Facts at a glance:
Capital: Cockburn Town (on Grand Turk Is.)
Form of Government: British Crown Colony, but with its own constitution
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Richard Tauwhare, Governor
Head of Government: Chief Minister, the Hon Michael Eugene Misick
Location: In the northern Caribbean, at the southeastward end of the Bahamas chain, some 90 miles north of Haiti
Area: Of the 40 islands and cays, only eight are inhabited, the main ones being Grand Turk, which is 11km (7 mi) long and 2km (1.25 mi) wide; Middle Caicos : 48 km (30 mi) long by 4km (2.3 mi) wide; Providenciales: 37 sq mi and North Caicos (44 sq mi)
Population: 18,122 (2001)
Ethnic Make-Up: Mainly of African descent mixed with European traces
Adult Literacy: 98%
Currency: United States Dollar (US$)
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time; GMT -5
Phone Code: Regional code (649) plus the local number
History: Recent scientific evidence points to the first landfall of Christopher Columbus in the New World being in Grand Turk, rather than on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas, as originally believed. In 1512 Ponce de Leon also landed in the islands and explored the region.
The Turks & Caicos Islands became a British possession in 1766 and were administered as part of the Bahamas until the Separation Act of 1848. Twenty-six years later, in 1874 the islands were annexed to Jamaica, and remained so until Jamaica became independent in 1962. Since then, TCI has retained its status as a British Crown Colony.
UWI Connections: TCI is a contributing non-campus country. In academic year 2004/2005 there were 12 Turks islanders registered at the UWI.