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Turks and Caicos Islands country facts

Central America and the Caribbean Grand Turk (Cockburn Town) 49,070 inhabitants 948 sq km 51.76 inhabitants/sq km the US dollar is used overseas territory of the United Kingdom population evolution



The islands were part of the UK's Jamaican colony until 1962, when they assumed the status of a separate crown colony upon Jamaica's independence. The governor of The Bahamas oversaw affairs from 1965 to 1973. With Bahamian independence, the islands received a separate governor in 1973. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982, the policy was reversed and the islands remain a British overseas territory.



two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas, north of Haiti

Geographic coordinates

21 45 N, 71 35 W

Area (sq km)

total: 948 sq km
land: 948 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

0 km

Coastline (km)

389 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry


low, flat limestone; extensive marshes and mangrove swamps

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Flamingo Hill 48 m

Natural resources

spiny lobster, conch

Land use (%)

arable land: 1.05%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 98.95% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)


Natural hazards

frequent hurricanes

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources, private cisterns collect rainwater

Geography - note

about 40 islands (eight inhabited)

People and Society


noun: none
adjective: none

Ethnic groups (%)

black 87.6%, white 7.9%, mixed 2.5%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.7% (2006)

Languages (%)

English (official)

Religions (%)

Protestant 72.8% (Baptist 35.8%, Church of God 11.7%, Anglican 10%, Methodist 9.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6%), Roman Catholic 11.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.8%, other 14%


49,070 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 22.1% (male 5,536/female 5,332)
15-24 years: 14.8% (male 3,552/female 3,715)
25-54 years: 53.5% (male 13,333/female 12,931)
55-64 years: 5.3% (male 1,434/female 1,188)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 910/female 1,139) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Turks and Caicos Islands

Median age (years)

total: 31.9 years
male: 32.2 years
female: 31.5 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

2.58% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

16.61 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

3.08 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

12.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 93.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.67% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

GRAND TURK (capital) 7,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 10.97 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 79.55 years
male: 76.8 years
female: 82.42 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

1.7 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 87% of population
rural: 87% of population
total: 87% of population
unimproved: urban: 13% of population
rural: 13% of population
total: 13% of population (2007 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 81.4% of population
rural: 81.4% of population
total: 81.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 18.6% of population
rural: 18.6% of population
total: 18.6% of population (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Education expenditures (% of GDP)


Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1970 est.)

People - note

destination and transit point for illegal Haitian immigrants bound for the Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, and the US


Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands
abbreviation: TCI

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Government type



name: Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)
geographic coordinates: 21 28 N, 71 08 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

Administrative divisions

none (overseas territory of the UK)


none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 30 August (1976)


several previous; latest signed 7 August 2012, effective 15 October 2012 (Turks and Caicos Constitution Order 2011) (2012)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and civil law


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Peter BECKINGHAM (since 9 October 2013)
head of government: Premier Rufus EWING (since 13 November 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of the governor, deputy governor, the premier, no more than six other ministers appointed by the governor from among the members of the House of Assembly, and the attorney general
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is appointed premier by the governor
note: the UK foreign minister has determined that sufficient progress has been made to reinstate local government under a new constitution, effective in October 2012

Legislative branch

unicameral House of Assembly consisting of 19 seats, 15 elected and 4 appointed by the governor; of elected members, five are elected at large and 10 from single member districts for four-year terms
elections: last held on 9 November 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - PNP 8, PDM 7

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and such number of other judges as determined by the governor); Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 2 justices)
note - appeals beyond the Supreme Court are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges appointed by the governor in accordance with the Judicial Service Commission, a 3-member body of high level judicial officials; Supreme Court judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 65, but can be extended to age 70; Appeals Court judge tenure determined by individual terms of appointment
subordinate courts: magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders

People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Oswald SKIPPINGS]
People's Progressive Party [NA]
Progressive National Party or PNP [Rufus EWING]

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the colonial shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield is yellow and displays a conch shell, a spiny lobster, and Turks Head cactus - three common elements of the islands' biota

National anthem

name: "This Land of Ours"
lyrics/music: Conrad HOWELL
note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is the official anthem (see United Kingdom)


Economy - overview

The Turks and Caicos economy is based on tourism, offshore financial services, and fishing. Most capital goods and food for domestic consumption are imported. The US is the leading source of tourists, accounting for more than three-quarters of the 175,000 visitors that arrived in 2004. Major sources of government revenue also include fees from offshore financial activities and customs receipts.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$632 million (2007 est.)
$568.3 million (2006 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)


GDP - real growth rate (%)

11.2% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$29,100 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 1%
industry: 22.5%
services: 76.5% (2013 est.)

Labor force

4,848 (1990 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

note: about 33% in government and 20% in agriculture and fishing; significant numbers in tourism, financial, and other services

Unemployment rate (%)

10% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)


Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $434.1 million
expenditures: $437.6 million (2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

2.5% (2013 est.)
2.5% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products

corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), citrus fruits; fish


tourism, offshore financial services

Industrial production growth rate (%)

3% (2013 est.)


$24.77 million (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

lobster, dried and fresh conch, conch shells


$591.3 million (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactures, construction materials

External debt ($)


Exchange rates

Currency converter
the US dollar is used

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

200 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

186 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

50,000 kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

999 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

1,063 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

155,500 Mt (2011 est.)


Telephone system

general assessment: fully digital system with international direct dialing
domestic: full range of services available; GSM wireless service available
international: country code - 1-649; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber optic telecommunications submarine cable provides connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

no local terrestrial TV stations, broadcasts from the Bahamas can be received and multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; government-run radio network operates alongside private broadcasters with a total of about 15 stations (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

73,217 (2012)



8 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 121 km
paved: 24 km
unpaved: 97 km (2003)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Cockburn Harbour, Grand Turk, Providenciales


Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 11,842
females age 16-49: 11,755 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 338
female: 342 (2010 est.)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

have received Haitians fleeing economic and civil disorder

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

Largest cities of Turks and Caicos Islands

These are the 50 largest cities of Turks and Caicos Islands ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Cockburn Town 5,525