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Central America and Caribbean :: Trinidad and Tobago
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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. The government is coping with a rise in violent crime.
  • Geography :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
    11 00 N, 61 00 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 5,128 sq km
    land: 5,128 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 174
    slightly smaller than Delaware
    0 km
    362 km
    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
    mean elevation: 83 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m
    petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
    agricultural land: 10.6%
    arable land 4.9%; permanent crops 4.3%; permanent pasture 1.4%
    forest: 44%
    other: 45.4% (2011 est.)
    70 sq km (2012)
    3.84 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.23 cu km/yr (67%/25%/8%)
    per capita: 177.9 cu m/yr (2005)
    outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
    water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt
  • People and Society :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
    adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian
    East Indian 35.4%, African 34.2%, mixed - other 15.3%, mixed African/East Indian 7.7%, other 1.3%, unspecified 6.2% (2011 est.)
    English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese
    Protestant 32.1% (Pentecostal/Evangelical/Full Gospel 12%, Baptist 6.9%, Anglican 5.7%, Seventh-Day Adventist 4.1%, Presbyterian/Congretational 2.5%, other Protestant 0.9%), Roman Catholic 21.6%, Hindu 18.2%, Muslim 5%, Jehovah's Witness 1.5%, other 8.4%, none 2.2%, unspecified 11.1% (2011 est.)
    1,222,363 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0-14 years: 19.41% (male 120,876/female 116,336)
    15-24 years: 12.59% (male 79,949/female 73,888)
    25-54 years: 46.59% (male 295,970/female 273,481)
    55-64 years: 11.59% (male 70,466/female 71,196)
    65 years and over: 9.83% (male 52,199/female 68,002) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 43.2%
    youth dependency ratio: 29.8%
    elderly dependency ratio: 13.5%
    potential support ratio: 7.4% (2015 est.)
    total: 35 years
    male: 34.5 years
    female: 35.5 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    -0.13% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    13.46 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    8.56 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    -6.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    urban population: 8.4% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: -1.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PORT-OF-SPAIN (capital) 34,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    63 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    total: 23.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 25.11 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 22.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    total population: 72.59 years
    male: 69.69 years
    female: 75.56 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    1.71 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    42.5% (2006)
    5.5% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    1.18 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
    2.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 95.1% of population
    rural: 95.1% of population
    total: 95.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.9% of population
    rural: 4.9% of population
    total: 4.9% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 91.5% of population
    rural: 91.5% of population
    total: 91.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 8.5% of population
    rural: 8.5% of population
    total: 8.5% of population (2015 est.)
    1.65% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    14,000 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    700 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    32.3% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99%
    male: 99.2%
    female: 98.7% (2015 est.)
    total number: 1,201
    percentage: 1% (2006 est.)
    total: 9.2%
    male: 7.7%
    female: 11.4% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
  • Government :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
    conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
    etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the larger island "La Isla de la Trinidad" (The Island of the Trinity) on 31 July 1498 on his third voyage; the tobacco grown and smoked by the natives of the smaller island or its elongated cigar shape may account for the "tobago" name, which is spelled "tobaco" in Spanish
    parliamentary republic
    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)
    9 regions, 3 boroughs, 2 cities, 1 ward
    regions: Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Diego Martin, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Penal/Debe, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, San Juan/Laventille, Siparia, Tunapuna/Piarco
    borough: Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin
    cities: Port of Spain, San Fernando
    ward: Tobago
    31 August 1962 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 31 August (1962)
    previous 1962; latest 1976; amended many times, last in 2007 (2016)
    English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Anthony CARMONA (since 18 March 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister Keith ROWLEY (since 9 September 2015)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among members of Parliament
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college of selected Senate and House of Representatives members for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 February 2013 (next to be held by February 2018); the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives as prime minister
    election results: Anthony CARMONA (independent) elected president; electoral college vote - 100%
