Anguilla (ăng-gwĭlˈə) [key], island and British dependency (2005 est. pop. 13,300) 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. Anguilla, claiming political and economic discrimination, seceded in the same year and returned to British colonial rule in 1971. It was officially separated from St. Kitts and Nevis in 1980. The constitution of 1982, amended in 1990, gives Anguilla significant control over its internal affairs.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.