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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Trinidad and Tobago
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Map of Trinidad and Tobago
Introduction Trinidad and Tobago
First colonized by the Spanish, the islands came under British control in the early 19th century. The islands' sugar industry was hurt by the emancipation of the slaves in 1834. Manpower was replaced with the importation of contract laborers from India between 1845 and 1917, which boosted sugar production as well as the cocoa industry. The discovery of oil on Trinidad in 1910 added another important export. Independence was attained in 1962. The country is one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean thanks largely to petroleum and natural gas production and processing. Tourism, mostly in Tobago, is targeted for expansion and is growing.
Geography Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates:
11 00 N, 61 00 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 5,128 sq km
land: 5,128 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Delaware
Land boundaries:
0 km
362 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
tropical; rainy season (June to December)
mostly plains with some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
Land use:
arable land: 14.62%
permanent crops: 9.16%
other: 76.22% (2005)
Irrigated land:
40 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
Environment - current issues:
water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt
People Trinidad and Tobago
1,065,842 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.1% (male 109,936/female 104,076)
15-64 years: 71.3% (male 398,657/female 361,093)
65 years and over: 8.6% (male 41,162/female 50,918) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 31.2 years
male: 30.8 years
female: 31.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.87% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
12.9 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
10.57 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-11.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 25.05 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.76 years
male: 65.71 years
female: 67.86 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.74 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
29,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,900 (2003 est.)
noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian
Ethnic groups:
Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.8% (2000 census)
Roman Catholic 26%, Hindu 22.5%, Anglican 7.8%, Baptist 7.2%, Pentecostal 6.8%, other Christian 5.8%, Muslim 5.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4%, other 10.8%, unspecified 1.4%, none 1.9% (2000 census)
English (official), Hindi, French, Spanish, Chinese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.1%
female: 98% (2003 est.)
Government Trinidad and Tobago
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
name: Port-of-Spain
geographic coordinates: 10 39 N, 61 31 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
9 regional corporations, 2 city corporations, 3 borough corporations, 1 ward
regional corporations: Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Diego Martin, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Penal/Debe, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, San Juan/Laventille, Siparia, Tunapuna/Piarco
city corporations: Port-of-Spain, San Fernando
borough corporations: Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin
ward: Tobago
31 August 1962 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 31 August (1962)
1 August 1976
Legal system:
based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President George Maxwell RICHARDS (since 17 March 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Patrick MANNING (since 24 December 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament
elections: president elected by an electoral college, which consists of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 14 February 2003 (next to be held in by January 2008); the president usually appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives
election results: George Maxwell RICHARDS elected president; percent of electoral college vote - 43%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; 16 members appointed by the ruling party, 9 by the President, 6 by the opposition party for a maximum term of five years) and the House of Representatives (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 7 October 2002 (next to be held by October 2007)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - PNM 55.5%, UNC 44.5%; seats by party - PNM 20, UNC 16
note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly with 12 members serving four-year terms; last election held January 2005; seats by party - PNM 11, DAC 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Judicature (comprised of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeals; the chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission); High Court of Justice; Caribbean Court of Appeals member; Court of Appeals; the highest court of appeal is the Privy Council in London
Political parties and leaders:
Congress of the People [Winston Dookeran]; Democratic National Alliance or DNA (coalition of NAR, DDPT, MND) [Gerald YETMING]; Movement for National Development or MND [Garvin NICHOLAS]; National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR [Dr. Carson CHARLES]; People's National Movement or PNM [Patrick MANNING]; United National Congress or UNC [Basdeo PANDAY]; Democratic Action Congress or DAC [Hochoy CHARLES], note - only active in Tobago
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Jamaat-al Muslimeen [Yasin BAKR]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marina Annette VALERE
chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490
FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roy L. AUSTIN
embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain
mailing address: P. O. Box 752, Port-of-Spain
telephone: [1] (868) 622-6371 through 6376
FAX: [1] (868) 628-5462
Flag description:
red with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side
Economy Trinidad and Tobago
Economy - overview:
Trinidad and Tobago, the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses. Tourism is a growing sector, although not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. Economic growth in 2006 reached 12.6% as prices for oil, petrochemicals, and liquefied natural gas remained high, and foreign direct investment continued to grow to support expanded capacity in the energy sector. The government is coping with a rise in violent crime.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$20.99 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$14.99 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
12.6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$19,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 57.7%
services: 41.5% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
618,000 (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 9.5%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 9.5%, construction and utilities 12.4%, services 14% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
7% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
21% (1992 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
19.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $6.591 billion
expenditures: $5.649 billion; including capital expenditures of $117.3 million (2006 est.)
Public debt:
36.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry
petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
17% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
6.049 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.8%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.2% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
5.626 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
150,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
34,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
990 million bbl (1 January 2004)
Natural gas - production:
28.09 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
14.15 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
13.94 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
733 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$3.259 billion (2006 est.)
$12.5 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus, flowers
Exports - partners:
US 68.6%, Jamaica 5.4%, Barbados 2.9% (2005)
$8.798 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals
Imports - partners:
US 27.2%, Venezuela 13.1%, Brazil 13.1%, Japan 5.4%, Canada 4.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.888 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.838 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$24 million (1999 est.)
Currency (code):
Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Trinidad and Tobago dollars per US dollar - 6.2944 (2006), 6.2842 (2005), 6.299 (2004), 6.2951 (2003), 6.2487 (2002)
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Communications Trinidad and Tobago
Telephones - main lines in use:
323,500 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
800,000 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent international service; good local service
domestic: NA
international: country code - 1-868; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2004)
680,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
6 (2005)
425,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
30,732 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
160,000 (2005)
Transportation Trinidad and Tobago
6 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
condensate 253 km; gas 1,278 km; oil 571 km (2006)
total: 8,320 km
paved: 4,252 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 16,760 GRT/7,941 DWT
by type: liquefied gas 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 1 (US 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Pointe-a-Pierre, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain
Military Trinidad and Tobago
Military branches:
Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force: Ground Force, Coast Guard (includes air wing) (2004)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 290,715
females age 18-49: 258,410 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 202,958
females age 18-49: 173,797 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$66.72 million (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.6% (2003 est.)
Transnational Issues Trinidad and Tobago
Disputes - international:
Barbados will assert its claim before the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that the northern limit of Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into its waters; Guyana has also expressed its intention to challenge this boundary as it may extend into its waters as well
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; producer of cannabis

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007