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Trinidad and Tobago[Country flag of Trinidad and Tobago]
[Country map of Trinidad and Tobago]

Introduction Trinidad and Tobago
Background:
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
Location:
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
Area:
total: 5,128 sq km
land: 5,128 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Delaware
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
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
Climate:
tropical; rainy season (June to December)
Terrain:
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% (2001)
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, 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
Population:
1,088,644 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.7% (male 115,594/female 109,665)
15-64 years: 71% (male 403,301/female 369,664)
65 years and over: 8.3% (male 40,638/female 49,782) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 30.91 years
male: 30.46 years
female: 31.44 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.74% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
12.81 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
9.37 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-10.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 24.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.23 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 22.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.73 years
male: 65.6 years
female: 67.91 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.75 children born/woman (2005 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.)
Nationality:
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)
Religions:
Roman Catholic 26%, Hindu 22.5%, Anglican 7.8%, Baptist 7.2%, Pentecostal 6.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4%, other Christian 5.8%, Muslim 5.8%, other 10.8%, unspecified 1.4%, none 1.9% (2000 census)
Languages:
English (official), Hindi, French, Spanish, Chinese
Literacy:
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
Capital:
Port-of-Spain
Administrative divisions:
9 regional corporations, 2 city corporations, 3 borough corporations, and 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, Point Fortin, Chaguanas
: ward: Tobago
Independence:
31 August 1962 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 31 August (1962)
Constitution:
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
Suffrage:
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 in 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
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; Court of Appeals; the highest court of appeal is the Privy Council in London
Political parties and leaders:
National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR [Lennox SANKERSINGH]; People's National Movement or PNM [Patrick MANNING]; Team Unity or TU [Ramesh MAHARAJ]; United National Congress or UNC [Basdeo PANDAY]; Democratic Action Committee or DAC [Hochoy CHARLES], note - only active in Tobago
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Jamaat-al Muslimeen [Yasin BAKR]
International organization participation:
ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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 and 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) 622-6372 through 6376, 622-6176
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 low inflation and a growing trade surplus. Prospects for growth in 2004 are good as prices for oil, petrochemicals, and liquified natural gas are expected to remain high, and foreign direct investment continues to grow to support expanded capacity in the energy sector. The government is coping with a rise in violent crime.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$11.48 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $10,500 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 47%
services: 50.3% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
590,000 (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 9.5%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 14%, construction and utilities 12.4%, services 64.1% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
10.4% (2004 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):
3.3% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
19.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $3.25 billion
expenditures: $3.193 billion, including capital expenditures of $117.3 million (2004 est.)
Public debt:
54.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry
Industries:
petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
7.2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
5.743 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.8%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.2% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
5.341 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
140,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
24,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
990 million bbl (1 January 2004)
Natural gas - production:
25 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
13.76 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
11.79 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
589 billion cu m (1 January 2004)
Current account balance:
$1.548 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:
$6.671 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus, flowers
Exports - partners:
US 67.1%, Jamaica 5.7%, France 3.5% (2004)
Imports:
$4.65 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals
Imports - partners:
US 23.9%, Venezuela 11.5%, Germany 11.2%, Brazil 10.7%, Spain 6.4%, Italy 5.1% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.927 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.94 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$24 million (1999 est.)
Currency (code):
Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD)
Currency code:
TTD
Exchange rates:
Trinidad and Tobago dollars per US dollar - 6.299 (2004), 6.2951 (2003), 6.2487 (2002), 6.2332 (2001), 6.2998 (2000)
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Communications Trinidad and Tobago
Telephones - main lines in use:
325,100 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
361,900 (2002)
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)
Radios:
680,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (2004)
Televisions:
425,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.tt
Internet hosts:
8,003 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
138,000 (2002)
Transportation Trinidad and Tobago
Highways:
total: 8,320 km
paved: 4,252 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (1999 est.)
Pipelines:
condensate 253 km; gas 1,117 km; oil 478 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Pointe-a-Pierre, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain
Merchant marine:
total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 7,178 GRT/3,633 DWT
by type: passenger 2, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (United States 1)
registered in other countries: 4 (2005)
Airports:
6 (2004 est.)
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 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
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: 293,094 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 203,531 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$66.7 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.6% (2003)
Transnational Issues Trinidad and Tobago
Disputes - international:
Barbados will assert its claim before 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 1 November, 2005


 

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