Photos of Trinidad and Tobago

Sunset over Man-of-War Bay, Tobago. Photo courtesy of NOAA / Mary Hollinger.



First colonized by the Spanish, Trinidad and Tobago came under British control in the early 19th century. The emancipation of enslaved people in 1834 disrupted the twin islands' sugar industry. Contract workers arriving from India between 1845 and 1917 augmented the labor force, which boosted sugar production as well as the cocoa industry. The discovery of oil on Trinidad in 1910 added another important export that remains the country's dominant industry. Trinidad and Tobago attained independence in 1962. The country is one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean, thanks largely to petroleum and natural gas production and processing. The government is struggling to reverse a surge in violent crime.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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

comparison ranking: total 173

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Delaware

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


362 km

Maritime claims

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

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines


tropical; rainy season (June to December)


mostly plains with some hills and low mountains


highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 83 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, asphalt

Land use

agricultural land: 10.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 1.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 44% (2018 est.)

other: 45.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

70 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

population on Trinidad is concentrated in the western half of the island, on Tobago in the southern half

Natural hazards

outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms

Geography - note

Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt

People and Society


total: 1,408,966

male: 708,260

female: 700,706 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 155; male 157; total 157


noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)

adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian

note: Trinbagonian is used on occasion to describe a citizen of the country without specifying the island of origin

Ethnic groups

East Indian 35.4%, African descent 34.2%, mixed - other 15.3%, mixed - African/East Indian 7.7%, other 1.3%, unspecified 6.2% (2011 est.)


English (official), Trinidadian Creole English, Tobagonian Creole English, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Trinidadian Creole French, Spanish, Chinese


Protestant 32.1% (Pentecostal/Evangelical/Full Gospel 12%, Baptist 6.9%, Anglican 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 4.1%, Presbyterian/Congregational 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.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.7% (male 134,508/female 129,180)

15-64 years: 67.2% (male 481,606/female 465,150)

65 years and over: 14.1% (2024 est.) (male 92,146/female 106,376)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.7

youth dependency ratio: 29.3

elderly dependency ratio: 16.8

potential support ratio: 7.4 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 38.5 years (2024 est.)

male: 38 years

female: 39 years

comparison ranking: total 73

Population growth rate

0.1% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 188

Birth rate

10.5 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 176

Death rate

8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 71

Net migration rate

-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 142

Population distribution

population on Trinidad is concentrated in the western half of the island, on Tobago in the southern half


urban population: 53.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.23% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

545,000 PORT-OF-SPAIN (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

27 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 115

Infant mortality rate

total: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 17.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 94

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.5 years (2024 est.)

male: 74.6 years

female: 78.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 107

Total fertility rate

1.63 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 174

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

7.3% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

4.48 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

3 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 99.9% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0.1% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

18.6% (2016)

comparison ranking: 117

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 5.81 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.92 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.65 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 74

Education expenditures

4.1% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 112


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99.2%

female: 98.7% (2015)


Environment - current issues

water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; widespread pollution of waterways and coastal areas; illegal dumping; deforestation; soil erosion; fisheries and wildlife depletion

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


tropical; rainy season (June to December)

Land use

agricultural land: 10.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 1.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 44% (2018 est.)

other: 45.4% (2018 est.)


urban population: 53.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.23% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.05% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 127

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 103

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 10.26 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 43.87 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 1.35 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 727,874 tons (2010 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 240 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 130 million cubic meters (202 est.)

agricultural: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

3.84 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

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

Government type

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)

etymology: the name dates to the period of Spanish colonial rule (16th to late 18th centuries) when the city was referred to as "Puerto de Espana"; the name was anglicized following the British capture of Trinidad in 1797

Administrative divisions

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)

National holiday

Independence Day, 31 August (1962)


history: previous 1962; latest 1976

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage of amendments affecting constitutional provisions, such as human rights and freedoms or citizenship, requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both houses and assent of the president; passage of amendments, such as the powers and authorities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, and the procedure for amending the constitution, requires at least three-quarters majority vote by the House membership, two-thirds majority vote by the Senate membership, and assent of the president; amended many times, last in 2007

Legal system

English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Christine KANGALOO (since 20 March 2023)

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 20 January 2023 (next to be held by February 2028); the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives as prime minister

election results:
2023: Christine KANGALOO elected president by the electoral college on 20 January 2023; electoral college vote  Christine KANGALOO (PNM) 48, Israel KHAN (UNC) 22

2018: Paula-Mae WEEKES (independent) elected president; ran unopposed and was elected without a vote; she was Trinidad and Tabago's first female head of state

