The island of Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory, lies in the Caribbean Sea and is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands. It is the smallest territory in the Caribbean with an area of only 96 sq km. Originally home to Amerindian settlers who called the island "Malliouhana", the first European visitors to Anguilla were the British in 1650. For many years it was governed by nearby St. Kitts as part of the British dependency of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla until in 1967 local dissatisfaction led to revolt. Following British intervention Anguilla was finally allowed to secede and become a separate dependancy, and has had some measure of autonomy since 1980.
Anguilla is composed mostly of limestone and coral. The main island has an area of around 91 sq km, with a coastline measuring 61km. The highest point on the island is only 65m, and this lack of elevation together with the north-eastern tradewinds from the Atlantic gives Anguilla a sub-tropical climate, but also renders the island prone to flooding, especially during the hurricane season which lasts from June to September. Year-round there is little variation in temperature, a monthly mean of around 27 degrees Celsius, although summers are generally hotter than winters.
The majority of the population are of African descent, descendants of slaves brought there by the British.