Turks and Caicos Islands


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
Population: 46,335 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 22.7% (male 5,188/female 5,008)

15-64 years:  73.2% (male 16,653/female 16,156)

65 years and over: 4% (male 813/female 1,001) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands

abbreviation: TCI

Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK
Telephones – main lines in use: 3,700 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 25,100 (2004)
Airports: 8 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2012)

Defence is the responsibility of the UK.


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.

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: have received Haitians fleeing economic and civil disorder
Illicit drugs: transhipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe