Stateside Virgin Islands Americans

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Virgin Islands Americans
United States Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands United States
Total population
  • U.S. Virgin Islands origin: 15,014[1]
Regions with significant populations
South Florida, Orlando, Atlanta, New York City, Houston
English, Virgin Islands Creole, American English
Predominantly Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Caribbean Americans

Stateside Virgin Islands Americans are West Indian Americans who hold US citizenship and who have migrated from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the continental United States and Hawaii, and their descendants.

Persons born in the U.S. Virgin Islands are United States citizens, and as a result do not go through the legal immigration procedures a typical West Indies immigrant would. Virgin Islanders in the U.S. are considered part of the Caribbean American community.

It is difficult to determine how many Virgin Islanders reside in the United States proper. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are 15,014 people of U.S. Virgin Islands ancestry residing in the continental United States and Hawaii. However, a count of American residents with "U.S. Virgin Islands ancestry" excludes most U.S. Virgin Islands-born migrants in the United States proper. Because of a high incidence of inter-Caribbean migration throughout the 1960s and 1970s, most native-born Virgin Islanders today are one or two generations removed from other Caribbean islands and would not necessarily define themselves as having "U.S. Virgin Islands ancestry." For example, Tim Duncan is a St. Croix native with Anguillian ancestry.


Virgin Island Americans includes Americans with ancestry from both the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, together numbering about 25,000. A majority of Virgin Islands Americans are of black Afro-Caribbean descent, many of whom descend from African slaves brought to the islands in the colonial era. A large portion descends from black or mixed race migrants who came from other parts of the Caribbean including Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and many smaller countries in the Lesser Antilles.

Many Virgin Islands Americans concentrate in areas with a large overall Caribbean population, including areas like New York, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Notable people[edit]





  • Alton Adams (1889–1987), musician, first black bandmaster in the United States Navy; born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
  • Bennie Benjamin (1907–1989), composer, songwriter, philanthropist; born in Christiansted, St. Croix
  • Jon Lucien, jazz musician; born on Tortola, raised on St. Thomas
  • Rock City, a musical duo of composed brothers Timothy and Theron Thomas, born on St. Thomas
  • Sonny Rollins, jazz musician; born in New York, of St. Thomas (mother) and St. Croix (father) descent

Political leaders[edit]

  • Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884), Secretary of the Treasury, Confederate States of America; born in Christiansted, St. Croix
  • Frank Rudolph Crosswaith (1892–1965), socialist and labor leader; born in Frederiksted, St. Croix
  • Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), first United States Secretary of the Treasury, an American "Founding Father", economist, and political philosopher; born in Nevis, raised on St. Croix
  • Hubert Henry Harrison (1883–1927), orator, political activist; born in St. Croix
  • Elizabeth Anna Hendrickson (1884–1946), civil rights leader; born in St. Croix
  • Casper Holstein (born 1888), humanitarian; born in St. Croix
  • Roy Innis (born 1934), African-American activist, civil rights leader; born in St. Croix
  • J. Raymond Jones (1899–1991), political leader, humanitarian; born in St. Thomas
  • John de Jongh (born 1957), past governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, former financial executive; born in St. Thomas
  • William Leidesdorff (1810–1848), entrepreneur; born in St. Croix
  • Ruby Margaret Rouss (1921–1988) first black woman to be elected to preside over a state legislature; born in St. Croix
  • Terence Todman (born 1926), ambassador; born in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Denmark Vesey (1767–1822), slave revolt leader; born on St. Thomas
  • David Levy Yulee (1810–1886), U.S. Senator; born on St. Thomas

Writers and intellectuals[edit]

News Media Personalities[edit]

  • Candace Owens (born 1989), Conservative News Commentator, TurningPointUSA co-founder, YouTube personality;grandmother from St. Thomas

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. Census website". Retrieved 2008-09-06.