Top 10 facts about Anguilla
Anguilla is an island in the Lesser Antilles, a British Overseas Territory, the northernmost of the islands in the Caribbean. Its territory is about 102 km2, has an elongated and narrow shape (in fact, the first researchers called it an eel, in memory of the fish of the same name). The island can be easily explored by car in a short time, about 2-3 hours, and thanks to the special climate, the temperature is around 25°C-28°C all year round.
Geography and population
From a geographical point of view, the Antilles group is a coral formation. For this reason, their relief is not very diverse, even, without pronounced uplands and lowlands. The soils of the islands are also poor, making agriculture difficult.
The main island of the group is Anguilla, and it is also the largest. It also includes the islands of Scrub, Dog, and Sombrero, and around them, in turn, many even smaller islets and reefs are scattered.
The climate is predominantly tropical, formed under the influence of the trade winds. As mentioned above, the Antilles are characterized by year-round high temperatures, which can reach 40°C in July. The coldest months are December and January. Sometimes devastating hurricanes pass through the islands, which negatively affects the local economy.
The local population is predominantly black, with small admixtures of mulattoes and ethnic white Europeans. Just over 15,000 people lived in Anguilla in 2013, and the increase has always been small.
Since the Antilles are an autonomy within the UK, the only official language here is English.
The official currency of Anguilla is the East Caribbean dollar.
The Internet in Anguilla is developing quite well, but, of course, not as quickly and efficiently as in rich mainland countries.
The main local ISP is called Flow, which previously operated the popular Cable & Wireless company in that region. The operator offers a 4G connection with a maximum speed of up to 200 Mbps, the coverage is also quite good on the main islands.
But the cost of services cannot be called low. The prices for a more or less tolerable tariff with the Internet are cosmic - 5GB of traffic for 30 days will cost 138 East Caribbean dollars, or 50 US dollars at the current exchange rate.
Another alternative option for those who plan to buy local SIM cards is Digicel. The pleasure is no less expensive: only a SIM card in a local store will cost $25. And you can’t buy it freely - for this, you will have to provide passport data.
From the tariffs: 8 GB of the Internet and 1000 minutes of calls within Anguilla will cost 119 East Caribbean dollars or $40. Both operators offer international roaming. For example, with Digicel, this service for 30 days costs only EC$30, or about $10.
You can find a SIM card in the operator's branded stores. Rumor has it that the company offers 3 days of free use of services as a gift, which includes 4 GB of the Internet.
The main economic resources of the island are fishing and tourism. Still, the financial and banking rules of the tax haven have caused the economy of this country to grow in recent years, making it an extremely attractive place to set up an offshore business. The tax systems of many European countries have long included the region in the number of states or territories with a privileged tax regime, in the so-called "black list", thereby imposing fiscal restrictions on economic and commercial relations maintained between national companies and entities located in this territory.
As mentioned above, hurricanes cause damage to the economy. This happened in 2017, when Hurricane Irma swept through the islands, destroying much of the local infrastructure. Subsequently, the economy began to recover, including due to the growth of the construction sector due to the need to quickly restore the housing stock.
By 2019, Anguilla had a gross domestic product of over $300 million and a per capita GDP of over $23,000. The next blow to economic development came from the Covid-19 pandemic that began in 2020: due to the need to finance the medical sector, quarantine restrictions, and shutdowns, GDP growth dropped significantly.
The fishing mentioned above is used as a trade and commercial activity in the tourism sector. Fishing and selling seafood, although one of the main activities, still make up only a few percent of GDP.
The already mentioned offshore business brings much more benefits, and the local government, realizing this, encourages international companies to register on its territory, offering numerous benefits in return. Anguilla received tax haven status back in the 90s and has held it ever since.
Finally, tourism. The main direction in which most of the local population is employed. The location, climate, and geography of the islands make them an attractive recreation area. There are more than 30 sandy beaches on the territory of the country, and the hotel and restaurant business is well developed, which is now actively recovering after the pandemic. This sector accounts for about 40% of the economy.
Industry and agriculture are not developed here.
