General: According to Indexdotcom.com, the islands were part of the Colony of Jamaica until 1962, when they were granted Crown Colony status. Managed by the Governor of the Bahamas from 1965 to 1973. After the Bahamas gained independence, the Turks and Caicos Islands received their own governor in 1973. Although an independence agreement was reached in 1982, political sentiment has changed and the islands are now a British Overseas Territory.
Location: Caribbean region, two groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Bahamas.
Geographical coordinates: 21° 45′ N. latitude, 71° 35′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 430 sq. km.; land surface area: 430 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: 2.5 times the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 389 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing rights zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; nautical; moderated by the trade winds; sunny and relatively dry.
Terrain: low, flat limestone islands; vast swamps and mangroves.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: Blue Hills 49 m.
Natural resources: spiny lobsters, shells.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 98% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Frequent hurricanes.
Current environmental issues: limited natural drinking water resources, private cisterns collect rainwater.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”: 30 islands (eight inhabited).
Population: 18 122 people (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 32.58% (male 2,996; female 2,908); 15 to 64 years old: 63.51% (male 6,050; female 5,459); over 65: 3.91% (male 316; female 393) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.41% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 24.89 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 4.47 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 13.69 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.11 male/female; over 65: 0.8 male/female; for the general population: 1.07 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 18.06 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 73.52 years; men: 71.37 years; women: 75.77 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.22 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: none; adjective: no.
Ethnic groups: black.
Religious: Baptist 41.2%, Methodist 18.9%, Anglican 18.3%, Seventh-day Adventist 1.7%, other 19.9% (1980).
Language(s): English (official).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who have ever attended school; for the general population: 98%; men: 99%; women: 98% (1970 est.).
Common long form: no;
Common short form: Terke and Caicos Islands. Dependency State: British Overseas Territory.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Cockburn Town (on Grand Turk Island).
Administrative division: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
Independence: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
National holiday: Constitution Day, 30 August (1976).
Constitution: enacted 30 August 1976; suspended in 1986; restored and revised March 5, 1988
Legal system: based on the laws of England and Wales, with minor borrowings from the laws of Jamaica and the Bahamas.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Mervyn JONES (since 27 January 2000);
head of government: Chief Minister Derek H. TAYLOR (since 31 January 1995);
Government: the executive council consists of three ex officio members and five appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council; elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the governor is appointed by the monarch; the chief minister is appointed by the governor.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Council (19 seats, 13 of which are elected by popular vote; term of office – 4 years); elections: elections last held 4 March 1999 (next to be held in 2003); election results: distribution of votes between parties: PDM 52.2%, PNP 40.9%, independents 6.9%; distribution of seats among parties: PDM9, PNP4.
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) (Derek TAYLOR); Progressive National Party (PNP) (Washington MISICK); United Democratic Party (UDP) (Wendal SWANN).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau).
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
US Diplomatic Representation: None (UK Overseas Territory).
Flag description: blue, with the flag of Great Britain in the upper left quarter and the colonial shield in the center of the outer half of the flag; the shield is yellow, with the image of a shell, a lobster and a cactus.
Economy Overview: The economy of the islands is based on tourism, fishing and offshore financial services. The means of production and foodstuffs needed for domestic consumption are mainly imported. In 1996, most tourists came from the US (more than half of the 87,000); the number of tourists rose to 93,000 in 1998. The main sources of government revenue are offshore finance and customs duties.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $128 million (1999 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 8.7% (1999 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $7,300 (1999 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: no data; industry: no data; service sector: no data.
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 4% (1995).
Labor force: 4,848 people (1990 est.).
Employment structure: about 33% in public institutions and 20% in agriculture and fisheries; a significant number of the working-age population is employed in the tourism, financial and other service sectors (1997 est.).
Unemployment rate: 10% (1997 est.).
Budget: revenues: $47 million; expenditures: $33.6 million, including capital expenditures – NA (1997-98 est.).
Spheres of economy: tourism, offshore financial services.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 5 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 4.6 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: corn, legumes, cassava (tapioca), citrus fruits; fish.
Export: $4.7 million (1993)
Exports: Lobsters, dried and fresh shells.
Export partners: USA, UK.
Import: $46.6 million (1993)
Imports: food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactured goods, building materials.
Import partners: USA, UK.
External debt: no data. Economic aid recipient: $4.1 million (1997)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: US dollar.
Currency code: USD.
Exchange rate: US dollar is used.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 3,000 (1994).
Mobile cell phones: 0 (1994).
Telephone system: fairly good cable and radiotelephone connection; internal: no data; international: 2 submarine cables; ground satellite station – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcasting stations: AM – 3 (one not active), FM -6, shortwave -0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 8,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 0 (television programs received from the Bahamas; cable television established) (1997).
TVs: no data.
Internet country code: tc
Internet service providers: 14 (2000).
Number of users: no data.
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 121 km; coated: 24 km; unpaved: 97 km (2000)
Ports and harbors: Grand Turk, Providencials.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 8 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 4; from 1524 to 2437 m:3; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 4; from 914 to 1,523 m: 2; less than 914 m: 2 (2000 est.).
International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit Drugs: Transit point for drugs from South America to the US and Europe.