U.S. Virgin Islands’ Economy Tops $19 Billion in Sales in 2007

The 2,583 businesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ economy generated $19.5 billion in sales and employed 35,300 people, with $1.1 billion in annual payroll, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Economic Census of Island Areas: Geographic Area Series for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Retail trade sales increased 15 percent to $1.4 billion between 2002 and 2007.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory in the Caribbean. The economic census ― conducted every five years ― profiles the territory as a whole, and the three islands (St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas) and towns individually for businesses with paid employees. The 2007 Economic Census included the petroleum refinery industry, which was excluded in the 2002 Economic Census.

Other findings:

  • Retail trade employment over the same period increased 2 percent to 6,773 in 2007. Payroll increased 14 percent to $146.1 million in 2007.
  • In 2007, the largest share of retail sales was found in clothing and clothing accessories stores (30 percent of total retail sales), and in food and beverage stores (18 percent of total retail sales).
  • Clothing and clothing accessories store sales increased 3 percent, from $403.5 million in 2002 to $414.0 million in 2007.
  • Food and beverage store sales increased 14 percent, from $217.3 million in 2002 to $246.8 million in 2007.
  • Businesses in St. Croix reported $16.1 billion in total sales — 83 percent of U.S. Virgin Islands total sales in 2007 — while St. Thomas reported $3.1 billion in total sales.
  • The U.S. Virgin Islands had 109 businesses with 50 or more employees, representing 4 percent of all businesses. These businesses accounted for 84 percent ($16.3 billion) of total sales.

The data for the U.S. Virgin Islands are available through the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder, an online data tool that allows users to access, filter, manipulate and extract data. Data for the Northern Mariana Islands were released in March 2009 and data for Guam in May 2009. Data for American Samoa and Puerto Rico will be released between August 2009 and September 2010. More information about the Economic Census of Island Areas is available at <http://www.census.gov/econ/islandareas/index.html>.


More information about the 2007 Economic Census of Island Areas can be found at <http://www.census.gov/econ/islandareas/index.html>. For information on confidentiality protection, nonsampling error and definitions, see the Methodology description at