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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
    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
    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.)
    36 sq km (2003)
    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 .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.)
    1,223,916 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 19.4% (male 121,386/female 116,661)
    15-24 years: 13% (male 82,779/female 76,785)
    25-54 years: 46.9% (male 298,156/female 276,205)
    55-64 years: 11.1% (male 67,738/female 68,535)
    65 years and over: 9.5% (male 50,107/female 65,564) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 43.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 29.8%
    elderly dependency ratio: 13.3%
    potential support ratio: 7.5% (2014 est.)
    total: 34.4 years
    male: 34 years
    female: 34.9 years (2014 est.)
    -0.11% (2014 est.)
    13.8 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    8.48 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    -6.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 8.5% of total population (2014)
    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: 1.03 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    84 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 24.82 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 26.05 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 23.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 72.29 years
    male: 69.42 years
    female: 75.24 years (2014 est.)
    1.71 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    42.5% (2006)
    5.5% of GDP (2013)
    1.18 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
    2.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 97.4% of population
    rural: 93.1% of population
    total: 93.6% of population
    urban: 2.6% of population
    rural: 6.9% of population
    total: 6.4% of population (2011 est.)
    urban: 92.1% of population
    rural: 92.1% of population
    total: 92.1% of population
    urban: 7.9% of population
    rural: 7.9% of population
    total: 7.9% of population (2012 est.)
    1.65% (2013 est.)
    14,000 (2013 est.)
    700 (2013 est.)
    32.3% (2014)
    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: 10.5%
    male: 8.8%
    female: 12.9% (2008 est.)
  • Government :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
    conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
    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)
    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 (2012)
    English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Anthony CARMONA (since 18 March 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR (since 26 May 2010)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament
    elections: president elected by an electoral college, which consists of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, for a five-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 elected president unopposed by the electoral college; sworn in on 18 March 2013; percent of 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 24 May 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
    election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - NA; seats by party - UNC 21, PNM 12, COP 6, TOP 2
    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 Neil N. PARSAN (since 14 February 2011)
    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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Margaret B. DIOP (since October 2012)
    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

  • Trinidad and Tobago attracts considerable foreign direct investment from international businesses, particularly in energy, and has one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America. 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 has slowed down since then and contracted during 2009-2012 due to depressed natural gas prices and changing markets. Growth had been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas, petrochemicals, and steel with additional upstream and downstream investment planned. 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. Oil production has declined over the last decade as the country focused the majority of its efforts on natural gas. The current administration has been working to arrest this decline by opening bid rounds and providing fiscal incentives for investments in on-shore 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. 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 targeted for increased investment and projected growth include tourism, agriculture, information and communications technology, and shipping. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus with the US. The US is Trinidad and Tobago's leading trade partner. 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.
    $42.23 billion (2014 est.)
    $41.27 billion (2013 est.)
    $40.61 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $29.63 billion (2014 est.)
    2.3% (2014 est.)
    1.6% (2013 est.)
    1.2% (2012 est.)
    $31,300 (2014 est.)
    $30,700 (2013 est.)
    $30,400 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 55
    25.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    25.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    19% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 40.6%
    government consumption: 12.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 9.4%
    investment in inventories: 0.5%
    exports of goods and services: 66.9%
    imports of goods and services: -29.6%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 0.5%
    industry: 15.2%
    services: 84.3% (2014 est.)
    cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry; sugar
    petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles
    1.3% (2014 est.)
    623,500 (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 3.8%
    manufacturing, mining, and quarrying: 12.8%
    construction and utilities: 20.4%
    services: 62.9% (2007 est.)
    5.3% (2014 est.)
    5.2% (2013 est.)
    17% (2007 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $8.669 billion
    expenditures: $9.451 billion (2014 est.)
    29.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -2.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    50.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    52.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    1 October - 30 September
    5.1% (2014 est.)
    5.2% (2013 est.)
    4.25% (31 December 2010)
    7.25% (31 December 2009)
    7.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
    7.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $7.095 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $6.205 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $17.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $15.26 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $8.894 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $8.214 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $15.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $14.73 billion (31 December 2011)
    $12.16 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $1.689 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.006 billion (2013 est.)
    $12.61 billion (2014 est.)
    $12.77 billion (2013 est.)
    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 31.8%, Argentina 9.6%, Brazil 8%, Netherlands 5.1%, Chile 5%, Spain 4.4% (2013)
    $9.103 billion (2014 est.)
    $8.871 billion (2013 est.)
    mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
    US 31.6%, Brazil 6.3%, Colombia 5.9%, Gabon 5.3%, Russia 5%, Canada 4.4%, China 4.2% (2013)
    $10.99 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $10.67 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $4.924 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.676 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $102 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $12.44 billion (2007)
    $3.829 billion (2007)
    Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar -
    6.4 (2014 est.)
    6.41 (2013 est.)
    6.39 (2012 est.)
    6.41 (2011 est.)
    6.38 (2010 est.)

  • 8.355 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    7.929 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    2.104 million kW (2011 est.)
    99.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    117,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    75,340 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    70,260 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    728.3 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    132,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    46,680 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    106,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    1,598 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    40.43 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    22.29 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    18.14 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    371.2 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    51.27 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • 287,000 (2012)
    1.884 million (2012)
    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)
    241,690 (2012)
    593,000 (2009)
  • Transportation :: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • 4 (2013)
    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)
    total: 4
    by type: passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1
    registered in other countries: 2 (unknown 2) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port of Spain, Scarborough
    oil terminals: Galeota Point terminal
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Port Fortin

  • 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)
    males age 16-49: 341,764
    females age 16-49: 317,899 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 269,824
    females age 16-49: 261,735 (2010 est.)
    male: 8,164
    female: 7,503 (2010 est.)
  • 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 exclusive economic zone; in 2005, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago agreed to compulsory international arbitration under United Nations 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 also expressed its intention to include itself in the arbitration as the Trinidad and Tobago-Venezuela maritime boundary may extend into its waters as well
    transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; producer of cannabis