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; 16 members appointed by the ruling party, 9 by the president, and 6 by the opposition party; members serve 5-year terms;) and the House of Representatives (41 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly (16 seats; 12 assemblymen directly elected by simple majority vote and 4 appointed councillors - 3 on the advice of the chief secretary and 1 on the advice of the minority leader; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: House of Representatives - last held on 7 September 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - NA; seats by party - PNM 23, UNC 18
    highest resident court(s): Supreme Court of the Judicature (consists of a chief justice for both the Court of Appeal with 12 judges and the High Court with 24 judges); note - Trinidad and Tobago can file appeals beyond its Supreme Court to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the parliamentary leader of the opposition; other judges appointed by the Judicial Legal Services Commission, headed by the chief justice and 5 members with judicial experience; all judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement normally at age 65
    subordinate courts: Courts of Summary Criminal Jurisdiction; Petty Civil Courts; Family Court
    Congress of the People or COP [Prakash RAMADHAR]
    Democratic Action Congress or DAC [Hochoy CHARLES] (only active in Tobago)
    Democratic National Alliance or DNA [Charles CARSON] (coalition of NAR, DDPT, MND)
    Movement for National Development or MND [Garvin NICHOLAS]
    National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR [Lennox SANKERSINGH]
    People's National Movement or PNM [Keith ROWLEY]
    Tobago Organization of the People or TOP [Ashworth JACK]
    United National Congress or UNC [Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR]
    Jamaat-al Muslimeen [Yasin ABU BAKR]
    ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Colin MIchael CONNELLY (since 15 August 2015
    chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490
    FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130
    consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador John L. ESTRADA (since 19 April 2016)
    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) 822-5905
    red with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side; the colors represent the elements of earth, water, and fire; black stands for the wealth of the land and the dedication of the people; white symbolizes the sea surrounding the islands, the purity of the country's aspirations, and equality; red symbolizes the warmth and energy of the sun, the vitality of the land, and the courage and friendliness of its people
    scarlet ibis (bird of Trinidad), cocrico (bird of Tobago), Chaconia flower; national colors: red, white, black
    name: "Forged From the Love of Liberty"
    lyrics/music: Patrick Stanislaus CASTAGNE
    note: adopted 1962; song originally created to serve as an anthem for the West Indies Federation; adopted by Trinidad and Tobago following the Federation's dissolution in 1962
  • Economy :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • Trinidad and Tobago attracts considerable foreign direct investment, particularly in energy, and has one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources. It also supplies manufactured goods, notably food products and beverages, as well as cement to the Caribbean region. Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports but only 5% of employment.
    Growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas, petrochemicals, and steel with additional upstream and downstream investment planned. Oil production has declined over the last decade as the country focused the majority of its efforts on natural gas. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8% per year, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, GDP slowed down since then and contracted during 2009-12 due to depressed natural gas prices and changing markets. The current administration has been working to arrest this decline by opening bid rounds and providing fiscal incentives for investments in onshore and deep water acreage to boost oil reserves and production. The government keeps a close watch on the changing global gas markets and has shown flexibility in diversifying natural gas export destinations. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus with the US, Trinidad and Tobago's leading trade partner.
    Although Trinidad and Tobago enjoys cheap electricity from natural gas, the renewable energy sector has recently garnered increased interest. The country is also a regional financial center with a well-regulated and stable financial system. Other sectors the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has targeted for increased investment and projected growth include tourism, agriculture, information and communications technology, and shipping.
    The previous MANNING administration benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues, challenging the current government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment. Crime and bureaucratic hurdles continue to be the biggest deterrents for attracting more foreign direct investment and business.
    $44.31 billion (2015 est.)
    $45.1 billion (2014 est.)
    $45.56 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $24.55 billion (2015 est.)
    -1.8% (2015 est.)
    -1% (2014 est.)
    2.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    $32,600 (2015 est.)
    $33,400 (2014 est.)
    $33,900 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 57
    8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    18.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    20.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    household consumption: 40.1%
    government consumption: 12.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 8.5%
    investment in inventories: 0.5%
    exports of goods and services: 66.8%
    imports of goods and services: -28.2% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 0.5%
    industry: 14.6%
    services: 84.9% (2015 est.)
    cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee; sugar; vegetables; poultry
    petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles
    1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    626,400 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    agriculture: 3.8%
    manufacturing, mining, and quarrying: 12.8%
    construction and utilities: 20.4%
    services: 62.9% (2007 est.)
