Overseas Territories are notable for their differences
The United Nations lists 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories, or colonies, remaining in the world. Of those 17, Britain retains a total of nine Overseas Territories scattered around the globe.
In the Atlantic and Caribbean region there are six Overseas Territories, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, The Cayman Islands, Montserrat, The Turks and Caicos Islands and The Virgin Islands.
The islands are diverse in size, population, costs, and other items. Here are some of the vital statistics of our sister Overseas Territories or OTs, in the Atlantic and Caribbean regions.
The physical size of any country usually sets the stage for a number of factors such as population size, economies and costs of living.
Below are the total land masses of each respective Overseas Territory:
● Turks and Caicos: 366 square miles
● Cayman Islands: 102 square miles
● Virgin Islands: 59 square miles
● Montserrat: 39 sq. miles
● Anguilla: 35 square miles
●Bermuda Islands: 21 square miles
One interesting point is that due to the Soufrière Hills Volcanic eruption of 1995, roughly one third of Montserrat is actually inhabitable. The remaining two thirds of the island is know as the “Exclusion Zone.”
The population sizes, as of 2020, are as follows:
● Cayman Islands: 70,000
● Bermuda: 63,000
● Turks and Caicos Islands: 39,000
● Virgin Islands: 30,000
● Anguilla: 15,500
● Montserrat: 5,000
In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the vast majority of residents are guest workers. The same is true for both the Cayman Islands and the Virgin Islands.
Every OT has a Governor appointed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office of the United Kingdom Government.
Each of the OTs uses the United Kingdom’s Westminster system of governance. This includes general elections every four to five years, a Premier, a Cabinet, backbenchers, and an Opposition.
Here are the number of elected Parliamentarians in each OT:
● Bermuda Islands: 36 MPs
● Cayman Islands: 19 MPs
● Turks and Caicos Islands: 15 MPs
● Virgin Islands: 13 MPs
● Anguilla: 11 MPs
● Montserrat: 9 MPs
There are other additional Parliamentarians who are appointed by the respective Governors, Governments and or Opposition leaders.
The vast majority of OTs have only one House of Parliament, with Bermuda the sole exception as it has both an upper and lower House. The upper house, or Senate, consists of 11 appointed Senators.
In coming weeks, we will post other comparative statistics such as costs of electricity, gasoline, vaccination statistics and the number of registered voters in each respective OT.