Turks and Caicos: Country and Foreign Investment
Population, Language and Culture
The islands were discovered in the 15th century by Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer, but remained uninhabited until 1768 when Bermudians arrived and established a salt panning industry. From 1874 to 1959 the islands were a Jamaican dependency. In 1962 when Jamaica became independent the islands became a British crown colony.
The official and spoken language is English. In 2012 the population is estimated at 31,458 and is largely of black origin. The indigenous population are known as "Belongers". The culture is Afro-Caribbean. In recent years there has been a substantial amount of immigration from other, less successful parts of the Caribbean.