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
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;)
House of Representatives (42 seats; 41 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and the house speaker - usually designated from outside Parliament; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last appointments on 28 August 2020 (next appointments in August 2025)
House of Representatives - last held on 10 August 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: Senate - percent by party - NA; seats by party - PNM 16, UNC 6, independent 9; composition - men 19, women 13, percentage women 40.6%

House of Representatives - percent by party - NA; seats by party - PNM 23, UNC 19; composition - men 30, women 12, percentage women 28.6%; total Parliament percentage women 33.8%

note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly (19 seats; 15 assemblymen directly elected by simple majority vote and 4 appointed councilors - 3 on the advice of the chief secretary and 1 on the advice of the minority leader; members serve 4-year terms)

Judicial branch

highest 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 serve for life with mandatory retirement normally at age 65

subordinate courts: Courts of Summary Criminal Jurisdiction; Petty Civil Courts; Family Court

Political parties and leaders

People's National Movement or PNM [Keith ROWLEY]
United National Congress or UNC [Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR]
Tobago People’s Party or Tobago [Farley AUGUSTINE]

International organization participation

ACP, ACS, 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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Anthony Wayne Jerome PHILLIPS-SPENCER, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) (since 27 June 2016)

chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-1975

telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490

FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Candace A. BOND (since 8 December 2022)

embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port of Spain

mailing address: 3410 Port of Spain Place, Washington DC  20521-3410

telephone: (868) 622-6371

FAX: (868) 822-5905

email address and website:

Flag description

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

National symbol(s)

scarlet ibis (bird of Trinidad), cocrico (bird of Tobago), Chaconia flower; national colors: red, white, black

National anthem

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


Economic overview

high-income Caribbean economy; major hydrocarbon exporter; key tourism and finance sectors; high inflation and growing public debt; long foreign currency access delays; large foreign reserves and sovereign wealth fund

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$35.667 billion (2022 est.)
$35.146 billion (2021 est.)
$35.514 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 132

Real GDP growth rate

1.48% (2022 est.)
-1.04% (2021 est.)
-9.08% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 181

Real GDP per capita

$23,300 (2022 est.)
$23,000 (2021 est.)
$23,400 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 83

GDP (official exchange rate)

$30.054 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.83% (2022 est.)
2.06% (2021 est.)
0.6% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 92

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: Ba1 (2017)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 47.8% (2017 est.)

services: 51.7% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 170; industry 14; agriculture 211

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 78.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 16.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 8.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.6% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 45.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -48.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

chicken, fruits, coconuts, citrus fruits, plantains, maize, eggs, oranges, tomatoes, bananas (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles

Industrial production growth rate

3.18% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 112

Labor force

675,000 (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 156

Unemployment rate

3.81% (2022 est.)
4.45% (2021 est.)
4.21% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 73

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 12.7% (2021 est.)

male: 12.8%

female: 12.6%

comparison ranking: total 136


0.68% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.96% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.93% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $4.939 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $7.528 billion (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-8.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 200

Public debt

41.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
37% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 128

Taxes and other revenues

16.55% (of GDP) (2019 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 123

Current account balance

$5.382 billion (2022 est.)
$2.695 billion (2021 est.)
-$1.356 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 35


$17.584 billion (2022 est.)
$11.542 billion (2021 est.)
$6.44 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 93

Exports - partners

US 35%, Belgium 6%, Morocco 5%, Spain 4%, Brazil 4% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

ammonia, natural gas, crude petroleum, acyclic alcohols, fertilizers (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$10.694 billion (2022 est.)
$8.636 billion (2021 est.)
$6.785 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 116

Imports - partners

US 40%, China 9%, Italy 7%, Brazil 4%, Canada 3% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, iron ore, cars, plastic products, excavation machinery (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$6.832 billion (2022 est.)
$6.88 billion (2021 est.)
$6.954 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 91

Debt - external

$8.238 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.746 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 120

Exchange rates

Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
6.754 (2022 est.)
6.759 (2021 est.)
6.751 (2020 est.)
6.754 (2019 est.)
6.771 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 2.123 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 8,213,020,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 424 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 118; transmission/distribution losses 81; imports 186; exports 180; consumption 107

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 99.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 1,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 1,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 81,000 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 35,500 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 22,100 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 64,700 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 243 million barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

134,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 63

Refined petroleum products - exports

106,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 40

Refined petroleum products - imports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 211

Natural gas

production: 30,886,691,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 16,247,415,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 14,662,269,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 298.063 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

39.652 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 10,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 4.631 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 35.011 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 65


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 326,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 104

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 1.999 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 131 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 152

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: excellent international service; good local service; broadband access; expanded FttP (Fiber to the Home) markets; LTE launch; regulatory development; major growth in mobile telephony and data segments which attacks operation investment in fiber infrastructure; moves to end roaming charges (2020)

domestic: fixed-line is 21 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity 131 per 100 persons (2022)

international: country code - 1-868; landing points for the EC Link, ECFS, Southern Caribbean Fiber, SG-SCS and Americas II submarine cable systems provide connectivity to US, parts of the Caribbean and South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana (2020)

Broadcast media

6 free-to-air TV networks, 2 of which are state-owned; 24 subscription providers (cable and satellite); over 36 radio frequencies (2019)

Internet users

total: 1.185 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 79% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 146

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 376,771 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 27 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 101


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 19

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,525,130 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 41.14 million (2018) mt-km


3 (2024)

comparison ranking: 193


257 km condensate, 11 km condensate/gas, 1,567 km gas, 587 km oil (2013)

Merchant marine

total: 102 (2023)

by type: general cargo 1, other 101

comparison ranking: total 88


total ports: 10 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 1

small: 4

very small: 5

ports with oil terminals: 8

key ports: Galeota Point Terminal, Point Lisas Industrial Port, Point Lisas Port, Pointe-a-Pierre, Port of Spain

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (TTDF): Army/Land Forces (Trinidad and Tobago Regiment), Coast Guard, Air Guard, Defense Force Reserves

Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) (2024)

note: the Ministry of National Security oversees both the TTDF and the TTPS

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2022 est.)
1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1% of GDP (2019 est.)
1% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 121

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 5,000 TTDF personnel (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the TTDF's ground force inventory includes only light weapons, while the Coast Guard and Air Guard field mostly secondhand equipment from a mix of countries, including Australia, China, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women (some age variations between services, reserves); no conscription (2023)

note: as of 2019, women comprised about 14% of the active duty military

Military - note

the Police Service maintains internal security; the TTDF's primary responsibilities are conducting border and maritime security, assisting civil authorities in times of crisis or disaster, providing search and rescue services, and supporting law enforcement, particularly in countering gang-related crime and trafficking of narcotics and other illicit goods; the Coast Guard is responsible for maritime border security in places with no official ports of entry (2023)

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 36,218 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2023)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Trinidad and Tobago does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials implemented new standard operating procedures for victim referral and care, opened a government-funded and operated shelter for female child victims, provided the first government shelters for adult victims; and increased the size of the Counter-Trafficking Unit; officials took steps to prevent trafficking among vulnerable populations, including migrants, Cuban medical workers, and Venezuelan refugees and migrants; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared to the previous year, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; courts have never convicted a trafficker under the 2011 anti-trafficking law, and corruption and complicity among officials, including at senior levels, inhibited law enforcement action; victim identification, referral, and services remained weak, and interagency coordination was poor; because the government has devoted significant resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards, Trinidad and Tobago was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3; therefore, Trinidad and Tobago remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Trinidad and Tobago, and also exploit victims from Trinidad and Tobago abroad; the country serves as a transit point for Venezuelan refugees and migrants en route to Europe, North Africa, and elsewhere in the Caribbean who are at high risk for trafficking; sex trafficking is the most prevalent form of trafficking in the country, victimizing women and girls primarily from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Venezuela; however, the government reported an increase in male Venezuelan labor trafficking victims and domestic child sex trafficking victims; unaccompanied Venezuelan children are at risk for sex trafficking; Trinidad remains the primary hub for most sexual exploitation, but traffickers move some victims to Tobago during the tourist season; migrants from the Caribbean region and from Asia are at risk for forced labor in domestic service and the retail sector; traffickers also exploit victims from China, India, Kenya, Nepal, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines; migrants from the Caribbean region and Asia are at risk for forced labor in domestic service and the retail sector; LGBTQI+ persons are at risk for sex trafficking; Cuban medical professionals may have been forced to work in Trinidad and Tobago by the Cuban government; corruption by police, immigration and customs, and coast guard officials has been associated with facilitating labor and sex trafficking; transnational organized crime may increasingly be involved in trafficking; Trinidad and Tobago is a sex tourism destination, according to NGOs, and most sex tourists come from Canada, China, the US, and Western Europe (2023)

Illicit drugs

a transit point for drugs destined for Europe, North America, and the rest of the Caribbean;  drug trafficking organizations use  the country’s proximity to Venezuela, its porous borders, vulnerabilities at ports of entry, a limited law enforcement capacity and resources, and corruption