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Anguilla

Anguilla ăng-gwĭl´ə [key], island and British dependency (2015 est. pop. 15,000) 35 sq mi (91 sq km), West Indies, northernmost of the Leeward Islands . The capital is the town of The Valley . The population, which is mainly of African descent, speaks English, the official language. Most Anguillans belong to Anglican, Methodist, or other Protestant churches. Fishing (mainly lobsters), stock raising, and salt mining are the mainstays of the economy, with tourism and offshore banking increasingly important.

In 1967 the British possessions of Anguilla, St. Kitts, and Nevis were united in the self-governing state of St. Kitts–Nevis–Anguilla, associated with Great Britain. Anguillans, claiming political and economic discrimination, mostly rejected inclusion in the state, and the island seceded. In 1969 British forces invaded and occupied Anguilla for six months, and in 1971 Anguilla returned to British colonial rule, although not until 1980 was it officially separated from St. Kitts and Nevis . The constitution of 1982, amended in 1990, gives Anguilla significant control over its internal affairs. Anguilla suffered significant damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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