Geographic and Governmental Profile of 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.
two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas, north of Haiti
Geographic coordinates
21 45 N, 71 35 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
948 sq km
948 sq km
0 sq km
Area - comparative
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
389 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive fishing zone:
200 nm
tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry
low, flat limestone; extensive marshes and mangrove swamps
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Flamingo Hill 48 m
Natural resources
spiny lobster, conch
Land use
arable land:
permanent crops:
97.67% (2005)
Get Chart Code
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Irrigated land
Natural hazards
frequent hurricanes
Environment - current issues
limited natural freshwater resources, private cisterns collect rainwater
Geography - note
about 40 islands (eight inhabited)
Country name
conventional long form:
conventional short form:
Turks and Caicos Islands
Dependency status
overseas territory of the UK
Government type
Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)
geographic coordinates:
21 28 N, 71 08 W
time difference:
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Administrative divisions
none (overseas territory of the UK)
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution (Interim Amendment) Order 2009, S.I. 2009/701 - effective 14 August 2009 - suspended Ministerial government, the House of Assembly, and the constitutional right to trial by jury, and imposed direct British rule
Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law and civil law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Damian (Ric) TODD (since 12 September 2011)
head of government:
Governor Damian (Ric) TODD (since 12 September 2011); note - the office of premier is suspended by the Order in Council, effective 14 August 2009
under provisions of the Order in Council, the cabinet is suspended effective 14 August 2009 and replaced by an Advisory Council appointed by the governor
the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch
following an investigation into allegations of widespread corruption and misconduct within the Turks and Caicos Government, the UK foreign minister directed the governor to bring into effect on 14 August 2009 an Order in Council suspending Ministerial government and the House of Assembly, and imposing direct rule pending completion of reform milestones
Legislative branch
under provisions of the Order in Council, the unicameral House of Assembly is dissolved and all seats vacated for a period of up to two years; in the interim, a Consultative Forum, appointed by the governor, will be established
last held on 9 February 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results:
under provisions of the Order in Council, all seats in the House of Assembly are vacated
Judicial branch
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders
People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Floyd SEYMOUR]; Progressive National Party or PNP [Michael Eugene MISICK]
Political pressure groups and leaders
International organization participation
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US
none (overseas 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 displays a conch shell, a spiny lobster, and Turks Head cactus - three common elements of the islands' biota
National anthem
"This Land of Ours"
serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is the official anthem (see United Kingdom)
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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