The population of the Turks and Caicos Islands could reach 55,498 people by the year 2027 – compared with 32,199 in 2012 – according to the medium projection in a joint report launched today by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean and the Statistics Department of the Turks and Caicos Government.
Net migration accounts for 68 per cent of this projected increase with natural change (births less deaths) accounting for the remaining 32 per cent. Immigration of people from neighbouring countries seeking employment created by the development of tourism has been the main driver of population growth in the Turks and Caicos Islands since 1980 when the population was just 7,413.
Citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands, formerly called Belongers, constitute a declining proportion of the population. They represented 69 per cent of the total in 1990, falling to 37 per cent in 2012 and, if current trends continue, could represent less than a quarter of the population by 2027.
The Turks and Caicos Islands currently have one of the youngest populations in the Caribbean. This is partly because immigrants tend to be younger working age people. In 2012, the most populous age group was persons between 25 and 44 years (comprising 39 per cent of the population). However, the population is ageing; by 2027 the most populous age group will be those between 35 and 54 years (again 39 per cent of the total). The proportion of persons aged over 65 will remain relatively low, increasing from 3.5 per cent to 7 per cent over this period, but continuing to increase rapidly after 2027.
The projections are based on census data, vital statistics and assumptions about future patterns of fertility, mortality and international migration. Population projections are used by policymakers and planners to analyse population trends and their implications for social and economic development including the future demand for resources and services.