Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Islands

Basic Data

EOfficial Country Name: Turks and Caicos Islands
Region (Map name): North & Central America
Population: 17,502
Language(s): English
Literacy rate: 98%

The Turks and Caicos Islands includes 30 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Bahamas and north of Haiti. The islands were settled in the late 1600s by Bermudians, who mined the islands for salt. Over the next 100 years, the French, Spanish and British vied for control of the area, but control eventually went to the government of the Bahamas, which extended its jurisdiction to the islands in 1766. In 1848, residents of the islands chose to become a self-governing unit under the Governor of Jamaica. When Jamaica became an independent state in 1962, the islands returned to Bahamian control until they became a separate crown colony of Britain in 1973. English is the official language. The population is approximately 18,000, and the literacy rate is 98 percent. The head of state is the British monarch, represented locally by a governor who, in turn, appoints a chief administrator. A legislative council is popularly elected, and three members of this body are appointed by the governor to sit on the executive council. The economy is based primarily on tourism and offshore financial industries.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed under British law. The country's only newspaper is the weekly Free Press, which appears every Thursday. It is available online through the Turks and Caicos Islands Gateway Web portal.

There are four radio stations, three AM and six FM, serving approximately 8,000 radios. There is one television station and 14 Internet service providers.


Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Turks and Caicos Islands," World Factbook (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov .

"Destination Turks and Caicos," Lonely Planet World Guide (2002). Available from http://www.lonely planet.com .

Turks and Caicos Free Press (2002). Home Page. Available from http://www.turksandcaicos.tc .

Jenny B. Davis

Also read article about Turks and Caicos Islands from Wikipedia

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