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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Trinidad and Tobago
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago
Map of Trinidad and Tobago
Introduction Trinidad and Tobago
The islands came under British control in the 19th century; independence was granted 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
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the outer edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 NM
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% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
30 sq km (1998 est.)
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, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
1,163,724 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (male 136,807; female 131,177)
15-64 years: 70.2% (male 419,847; female 396,643)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 35,146; female 44,104) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.52% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
13.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
8.81 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-10.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
24.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.59 years
female: 71.25 years (2002 est.)
male: 66.04 years
Total fertility rate:
1.8 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.05% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
7,800 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
530 (1999 est.)
noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian
Ethnic groups:
black 39.5%, East Indian (a local term - primarily immigrants from northern India) 40.3%, mixed 18.4%, white 0.6%, Chinese and other 1.2%
Roman Catholic 29.4%, Hindu 23.8%, Anglican 10.9%, Muslim 5.8%, Presbyterian 3.4%, other 26.7%
English (official), Hindi, French, Spanish, Chinese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94% (2000)
male: 95.9% (1999)
female: 91.7% (1999)
Government Trinidad and Tobago
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Administrative divisions:
8 counties, 3 municipalities*, and 1 ward**; Arima*, Caroni, Mayaro, Nariva, Port-of-Spain*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick, San Fernando*, Tobago**, Victoria
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; election last held 14 February 2003 (next to be held NA 2006); 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; members appointed by the president 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)
note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly, with 15 members serving four-year terms
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - PNM 55.5%, UNC 44.5%; seats by party - PNM 20, UNC 16
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 on the advice of 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; Court of Appeals the highest court of appeal is the Privy Council in London
Political parties and leaders:
National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR [Hochoy CHARLES]; People's Empowerment Party or PEP [leader NA]; People's National Movement or PNM [Patrick MANNING]; Team Unity or TUN [Ramesh MAHARAJ]; United National Congress or UNC [Basdeo PANDAY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Jamaat-al Musilmeen [Yasin BAKR]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mackisack LOGIE
chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
consulate(s) general: Miami and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130
telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490
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
Economy Trinidad and Tobago
Economy - overview:
Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses. A leading performer in the past 4 years has been the booming natural gas sector. Tourism is a growing sector, although not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. The expected recovery of the global economy, along with anticipated higher oil prices, are plus factors for 2002. Negative factors are persistent high unemployment and the political uncertainties following the contentious selection of a new government in December 2001.
purchasing power parity - $10.6 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $9,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 43%
services: 55% (2000 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):
5.6% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
564,000 (2000) (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
construction and utilities 12%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 14%, agriculture 10%, services 64% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
11.8% (2001) (2001)
revenues: $1.54 billion
expenditures: $1.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $117.3 million (1998) (1998)
petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
4.2% (2001) (2001)
Electricity - production:
5.153 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
4.792 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, sugarcane, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry
$4.1 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus, flowers
Exports - partners:
US 45.9%, Caricom countries 26.1%, Latin America 9.5%, EU 5.7% (1999)
$3.5 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals
Imports - partners:
US 39.8%, Venezuela 11.9%, EU 11%, Caricom 4.8% (1999)
Debt - external:
$2.2 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$24 million (1999 est.)
Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Trinidad and Tobago dollars per US dollar - 6.2466 (January 2002), 6.2332 (2001), 6.2998 (2000), 6.2989 (1999), 6.2983 (1998), 6.2517 (1997)
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Communications Trinidad and Tobago
Telephones - main lines in use:
252,000 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
17,411 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent international service; good local service
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 12, shortwave 0 (1998)
680,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (1997)
425,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
120,000 (2002)
Transportation Trinidad and Tobago
minimal agricultural railroad system near San Fernando; common carrier railway service was discontinued in 1968 (2001)
total: 8,320 km
paved: 4,252 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (1996)
crude oil 1,032 km; petroleum products 19 km; natural gas 904 km
Ports and harbors:
Pointe-a-Pierre, Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain, Scarborough, Tembladora
Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,910 GRT/7,546 DWT
ships by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1
note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: United States 1 (2002 est.)
6 (2001)
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 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Military Trinidad and Tobago
Military branches:
Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (including Ground Force, Coast Guard, and Air Wing), Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 347,831 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 248,324 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$90 million (1999)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.4% (1999)
Transnational Issues Trinidad and Tobago
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; producer of cannabis

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003