    3.5% (2015 est.)
    3.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    17% (2007 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $8.802 billion
    expenditures: $9.849 billion (2015 est.)
    31.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    -3.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    42.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    39.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    1 October - 30 September
    4.7% (2015 est.)
    5.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    4.25% (31 December 2010)
    7.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    8% (31 December 2015 est.)
    7.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    $7.422 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $6.907 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    $17.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $16.92 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    $9.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $8.431 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    $15.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $14.73 billion (31 December 2011)
    $12.16 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    -$1.329 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.266 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $8.713 billion (2015 est.)
    $11.73 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers
    US 29.1%, Argentina 9.3%, Brazil 6.6%, Chile 5.9%, Peru 4.5% (2014)
    $7.62 billion (2015 est.)
    $8.904 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
    US 34.6%, Brazil 7.7%, Gabon 6.2%, China 6.1%, Russia 5%, Canada 4.1% (2014)
    $11.69 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $11.98 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $4.879 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.676 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    $102 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $12.44 billion (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    $3.829 billion (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar -
    6.383 (2015 est.)
    6.4041 (2014 est.)
    6.4041 (2013 est.)
    6.39 (2012 est.)
    6.4094 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • 8.604 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    8.365 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    2.104 million kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    99.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    81,260 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    30,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    59,180 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    728.3 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    109,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    42,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    111,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    8,823 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    42.8 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    20.2 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    19.8 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    371.2 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    51.27 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
  • Communications :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • total subscriptions: 290,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    total: 2 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 162 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    general assessment: excellent international service; good local service
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 170 telephones per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-868; submarine cable systems provide connectivity to US and parts of the Caribbean and South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana (2011)
    5 TV networks, one of which is state-owned, broadcast on multiple stations; multiple cable TV subscription service providers; multiple radio networks, one state-owned, broadcast over about 35 stations (2007)
    AM 2, FM 28, shortwave 0 (2008)
    6 (2005)
    .tt
    241,690 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    total: 779,900
    percent of population: 63.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
  • Transportation :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • 4 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    total: 2
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 2
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    condensate 257 km; condensate/gas 11 km; gas 1,567 km; oil 587 km (2013)
    total: 8,320 km
    paved: 4,252 km
    unpaved: 4,068 km (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    total: 4
    by type: passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1
    registered in other countries: 2 (unknown 2) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    major seaport(s): Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port of Spain, Scarborough
    oil terminals: Galeota Point terminal
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Port Fortin
  • Military and Security :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (TTDF): Trinidad and Tobago Army, Coast Guard, Air Guard, Defense Force Reserves (2010)
    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription; Trinidad and Tobago citizenship and completion of secondary school required (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's EEZ; in 2005, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago agreed to compulsory international arbitration under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea challenging whether the northern limit of Trinidad and Tobago's and Venezuela's maritime boundary extends into Barbadian waters; Guyana has expressed its intention to include itself in the arbitration, as the Trinidad and Tobago-Venezuela maritime boundary may also extend into its waters
    current situation: Trinidad and Tobago is a destination, transit, and possible source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; women and girls from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Colombia have been subjected to sex trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago’s brothels and clubs; some economic migrants from the Caribbean region and Asia are vulnerable to forced labor in domestic service and the retail sector; the steady flow of vessels transiting Trinidad and Tobago’s territorial waters may also increase opportunities for forced labor for fishing; international crime organizations are increasingly involved in trafficking, and boys are coerced to sell drugs and guns; corruption among police and immigration officials impedes anti-trafficking efforts
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Trinidad and Tobago does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts decreased from the initiation of 12 prosecutions in 2013 to 1 in 2014; the government has yet to convict anyone under its 2011 anti-trafficking law, and all prosecutions from previous years remain pending; the government sustained efforts to identify victims and to refer them for care at NGO facilities, which it provided with funding; the government failed to draft a national action plan as mandated under the 2011 anti-trafficking law and did not launch a sufficiently robust awareness campaign to educate the public and officials (2015)
    transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; producer of cannabis
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