Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, and is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The island nation lies east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and is directly north of Saint Martin. The territory of Anguilla is comprised of the main island, Anguilla, and a number of much smaller islands and cays. Anguilla itself is 26 km long and from a few hundred meters at it’s narrowest point, to 5 km wide at its widest point in the centre of the island. The total land area of the territory is 90 km2, with a population of approximately 13,500.
Anguilla is a flat, low-lying island comprised of coral and limestone and is famous for it’s white sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs. Besides the main island of Anguilla, the territory includes a number of smaller islands and cays, most of which are small and uninhabited. Some of these are: Anguillita, Dog Island, Prickly Pear Cays, Sandy Island, Scrub Island, Scilly Cay, Seal Island, and Sombrero, which is also known as Hat Island.
Map of Anguilla
Anguilla has become a popular tax haven, and had no capital gains, estate, profit or other forms of direct taxation on individuals or corporations until April 2011. Faced with a mounting deficit, the Anguilla government based in the island’s capital city, The Valley, introduced a 3% “Interim Stabilization Levy”. This levy was Anguilla’s first form of income tax ever imposed and is supposed to be temporary.
With it’s tax haven status, reasonable cost of living and ideal weather, Anguilla makes for an ideal retirement destination. The government is of Anguilla is stable, and the only incident of civil unrest was a revolt by islanders to remain a territory within the British Empire, rather than be aligned with St. Kitts. Added attractions for retirees are that the island nation’s defense is the responsibility of the UK, and the national language is English, and the weather is ideal.
The most common language other than English is the island’s own English-Creole language. This is not the French-Creole spoken in Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe however. It is referred to locally as Anguilla Talk, Anguillian or dialect, pronounced “dialek”, and can be understood reasonably well by anyone fluent in English.
Northeastern trade winds keep Anguilla relatively cool and dry for a Caribbean island. The average annual temperature is 27°C. July through October is the hottest period, with December through February the coolest. Annual rainfall averages 890 mm, but the amount varies from season to season. Anguilla, like all Caribbean islands, can experience tropical storms and hurricanes from July through to November.
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