The revenue of the islands comes primarily from the tourism industry, oil refining and rum production, and their contribution to the US economy in 2005 was more or less offset by the grants they received from Washington.
In 2005 there were 33,000 jobs in private industry, 11,700 jobs funded by local government and about 1000 jobs funded from Washington. West Indians are a population of around 110,000, most of whom are descendants of enslaved Africans whom Danes and other Europeans abducted from Africa and brought to the lucrative colonies in the 18th century. In 2010 the islands were officially 76% black, 13% white and 11% others – Asians and mixed race. In recent years there has been Hispanic immigration. Today 17% speak Spanish, 75% English and 8% other languages including French.