TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS


 

Motto: One People, One Nation, One Destiny
History The islands were under Jamaican jurisdiction until 1962, when they assumed the status of a crown colony. 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 are presently a British overseas territory.

Geography
Location: Caribbean, two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas
Geographic coordinates: 21 45 N, 71 35 W
Area: total: 430 sq km
land: 430 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 389 km
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: 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%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 98% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: Only 4 major hurricanes in the last century.
Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources, private cisterns collect rainwater
Geography - note: 30 islands (eight inhabited)

People
Population: 22,942 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure: Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.2% (male 3,528/female 3,401)
15-64 years: 65.6% (male 7,875/female 7,164)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 475/female 499) (2009 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.563% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 20.79 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate: 4.18 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate: 9.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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.)

Government  
Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands
Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK
Government type: NA
Capital: Cockburn Town (on Grand Turk)
geographic coordinates: 21 28 N, 71 08 W
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 small number 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

elections: the monarch 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 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]
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)
National Holidays: New Years Day (01 January); Commonwealth Day (Monday nearest to 12 March); Good Friday; Easter Monday; National Heroes Day (last Monday in May in honor of the First Chief Minister, The late Hon J.A.G.S. McCartney); Queens Official Birthday (mid-June); Emancipation Day (01 August); National Youth Day (Last Friday of September); Columbus Day (Monday nearest the 10th of October); International Human Rights Day (24 October); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
Date of CARICOM Membership: 2 July 1991
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 contains a conch shell, lobster, and cactus

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 PPP):: $216 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.9% (1997 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $NA
GDP - per capita (PPP):  $11,500 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (1995)
Labor force: 4,848 (1990 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: About 33% in government and 20% in agriculture and fishing; significant numbers in tourism, financial, and other services (1997 est.)
Budget: Revenues: $47 million
Expenditures: $33.6 million,  (1997/98 est.)
Agriculture - products: corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), citrus fruits; fish
Industries:  Tourism, offshore financial services
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Agriculture - products: corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), citrus fruits; fish
Exports: $169.2 million (2000)
Exports - commodities: lobster, dried and fresh conch, conch shells
Imports: $175.6 million
Imports - commodities: Food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactures, construction materials
Imports - partners: US, UK
Debt - external: $NA
Exchange rates: US currency is used
Business Hours: Commercial: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Government: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Fiscal year: Calendar year

Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 3,700 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 25,100 (2004)
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 from The Bahamas are received; 2 cable television networks) (2003)
Internet Country code .tc
Internet hosts: 2,352 (2008)

Transportation
Highways: total: 121 km
paved: 24 km
unpaved: 97 km (2003)
Ports and harbors: Grand Turk, Providenciales
Merchant marine: registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 152
Airports: 7 (1999 est.)
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)

Military

Military - note:

Defense is the responsibility of the UK
  Main Source of Information: the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook

Items of Interest  
National Anthem God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.
 

Favourite Local Cuisine: Conch in all forms is one of the staples  along with other seafood delicacies such as lobster and mahi-mahi (dolphin).  Boiled fish with Johnny cake or pig's tail and peas and grits are breakfast favorites.