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  • [Country flag of Trinidad and Tobago]

    Turks & Caicos

    [Country map of Turks and Caicos Islands]

    (dependent territory of the UK)

    Geography

    Location: Caribbean, two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas

    Geographic coordinates: 21 45 N, 71 35 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    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

    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: NA%
    permanent pastures: NA%
    forests and woodland: NA%
    other: 98% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: frequent hurricanes

    Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources, private cisterns collect rainwater

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to : NA
    signed, but not ratified: NA

    Geography - note: 30 islands (eight inhabited)

    People

    Population: 14,631 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: NA
    15-64 years : NA
    65 years and over: NA

    Population growth rate: 1.88% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 12.3 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 5.14 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: 11.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: NA male(s)/female
    under 15 years: NA male(s)/female
    15-64 years : NA male(s)/female
    65 years and over: NA male(s)/female
    total population: NA male(s)/female

    Infant mortality rate: 12.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 75.42 years
    male: 73.49 years
    female: 77.1 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (1997 est.)

    Nationality:
    noun: none
    adjective: none

    Ethnic groups: black

    Religions: Baptist 41.2%, Methodist 18.9%, Anglican 18.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.7%, other 19.9% (1980)

    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

    Data code: TK

    Dependency status: dependent territory of the UK

    Government type: NA

    National capital: Grand Turk

    Administrative divisions: none (dependent territory of the UK)

    Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

    National holiday: Constitution Day, 30 August (1976)

    Constitution: introduced 30 August 1976, suspended in 1986, restored and revised 5 March 1988

    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 of the UK (since 6 February 1953), represented by Governor John KELLY (since NA September 1996)
    head of government: Chief Minister Derek H. TAYLOR (since 31 January 1995)
    cabinet: Executive Council consists of three ex officio members and five appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council
    elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor appointed by the queen; chief minister appointed by the governor

    Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council (19 seats, of which 13 are popularly elected; members serve three-year terms)
    elections: last held 31 January 1995 (next to be held by NA December 1998)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDM 8, PNP 4, independent (Norman SAUNDERS) 1

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court

    Political parties and leaders: Progressive National Party (PNP), Washington MISICK; People's Democratic Movement (PDM), Derek H. TAYLOR; United Democratic Party (UDP), Wendal SWANN

    International organization participation: Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none (dependent territory of the UK)

    Diplomatic representation from the US: none (dependent territory of the UK)

    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

    Economy - overview: The Turks and Caicos economy is based on tourism, fishing, and offshore financial services. Most food for domestic consumption is imported; there is some subsistence farming - mainly corn, cassava, citrus, and beans - on the Caicos Islands. The tourism sector expanded in 1995, posting a 10% increase in the first quarter as compared to the same period in 1994. The US was the leading source of tourists in 1995, accounting for upward of 70% of arrivals or about 60,000 visitors. Major sources of government revenue include fees from offshore financial activities and customs receipts as the Islands rely on imports for nearly all consumption and capital goods.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $84.5 million (1993 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 2% (1993 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,400 (1993 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture : NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: NA%

    Labor force:
    total: 4,848 (1990 est.)
    by occupation: majority engaged in fishing and tourist industries; some subsistence agriculture

    Unemployment rate: 12% (1992)

    Budget:
    revenues: $31.9 million
    expenditures: $30.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995)

    Industries: fishing, tourism, offshore financial services

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity - capacity: NA kW

    Electricity - production: NA kWh

    Electricity - consumption per capita: NA kWh

    Agriculture - products: corn, beans; fish

    Exports:
    total value: $6.8 million (f.o.b., 1993)
    commodities: lobster, dried and fresh conch, conch shells
    partners: US, UK

    Imports:
    total value: $42.8 million (1993)
    commodities: food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufactures, construction materials
    partners: US, UK

    Debt - external: $NA

    Economic aid:
    recipient : ODA, $NA

    Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: US currency is used

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Communications

    Telephones: 1,359 (1988 est.)

    Telephone system: fair cable and radiotelephone services
    domestic: NA
    international : 2 submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0

    Radios: 7,000 (1992 est.)

    Television broadcast stations: television programs are available from a cable network, and broadcasts from the Bahamas can be received in the islands

    Televisions: NA

    Transportation

    Railways: 0 km

    Highways:
    total: 121 km
    paved : 24 km
    unpaved: 97 km

    Ports and harbors: Grand Turk, Providenciales

    Merchant marine: none

    Airports: 7 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 2
    914 to 1,523 m : 2 (1996 est.)

    Military

    Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: none

    Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US