Turks and Caicos Islands( Central America and Caribbean )

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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
total: 948 sq km
land: 948 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 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:
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:
Total renewable water resources:
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
Natural hazards:
frequent hurricanes
Environment current issues:
limited natural freshwater resources, private cisterns collect rainwater
Environment international agreements:
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)
English (official)
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.)
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.)
Dependency ratios:
Median age:
total: 31.9 years
male: 32.2 years
female: 31.5 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.58% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
16.61 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
3.08 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
12.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
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:
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:
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.)
Maternal mortality rate:
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.55 years
male: 76.8 years
female: 82.42 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.7 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
Health expenditures:
Physicians density:
Hospital bed density:
Drinking water source:
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:
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 or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
HIV or AIDS deaths:
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
Education expenditures:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1970 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Child labor children ages 5-14:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands
abbreviation: TCI
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
International law organization participation:
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 symbol(s):
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.)
Gross national saving:
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 29.6%
government consumption: 17.7%
investment in fixed capital: 52.9%
exports of goods and services: 76.2%
imports of goods and services: -76.3%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 22.5%
services: 76.5% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), citrus fruits; fish
tourism, offshore financial services
Industrial production growth rate:
3% (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%
Distribution of family income Gini index:
revenues: $434.1 million
expenditures: $437.6 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.5% (2013 est.)
2.5% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
Stock of narrow money:
Stock of broad money:
Stock of domestic credit:
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Current account balance:
$24.77 million (2008 est.)
Exports commodities:
lobster, dried and fresh conch, conch shells
Exports partners:
$591.3 million (2008 est.)
Imports commodities:
food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactures, construction materials
Imports partners:
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Debt external:
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used
Electricity production:
200 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity consumption:
186 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
50,000 kW (2010 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
999 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
1,063 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
155,500 Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
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)
Telephones main lines in use:
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 users:
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)
total: 121 km
paved: 24 km
unpaved: 97 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Cockburn Harbour, Grand Turk, Providenciales
Military branches:
Military service age and obligation:
Manpower available for military service:
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 expenditures:
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
have received Haitians fleeing economic and civil disorder
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Trafficking in persons: