The British islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were planted when economic conditions were particularly favourable. Croix from Denmark for US million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands.
The British introduced sugar cane which was to become the main crop and source of foreign trade, and slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations. The British Virgin Islands were administered variously as part of the British Leeward Islands or with St.
Since the 1960s, the islands have diversified away from their traditionally agriculture-based economy towards tourism and financial services, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean.
The British Virgin Islands comprise around 60 tropical Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, Tortola 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide, to tiny uninhabited islets, altogether about 150 square kilometres (58 square miles) in extent.
Most of the islands are volcanic in origin and have a hilly, rugged terrain.
Anegada is geologically distinct from the rest of the group and is a flat island composed of limestone and coral.
Hurricane Danny (2015) was the most recent until 7 September 2017 when Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage, Entrepreneur Richard Branson, a resident of Necker Island (British Virgin Islands), called on the UK government to develop a massive disaster recovery plan for British islands that were damaged.
The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.
The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island, which is about 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide.
Rainfall averages about 1,150 mm (45.3 in) per year, higher in the hills and lower on the coast.
Rainfall can be quite variable, but the wettest months on average are September to November and the driest months on average are February and March.