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 of the Atlantic Ocean and northern West Indies. They are known primarily for tourism and as an offshore financial centre. The resident population was 31,458 in 2012, of whom 23,769 lived on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands; July 2020 estimates put the population at 55,926. It is the third largest of the British overseas territories by population.
The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain, northeast of Cuba, 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.
The Turks and Caicos Islands were inhabited for centuries by native Amerindian peoples. The first recorded European sighting of the islands occurred in 1512. In the subsequent centuries, the islands were claimed by several European powers, with the British Empire eventually gaining control.