Salary and prices
The average salary in this country is about $1,500. However, only qualified specialists with experience and higher education can apply for it. People employed in the service sector receive much less - sometimes up to $1,000, despite the fact that the cost of living on the island flies a considerable amount. Only renting a modest one-bedroom apartment will cost $700-$800.
As a resort, Anguilla is quite an expensive place. During the season, the cost of one night in an average three-star hotel starts at $250 for two. Lunch at an inexpensive restaurant will cost about $12, and a hearty multi-course lunch at a good restaurant will cost about $100 for two.
Very high prices in supermarkets: for example, a loaf of white bread costs about $3.5, 12 eggs - $2.2, the same price for a kilo of white rice. A kilogram of beef is $30.
Anguilla has a very good level of Internet use in 2022. According to Data Reportal reports, more than 80% of the population has access to it. Almost all of them use social networks - for example, Facebook is used by 59% of the total population, Instagram - 45%, Twitter - 25%.
Advertising in search networks is also in demand - locals are especially interested in everything related to their country and includes the word “Anguilla” in the query since there is little information on this topic.
Education and medicine
Anguilla has a fairly small percentage of the young population, education is poorly developed. It is compulsory for children, and there are about six public elementary schools and several private schools throughout the islands. There is only one middle school. Enrollment rates in primary education are good, with almost all local children receiving it.
But there were no own higher educational institutions in Anguilla. There are only two foreign branches here: the University of the West Indies and St. James Medical School.
Thus, the University of the West Indies has been operating since the 40s and works for the countries of the Anguilla region. The first campuses were opened in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados. Campuses are divided into three categories: main (mentioned earlier), auxiliary, and so-called open, to which the Anguilla branch belongs. You can study the humanities, law, technology, culture, and other specialties.
A branch of the St. James Medical School is a relatively young private educational institution. It is possible to study clinical medicine and obtain a doctor’s license in it, however, the accreditation of the institution is in doubt - the School was conditionally accredited by the Commission in 2019 for a period of three years, and this accreditation ended in May 2021. How things are now is still unknown.
In terms of medicine, there are two public clinics in Anguilla. The country uses a classic scheme for the appointment of so-called family doctors, who are assigned to patients and can issue them referrals to narrower specialists. Services are shareware, but corruption is rampant in hospitals, and internal rates are quite high even with insurance. However, you can get only basic care - there is a shortage of professional staff and equipment for more serious treatment. Accordingly, there is no medical tourism in this country.
Tourism in case of emergency may need to repatriate or travel to neighboring countries for a number of medical services. In this regard, when planning trips to Anguilla, you should choose a good international policy with wide coverage.
Working days and holidays
December 31st - January 1st - New Year
April-May - Easter holidays
May 1st - Labor Day
May 30 - Anguilla Day
August - Constitution Day, Sovereignty Day, Carnival Week (dates subject to change)
December 19 - National Heroes Day
December 24-25 - Christmas holidays
Most of the local population preaches Christianity, which determines a number of local holidays - not all of them are official days off, but a number of institutions may not work.
The mentality of the locals is quite open and hospitable. Tourists are welcome - after all, for locals, this is the main source of income. But there are a few rules to follow: firstly, it is not customary in the country to shout and gesticulate loudly. Secondly, visitors should be cautious with their cameras: you cannot take pictures of government employees and even some cultural objects without special permission.
There is a problem of petty theft, so in crowded places (on beaches, in transport, markets) you need to take good care of your things and not shine with money. It is also recommended to carefully count the change in restaurants and markets.
Cryptocurrencies are not prohibited in Anguilla. Moreover, due to the status of an offshore zone, this region becomes a convenient place for obtaining a license: this service can be used by companies that want to provide services in the digital asset sector, such as exchanges and exchangers.
However, it is worth remembering the status of Anguilla in the EU - when registering in this territory, there may be problems with servicing residents of a number of countries.
Anguilla is a very small and not very developed autonomy that trades in tourism and tax havens. It is unlikely that it will become an ideal place to live, but it will definitely give an unforgettable vacation in the high season.