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Turks and Caicos Islands

Facts & Figures

Status: Overseas territory

Governor: Peter Beckingham (2013)

Premier: Rufus Ewing (2012)

Total area: 238 sq mi (616.3 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 46,400 (growth rate: 2.7%); birth rate: 21.5/1000; infant mortality rate: 14.7/1000; life expectancy: 75.0; density per sq mi: 194

Capital (2003 est.): Cockburn Town, 5,000

Monetary unit: U.S. dollar

More Facts & Figures

These two groups of islands are near the Bahamas in the Caribbean. The principal islands in the Turks group are Grand Turk and Salt Cay; the principal islands in the Caicos group are South Caicos, East Caicos, Middle (or Grand) Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, and West Caicos. The islands were not settled by Europeans until 1678, when British colonists from Bermuda established a salt-panning industry. The islands were at first placed under the Bahamian government, but in 1874 they became dependencies of the colony of Jamaica. Following Jamaica's independence, they became a British Crown colony. The salt production industry, the islands' economic mainstay, ceased in 1964 and gave way to tourism, offshore financial services, and fishing.

See also Encyclopedia: Turks and Caicos Islands .

Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom

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