The archipelagoes of Turks and Caicos Islands are a British overseas territory situated in the Caribbean, in the Lesser Antilles, north of the island of Hispaniola and south-east of the Bahamas Islands. The state is formed by the two archipelagos of Turks islands and Caicos islands, the capital city is Cockburn Town, on the island of Grand Turk.
The Caicos Islands are located at the southern end of the Bahamas archipelago, of which are geographically part, they account for more than 95% of the territory of the state and consist of seven main islands (Middle Caicos (144 sq km), North Caicos (116 sq km), Providenciales (98 sq km), East Caicos (90 sq km), West Caicos (28 sq km), South Caicos (21 sq km), Ambergris Cay) and numerous islets and rocks.
On East Caicos is the Flamingo Hill (48 meters), the highest point of the state of Turks and Caicos. The Turks Islands, located south-east of the Caicos, include the islands of Grand Turk (18 sq km), Salt Cay (6 sq km), and Cotton Cay (1 sq km), as well as other uninhabited islets and numerous rocks. The economy of the islands is based on tourism, financial assets, agricolture (corn, sisal, fruits, vegetables) and fishing.
The islands were sighted for the first time in 1512 by a Spanish expedition led by Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. In the seventeenth century they became bases of pirates who assaulted the Spanish galleons laden with gold. It was only in the late seventeenth century that the English from the Bermuda founded the first settlements on the archipelago.
- Area: 430 sqkm.
- Population: 21,700 (2007 data) (Africans, Mulattos (descendants of European and African)).
- State Capital: Cockburn Town (Grand Turk).
- Language: Official language is English.
- Religion: Christian 100% (Baptist 40%, Methodist 20%, Anglican 20%, Catholic 15%, Adventist 2%).
- Currency: American Dollar (USD)
- Time: UTC -5 hours.
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