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Turks and Caicos Islands

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Background:
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.



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

Geographic coordinates:
21 45 N, 71 35 W

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 948 sq km
country comparison to the world: 185
land: 948 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
389 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate:
Current Weather
tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry

Terrain:
low, flat limestone; extensive marshes and mangrove swamps

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Blue Hills 49 m

Natural resources:
spiny lobster, conch

Land use:
arable land: 2.33%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97.67% (2005)

Irrigated land:
NA

Natural hazards:
frequent hurricanes

Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources, private cisterns collect rainwater

Geography - note:
about 40 islands (eight inhabited)



Population:
23,528 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216

Age structure:
0-14 years: 29.7% (male 3,556/female 3,426)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 8,107/female 7,394)
65 years and over: 4.4% (male 518/female 527) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 28 years
male: 28.8 years
female: 27.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
2.491% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Birth rate:
20.44 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91

Death rate:
4.17 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206

Net migration rate:
8.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8

Urbanization:
urban population: 92% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.047 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.43 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 130
male: 15.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.64 years
country comparison to the world: 78
male: 73.32 years
female: 78.07 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.92 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:
noun: none
adjective: none

Ethnic groups:
black 90%, mixed, European, or North American 10%

Religions:
Baptist 40%, Anglican 18%, Methodist 16%, Church of God 12%, other 14% (1990)

Languages:
English (official)

Literacy:
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):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2005)

Education expenditures:
NA

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:
NA

Capital:
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)

Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:
Constitution Day, 30 August (1976)

Constitution:
Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution (Interim Amendment) Order 2009, S.I. 2009/701 - effective 14 August 2009 - suspended Ministerial government, the House of Assembly, and the constitutional right to trial by jury, and imposed direct British rule

Legal system:
based on laws of England and Wales with a few adopted from Jamaica and The Bahamas

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Gordon WETHERELL (since 5 August 2008)
head of government: Governor Gordon WETHERELL (since 14 August 2009); note - the office of premier is suspended by the Order in Council, effective 14 August 2009
cabinet: under provisions of the Order in Council, the cabinet is suspended effective 14 August 2009 and replaced by an Advisory Council appointed by the governor
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch
note: following an investigation into allegations of widespread corruption and misconduct within the Turks and Caicos Government, the UK foreign minister directed the governor to bring into effect on 14 August 2009 an Order in Council suspending Ministerial government and the House of Assembly, and imposing direct rule for a period of up to two years

Legislative branch:
under provisions of the Order in Council, the unicameral House of Assembly is dissolved and all seats vacated for a period of up to two years; in the interim, a Consultative Forum, appointed by the governor, will be established
elections: last held on 9 February 2007 (next to be held by July 2011)
election results: under provisions of the Order in Council, all seats in the House of Assembly are vacated

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders:
People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Floyd SEYMOUR]; Progressive National Party or PNP [Michael Eugene MISICK]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

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



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):
$216 million (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214

GDP (official exchange rate):
$NA

GDP - real growth rate:
4.9% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$11,500 (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Labor force:
4,848 (1990 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219

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.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $47 million
expenditures: $33.6 million (1997-98 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4% (1995)
country comparison to the world: 129

Agriculture - products:
corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), citrus fruits; fish

Industries:
tourism, offshore financial services

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Electricity - production:
12 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209

Electricity - consumption:
11.16 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Oil - consumption:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170

Oil - imports:
80 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Exports:
$169.2 million (2000)
country comparison to the world: 183

Exports - commodities:
lobster, dried and fresh conch, conch shells

Imports:
$175.6 million (2000)
country comparison to the world: 202

Imports - commodities:
food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactures, construction materials

Debt - external:
$NA

Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used



Telephones - main lines in use:
3,700 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 217

Telephones - mobile cellular:
25,100 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 204

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)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 7, shortwave 0 (2003)

Television broadcast stations:
0 (broadcasts received from The Bahamas; 2 cable television networks) (2003)

Internet country code:
.tc

Internet hosts:
9,445 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 117



Airports:
8 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 163

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)

Roadways:
total: 121 km
country comparison to the world: 211
paved: 24 km
unpaved: 97 km (2003)

Merchant marine:
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 152

Ports and terminals:
Grand Turk, Providenciales



Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,062
females age 16-49: 4,772 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 229
female: 223 (2010 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK



Disputes - international:
have received Haitians fleeing economic and civil disorder

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 08/31/10

 

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