Turks and Caicos Islands - TC - TCA - Central America and the Caribbean

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Turks and Caicos Islands Factbook Data

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.7% (male 6,262/female 6,026)

15-64 years: 73.24% (male 21,860/female 21,619)

65 years and over: 6.06% (2023 est.) (male 1,741/female 1,859)
2023 population growth
This is the population pyramid for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

21 45 N, 71 35 W

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

frequent hurricanes

People - note

destination and transit point for illegal Haitian immigrants bound for the Bahamas and the US

Area - comparative

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

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. Grand Turk island suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Maria on 22 September 2017 resulting in loss of power and communications, as well as damage to housing and businesses.

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources, private cisterns collect rainwater

Population below poverty line

NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

plastic building materials, stone processing machinery, iron structures, crustaceans, integrated circuits (2019)

Administrative divisions

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Agricultural products

corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), citrus fruits; fish

Budget

revenues: $247.3 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: $224.3 million (2017 est.)

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)

etymology: named after Sir Francis COCKBURN, who served as governor of the Bahamas from 1837 to 1844

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, jewelry, furniture, soybeans (2019)

Climate

tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry

Coastline

389 km

Constitution

history: several previous; latest signed 7 August 2012, effective 15 October 2012 (The Turks and Caicos Constitution Order 2011)

amendments: NA

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor Dileeni Daniel-SELVARATNAM (since 29 June 2023)

head of government: Premier Washington MISICK (since 19 February 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor from among members of the House of Assembly

elections/appointments: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is appointed premier by the governor

Fiscal year

calendar year

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 Turk's cap cactus - three common elements of the islands' biota

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

Independence

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Industries

tourism, offshore financial services

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 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 referred to 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 serve until mandatory retirement at age 65, but terms can be extended to age 70; Appeals Court judge tenure determined by individual terms of appointment

subordinate courts: magistrates' courts

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 1.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 36.2% (2018 est.)

other: 62.7% (2018 est.)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and civil law

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats; 15 members in multi-seat constituencies and a single all-islands constituency directly elected by simple majority vote, 1 member nominated by the premier and appointed by the governor, 1 nominated by the opposition party leader and appointed by the governor, and 2 from the Turks and Caicos Islands Civic Society directly appointed by the governor, and 2 ex-officio members; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 19 February 2021 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - PNP 14, PDM 1; composition as of mid-2022 (elected members) - men 12, women 3; percent of women 20%

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

International organization participation

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), UPU

National holiday

Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, usually celebrated the Monday after the second Saturday in June

Nationality

noun: none

adjective: none

Natural resources

spiny lobster, conch

Geography - note

include eight large islands and numerous smaller cays, islets, and reefs; only two of the Caicos Islands and six of the Turks group are inhabited

Economic overview

British Caribbean island territorial economy; GDP and its tourism industry hit hard by COVID-19 disruptions; major biodiversity locale; US dollar user; fossil fuel dependent; negative trade balance; increasing unemployment

Political parties and leaders

People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Edwin ASTWOOD]
Progressive National Party or PNP [Washington MISICK]

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Cockburn Harbour, Grand Turk, Providenciales

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: is connected to the internet via a single submarine fiber-optic cable (Arcos-1), which links the US and several Caribbean countries (2023)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 9 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 1-649; landing point for the ARCOS fiber-optic telecommunications submarine cable providing connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2020)

Terrain

low, flat limestone; extensive marshes and mangrove swamps

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands

abbreviation: TCI

etymology: the Turks Islands are named after the Turk's cap cactus (native to the islands and appearing on the flag and coat of arms), while the Caicos Islands derive from the native term "caya hico" meaning "string of islands"

Location

two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas, north of Haiti; note - although the Turks and Caicos Islands do not border the Caribbean Sea, geopolitically they are often designated as being Caribbean

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Internet country code

.tc

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.02 billion (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 94.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.46% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

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

National anthem

name: "This Land of Ours"

lyrics/music: Conrad HOWELL

note: serves as a local anthem; as an overseas territory of the UK, "God Save the King" is the official anthem (see United Kingdom)

Major urban areas - population

5,000 GRAND TURK (capital) (2018)

National symbol(s)

conch shell, Turk's cap cactus

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 49% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 21.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 16.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 69.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -56.4% (2017 est.)

Citizenship

see United Kingdom

Population distribution

eight of the thirty islands are inhabited; the island of Providenciales is the most populated, but the most densely populated is Grand Turk

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 22

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

VQ-T

Ethnic groups

Black 87.6%, White 7.9%, mixed 2.5%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.7% (2006 est.)

Religions

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 Witness 1.8%, other 14% (2006 est.)

Languages

English (official)

Disputes - international

none identified


Elevation

highest point: Blue Hill on Providenciales and Flamingo Hill on East Caicos 48 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Physicians density

NA

Contraceptive prevalence rate

34.4% (2019/20)

Current health expenditure

NA

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 36.8

youth dependency ratio: 22.9

elderly dependency ratio: 13.9

potential support ratio: 7.2 (2021)

Drinking water source

improved: total: 94.3% of population

unimproved: total: 5.7% of population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 88% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 12% of population (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: NA

female: (2015) NA

Imports - partners

United States 76% (2019)

Exports - partners

France 31%, United States 16%, Zambia 13%, Singapore 9%, Republic of the Congo 8% (2019)

Air pollutants

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.22 megatons (2016 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 1,600 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.83 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

59.1% (2023 est.)

Remittances

0.81% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.62% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.67% of GDP (2018 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 18: 23.3%

men married by age 18: 5.1% (2020 est.)

Labor force

4,848 (1990 est.)

Net migration rate

8.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 35.9 years (2023 est.)

male: 36.1 years

female: 35.7 years

Debt - external

NA

Refined petroleum products - imports

1,369 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.7 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

10% (1997 est.)

Population

59,367 (2023 est.)

Internet users

total: 37,008 (2022)

percent of population: 93.5% (2022)

Carbon dioxide emissions

245,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 245,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 948 sq km

land: 948 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$835.171 million (2021 est.)
$817.993 million (2020 est.)
$1.117 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 121 km (2003)

paved: 24 km (2003)

unpaved: 97 km (2003)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 14.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 25,085 (2004 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (2004 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4% (2017 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

$172.709 million (2018 est.)
$35.016 million (2017 est.)
$247.081 million (2016 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$18,500 (2021 est.)
$18,500 (2020 est.)
$25,900 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Energy consumption per capita

0 Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

3.5 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

13.2 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 85,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 231.618 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 12.5 million kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 3 (2023)

by type: general cargo 1, other 2

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

0.4% (2019/20) NA

Imports

$544.219 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$484.842 million (2017 est.)

Exports

$827 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$603 million (2017 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 4,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 81 years (2023 est.)

male: 78.3 years

female: 83.9 years

Real GDP growth rate

2.1% (2021 est.)
-26.78% (2020 est.)
5.32% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

5% (2021 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 8.9% (2017 est.)

services: 90.6% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

Population growth rate

1.81% (2023 est.)

Airports

9 (2024)