Latin America & Caribbean

Anguilla profile

Map of Anguilla

A coral and limestone island at the northern tip of the Leewards, the British overseas territory of Anguilla is best known as an upmarket destination for tourists and a haven for the wealthy.

Once the home of Arawak and Carib peoples, it became an English colony in 1650. Its people are of mainly African descent.

Carefully regulated tourism is the bedrock of the economy while offshore banking is another money-earner. Anguilla does not levy personal or corporate income tax and - along with Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands - signed agreements in 2013 on sharing tax information with Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

In 1967, Britain created a self-governing entity encompassing Anguilla and the islands of St Kitts and Nevis to the south. However, Anguillians declared their secession and British forces were sent in. In 1971, the Anguilla Act brought the territory under British control but Anguilla broke away from St Kitts and Nevis, becoming a British overseas territory in 1980.

FACTS

Anguilla

British overseas territory

  • Population 13,550

  • Area 96 sq km (37 sq miles)

  • Major language English

  • Major religion Christianity

  • Life expectancy 79 years (men), 81 years (women)

  • Currency East Caribbean dollar

LEADERS

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor.

Chief minister: Victor Banks

Victor Banks was elected chief minister in the 2015 general elections when his Anguilla United Front (AUF) won six of a total of seven seats in the assembly. The outgoing Anguilla United Movement, led by the previous chief minister, Hubert Hughes, failed to win a seat.

Mr Banks has served in various ministerial posts and as deputy chief minister in previous administrations. He was for many years the leader of the Anguilla Democratic Party (ADP) which merged with the Anguilla National Alliance in 2005 to form the Anguilla United Front.

There are seven elected seats in Anguilla's assembly. Four assembly members are appointed; three of them by the governor and one by the ruling party.

MEDIA

As a British dependency, the laws governing freedom of the press are the same as those in the United Kingdom, providing for an unrestricted free press.

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