Population: 44,819 (est.)
Capital: Cockburn Town
- The US$ is the official currency of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- The majority of the population of the Turks and Caicos Islands are Christian. As of 2001 they were 35.8% Baptists, 11.7% Members of the Church of God, 11.4% Catholics, 10% Anglicans, 9.3% Methodists, 6% Seventh-Day Adventists, 1.8% Jehovah’s Witnesses and 14% other.
- Turks and Caicos Islands features a relatively dry and sunny marine tropicalclimate with relatively consistent temperatures throughout the course of the year.
- Summertime temperatures rarely exceed 33 °C (91 °F) and winter nighttime temperatures rarely fall below 18 °C (64 °F).
- Initially, the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands relied on the export of salt and conch meat. Over the years, various exports maintained the local economy. Guano, cotton, sisal, fish, lobster and sponges have been replaced by tourism and a financial services industry. Fish and seafood are still lucrative exports.
- In the last 300 years, the country has been under the control of the Spanish, French, and is now British.
- The Turks islands name is derived from the Turks Head Cactus (Melocactus intortus), which is capped with a spiny structure resembling a Turkish Fez hat.
- The Caicos islands name is derived from the Lucayan word ‘cayo hico’, meaning string of islands. Lucyans were the original inhabitants of the islands.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies. They are known primarily for tourism and as an offshore financial centre.
The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the island of Hispaniola. Cockburn Town, the capital since 1766, is situated on Grand Turk Island about 1,042 kilometres (647 mi) east-southeast of Miami in the United States. The islands have a total land area of 430 square kilometres (170 sq mi). The islands are geographically contiguous to the Bahamas, but are politically a separate entity.
The total population is about 45,000, of whom approximately 22,500 live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands.
In August 2009, the United Kingdom suspended the Turks and Caicos Islands’ self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. The prerogative of the ministerial government and the House of Assembly were vested in the islands’ governor, Gordon Wetherell, and his successor, Ric Todd, pending the report of a Commission of Inquiry and the drafting of a new Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Home rule was restored in the islands after the November 2012 elections.