Formerly administered as part of the British Crown Colony of Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was established as an overseas territory of the UK in 1965. A number of the islands of the territory were later transferred to the Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976.



total: 60 sq km
land: 60 sq km
water: 54,340 sq km


tropical marine; hot, humid, moderated by trade winds

Natural resources

coconuts, fish, sugarcane

People and Society



name: administered from London; often regarded as being on Diego Garcia

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022)
head of government: Commissioner Paul CANDLER (since 8 July 2021); Administrator Balraj DHANDA; note - both reside in the UK and are represented by Commander Colvin OSBORN, RN, Officer commanding British Forces on Diego Garcia (since January 2022)


Economic overview

small island territory economy; economic activity mainly on Diego Garcia with national military installations; recently settled disputes with Mauritius have increased oil exports; established marine reserve has limited commercial fishing

Exports - partners

Singapore 69%, United States 10%, Canada 5%, Ireland 4%, Saudi Arabia 2% (2021)

Exports - commodities

tuna and other fish, computers, integrated circuits, diamonds, jewelry (2021)

Imports - partners

Singapore 64%, United States 22%, Panama 4%, Ireland 3%, Bulgaria 1% (2021)

Imports - commodities

inedible fish and animal products, aluminum structures, cement, boat propellers, packaged medicines (2021)

Page last updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024