolphins in an interlocking circular design on a white background with a turquoise-blue field below; the white in the background represents peace; the blue base symbolizes the surrounding sea, as well as faith, youth, and hope; the three dolphins stand for endurance, unity, and strength

National anthem

name: "God Bless Anguilla"

lyrics/music: Alex RICHARDSON

note: local anthem adopted 1981; as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the King" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy

Economic overview

small, tourism-dependent, territorial-island economy; very high public debt; COVID-19 crippled economic activity; partial recovery underway via tourism, benefitting from its high amount of timeshare residences; considering reopening oil refinery

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.3% (2017 est.)
-0.6% (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 20

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3% (2017 est.)

industry: 10.5% (2017 est.)

services: 86.4% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 15; industry 203; agriculture 152

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 74.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 26.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 48.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -67.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

small quantities of tobacco, vegetables; cattle raising

Industries

tourism, boat building, offshore financial services

Industrial production growth rate

4% (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 97

Budget

revenues: $81.92 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: $80.32 million (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 34

Public debt

20.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
20.8% of GDP (2014 est.)

comparison ranking: 187

Taxes and other revenues

46.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 6

Current account balance

-$23.2 million (2017 est.)
-$25.3 million (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 75

Exports

$7.9 million (2017 est.)
$3.9 million (2016 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

comparison ranking: 219

Exports - partners

Chile 74%, Hungary 7%, Kyrgyzstan 3%, US 2%, Netherlands 2% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

packaged medicine, garments, vehicle parts/accessories, trucks, blank audio media (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$186.2 million (2017 est.)
$170.1 million (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 214

Imports - partners

Chile 48%, US 27%, Botswana 18%, Canada 1%, Japan 1% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

poultry, copper ore, refined petroleum, natural gas, fish (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$76.38 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$48.14 million (31 December 2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 190

Debt - external

$41.04 million (31 December 2013)
$8.8 million (1998)

comparison ranking: 195

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
2.7 (2017 est.)
2.7 (2016 est.)
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 6,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 200

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 26,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 170 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 212

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: in the telecom sector, with declines seen in subscriber numbers (particularly for prepaid mobile services — the mainstay of short-term visitors) and revenue; fixed and mobile broadband services are two areas that have benefited from the crisis to a small extent as employees and students have resorted to working from home, but their contribution to the sector has been insufficient to offset steep falls in other areas of the market; one area of the telecom market that does not yet appear poised for growth is 5G mobile; governments, regulators, and even the mobile network operators have shown that they have little appetite for investing in 5G opportunities at the present time; network expansion and enhancements remain concentrated around improving LTE coverage; until the economies and markets stabilize, and overseas visitors return there is unlikely to be much momentum towards implementing 5G capabilities anywhere in the region (2021)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 38 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 170 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 1-264; landing points for the SSCS, ECFS, GCN and Southern Caribbean Fiber with submarine cable links to Caribbean islands and to the US; microwave radio relay to island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten (2019)

Broadcast media

1 private TV station; multi-channel cable TV subscription services are available; about 10 radio stations, one of which is government-owned

Internet users

total: 13,056 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 81.6% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 215

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 5,000 (2018 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 35 (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: total 186

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 4

Airports

1 (2024)

comparison ranking: 224

Roadways

total: 175 km

paved: 82 km

unpaved: 93 km (2004)

comparison ranking: total 211

Merchant marine

total: 2 (2023)

by type: other 2

comparison ranking: total 176

Military and Security

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe