British Indian Ocean Territory

Overseas Territory of the ‌United Kingdom
Flag of the British Indian Ocean Territory Coat of Arms of the British Indian Ocean Territory
In tutela nostra Limuria
Limuria is in our charge
God Save the Queen
Location of the British Indian Ocean Territory
CapitalDiego Garcia
Status Overseas Territory
- From 1965Elizabeth II
- From 2008Colin Roberts
- From 2007Joanne Yeadon
November 8, 1965Established
Area60 km²
- 20104,000
CurrencyUnited States dollar
Flag of Seychelles Seychelles
Flag of Mauritius Mauritius

The British Indian Ocean Territory is a overseas territory of the United Kingdom.


Formerly administered as part of the British Crown Colony of Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was established as an overseas territory of the UK in 1965. A number of the islands of the territory were later transferred to the Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Between 1967 and 1973, former agricultural workers, earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to Mauritius, but also to the Seychelles. Negotiations between 1971 and 1982 resulted in the establishment of a trust fund by the British Government as compensation for the displaced islanders, known as Chagossians. Beginning in 1998, the islanders pursued a series of lawsuits against the British Government seeking further compensation and the right to return to the territory. In 2006 and 2007, British court rulings invalidated the immigration policies contained in the 2004 BIOT Constitution Order that had excluded the islanders from the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia. In 2008, the House of Lords, as the final court of appeal in the UK, ruled in favor of the British Government by overturning the lower court rulings and finding no right of return for the Chagossians.[1]


All economic activity is concentrated on the largest island of Diego Garcia, where a joint UK-US military facility is located. Construction projects and various services needed to support the military installation are performed by military and contract employees from the UK, Mauritius, the Philippines, and the US. There are no industrial or agricultural activities on the islands. The territory earns foreign exchange by selling fishing licenses and postage stamps.[2]


  • Elizabeth II () (November 8, 1965 - )


  • Colin Roberts () (June 23, 2008 - )


  • Joanne Yeadon () (December 3, 2007 - )


British Overseas Territories


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview