Info & Resources

Turks and Caicos Islands

Written by Staff Writer

Country Overview:
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

Area:
Total: 430 sq km, land: 430 sq km, water: 0 sq km

Area – Comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
389 km

Climate:
Tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry

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

Elevation extremes:
Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest Point:
Blue Hills 49 m

Natural Resources:
Spiny lobster, conch

Population:
22,352 (July 2008 est.)

Nationality:
None

Nationality:
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)

Country Name:
Turks and Caicos Islands

Government Type:
NA overseas territory of the UK

Capital Name:
Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)

Independence:
Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)

National Holiday:
Constitution Day, 30 August (1976)

Constitution:
Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2006 (effective 9 August 2006)

Legal System:
Based on laws of England and Wales, with a few adopted from Jamaica and The Bahamas

Executive Branch:
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Gordon WETHERELL (since 5 August 2008)

Head of Government:
Premier Michael Eugene MISICK (chief minister since 15 August 2003, sworn in as premier on 9 August 2006); note – the office of premier was created in the 2006 constitution

Cabinet:
Cabinet consists of the governor, the premier, six ministers appointed by the governor from among the members of the House of Assembly, and the attorney general

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

About the author

Staff Writer