Turks and Caicos Islands

Status: Overseas territory

Governor: Peter Beckingham (2013)

Premier: Rufus Ewing (2012)

Total area: 238 sq mi (616.3 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 46,400 (growth rate: 2.7%); birth rate: 21.5/1000; infant mortality rate: 14.7/1000; life expectancy: 75.0; density per sq mi: 194

Capital (2003 est.): Cockburn Town, 5,000

Monetary unit: U.S. dollar

Literacy rate: 98% (1970 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2002 est.): $216 million; per capita $11,500. Real growth rate: 4.9% (2000 est.). Inflation: 4% (1995). Unemployment: 10% (1997 est.). Arable land: 2%. Agriculture: corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), citrus fruits; fish. Labor force: 4,848 (1990 est.); about 33% in government and 20% in agriculture and fishing; significant numbers in tourism, financial, and other services (1997 est.). Industries: tourism, offshore financial services. Natural resources: spiny lobster, conch. Exports: $169.2 million (2000): lobster, dried and fresh conch, conch shells. Imports: $175.6 million (2000): food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactures, construction materials. Major trading partners: U.S., UK (2004).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 3,000 (1994); mobile cellular: 0 (1994). Radio broadcast stations: AM 3 (one inactive), FM 6, shortwave 0 (1998). Radios: 8,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 0 (broadcasts from The Bahamas are received; cable television is established) (1997). Televisions: n.a.. Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 14 (2002).

Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 121 km; paved: 24 km; unpaved: 97 km (2000). Ports and harbors: Grand Turk, Providenciales. Airports: 8 (2001).

International disputes: none.

Major sources and definitions

These two groups of islands are near the Bahamas in the Caribbean. The principal islands in the Turks group are Grand Turk and Salt Cay; the principal islands in the Caicos group are South Caicos, East Caicos, Middle (or Grand) Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, and West Caicos. The islands were not settled by Europeans until 1678, when British colonists from Bermuda established a salt-panning industry. The islands were at first placed under the Bahamian government, but in 1874 they became dependencies of the colony of Jamaica. Following Jamaica's independence, they became a British Crown colony. The salt production industry, the islands' economic mainstay, ceased in 1964 and gave way to tourism, offshore financial services, and fishing.

See also Encyclopedia: Turks and Caicos Islands.


Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom

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