Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean, comprises a small main island and several offshore islets. Its beaches range from long sandy stretches like Rendezvous Bay, overlooking neighboring Saint Martin island, to secluded coves reached by boat, such as at Little Bay. Protected areas include Big Spring Cave, known for its prehistoric petroglyphs, and East End Pond, a wildlife conservation site.
Capital: The Valley
Currency: East Caribbean dollar
Population: 15,000 (2016)
Official language: English
Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and remittances from emigrants. Increased activity in the tourism industry has spurred the growth of the construction sector contributing to economic growth. Anguillan officials have put substantial effort into developing the offshore financial sector, which is small but growing. In the medium term, prospects for the economy will depend largely on the tourism sector and, therefore, on revived income growth in the industrialized nations as well as on favorable weather conditions.
Colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, Anguilla was administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island – against the wishes of the inhabitants – 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, with Anguilla becoming a separate British dependency.