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The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago, part of the larger Antilles island grouping. They are known primarily for tourism and as an offshore financial centre. The total population is about 31,500, of whom approximately 27,000 live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands. The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the island of Hispaniola.
Cockburn Town, the capital since 1766, is situated on Grand Turk Island about 1,042 kilometres east-southeast of Miami, United States. The islands have a total land area of 430 square kilometres. They are geographically contiguous with the Bahamas, but are politically separate.
The two island groups are in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Bahamas, north of Hispaniola, and about 1,000 kilometres from Miami in the United States. The territory is geographically contiguous to the Bahamas, both comprising the Lucayan Archipelago, but is politically a separate entity. The Caicos Islands are separated by the Caicos Passage from the closest Bahamian islands, Mayaguana and Great Inagua. he islands have limited natural fresh water resources; private cisterns collect rainwater for drinking. The primary natural resources are spiny lobster, conch and other shellfish.
The Turks and Caicos Islands feature a relatively dry and sunny marine tropical climate with relatively consistent temperatures throughout the course of the year. Summertime temperatures rarely exceed 33 °C (91 °F) and winter nighttime temperatures rarely fall below 18 °C (64 °F).
The official language of the islands is English and the population also speaks Turks and Caicos Islands Creole which is similar to Bahamian Creole. Due to its close proximity to Cuba and Hispaniola, large Haitian Creole and Spanish-speaking communities have developed in the territory due to immigration, both legal and illegal, from Creole-speaking Haiti and from Spanish-speaking Cuba and Dominican Republic.