There are 15,270 TCI Islanders and 32,450 non-TCI Islanders
The economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands continues to grow at a rapid rate and as result we need the people to facilitate this growth. There are not enough Turks and Caicos Islanders in the country and so we must import labour. This is a fact that we must accept and acknowledge.
The Department of Statistics will be carrying out a census this year but in the meantime, it is estimated that the population is 47,720. Of the 47,720, it is estimated that 15,270 are Turks and Caicos Islanders which means 32,450 people are residing in the country that are non-Turks and Caicos Islanders. This is a serious issue as well as a threat. This is one of the main reasons why I support the Government in reaching out to the Diaspora.
It should be noted that included in the 15,270 are people in the diaspora who do not live here. They applied for and received their status cards which they are entitled but they do not reside here.
Population 1970 to 2012
In 1970, the population was 5,558 and of that 96% was Turks and Caicos Islanders. In 1980, the population was 7,413 and 83.8% was Turks and Caicos Islanders. In 1990, the population was 11,465 and of that 68.9 was Turks and Caicos Islanders. In 2001, the population was 19,886 and 52% was Turks and Caicos Islanders. In 2012, the population was 31,458 and the percentage of Turks and Caicos Islanders was 38%.
Do you notice the continuous downward trend of the composition of Turks and Caicos Islanders?
Number of births 2001 to 2022
This section is about the number of babies born in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Of course, many people are also having children outside of Turks and Caicos Islands which are not captured in these statistics. By the way, not all are Turks and Caicos Islanders going to the USA to have children so are many other nationalities that reside among us.
Between 2001 and 2022, 9,497 babies were born in the Turks and Caicos Islands. 4,817 (50.7%) babies were born to Haitian mothers, 2,548 (26.8%) were born to TC Islander mothers, 896 (9.4%) were born to Dominican mothers, 470 (4.9%) were born to Jamaican mothers, 364 (3.8% were born to mothers of other countries , 268 (2.8%) were born to Other Caribbean mothers and 134 (1.4%) are born to mothers of countries not stated.
The average births per year is 432 of which 219 are from Haitian mothers, 116 are from TC Islander mothers, 41 are from Jamaican mothers, 21 are from Dominican mothers, 17 are from other countries, 12 are from other Caribbean countries and 6 are from countries not stated.
How to deal with the population crisis?
If the above statistics do not convince you that we have a population crisis, then I don’t what else can. The population crisis in the Turks and Caicos must be deal with.
- In some countries, once a child is born in a country, that child is a citizen of that country. However, the law does not apply in the Turks and Caicos. Personally, I think we should keep the law as it is now due to the implied threat that exists when you have a population of a people of one group that exceeds the local population. If we change the law for automatic citizenship, it may encourage more people (legal and illegal) to come here to have children.
- Perhaps we can offer incentives to Turks and Caicos Islanders to have more children. Many Turks and Caicos Islanders are having few children and some of them are having their children in the USA and when some of these children become adults, they may migrate to the USA.
- Encourage the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the diaspora in the USA and the Bahamas to work and live in the Turks and Caicos. This may also require some form of incentives. Of course, this is sensitive issue and if we offer incentives for persons to come here, we need to offer incentives to the individuals that remain here so that they do not leave TCI and migrate to other countries.
- We need to review all the development that is taking place and determine whether or not we should allow this development to continue to happen at such a fast pace. This may mean putting a hold on some of the development. Of course, if we do that, then it means that some of our expenditure on the infrastructure may be on hold because we need the funds form the development to spend on infrastructure which is badly needed.
- Some TC Islanders are moving to the UK. We need to find the ways and means to curtail this especially if they are not moving for educational purposes.
- We may just have to accept the fact that the Turks and Caicos Islanders composition will continue to dwindle and issue new work permits each year. However, is this what we want? Is this good?
I don’t know the answer to our population crisis, but I know we have a crisis. I think the simplest thing to do is to welcome and invite our diaspora in the Bahamas and USA to come home. Of course, we must and should get along with each other and no one should think they are better than each other.
In the meantime, the residents that are already here, we need to find the ways and means to promote assimilation among us. Otherwise, we will continue to have division and see others as a threat.
In conclusion, I want you to consider this, what if one nationality (due to their large size) decides to overtake and overthrow the local population, what will we do?