Photos of 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 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


1,407,460 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 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: 19.04% (male 136,733/female 131,316)

15-64 years: 67.4% (male 482,427/female 466,200)

65 years and over: 13.56% (2023 est.) (male 88,531/female 102,253)

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: 37.8 years

male: 37.3 years

female: 38.3 years (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 67

Population growth rate

0.12% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 184

Birth rate

10.62 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 178

Death rate

8.48 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 74

Net migration rate

-0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 145

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: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

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

comparison ranking: 115

Infant mortality rate

total: 15.44 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 17.51 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total 95

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.19 years

male: 74.29 years

female: 78.18 years (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 112

Total fertility rate

1.63 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 177

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)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 12.7%

male: 12.8%

female: 12.6% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 136


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: 22.04 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 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: Christine KANGALOO elected president by the electoral college on 20 January 2023; Christine KANGALOO (PNM) - 48 votes, Israel KHAN (UNC) 22 

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 - NA; composition as of May 2020 - men 18, women 13, percent of women 41.9%
House of Representatives - percent by party - NA; seats by party - PNM 22, UNC 19; composition - as of May 2022 - men 31, women 11, percent of women 26.2%; note - overall Parliament percent of women 32.9%

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

Congress of the People or COP [Kirt SINNETTE]
People's National Movement or PNM [Keith ROWLEY]
Progressive Democratic Patriots or PDP (Tobago) [Watson DUKE]
United National Congress or UNC [Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR]

International organization participation

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

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)

$35.147 billion (2021 est.)
$35.511 billion (2020 est.)
$38.465 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 132

Real GDP growth rate

-1.03% (2021 est.)
-7.68% (2020 est.)
0.11% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 196

Real GDP per capita

$23,000 (2021 est.)
$23,400 (2020 est.)
$25,300 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 83

GDP (official exchange rate)

$24.031 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.06% (2021 est.)
0.6% (2020 est.)
1% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 154

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: agriculture 211; industry 14; services 170

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

poultry, fruit, coconuts, citrus fruit, milk, plantains, maize, oranges, eggs, gourds


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

Industrial production growth rate

-0.99% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 168

Labor force

702,900 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 155

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3.1%

industry: 11.5%

services: 85.4% (2016 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.8% (2021 est.)
4.57% (2020 est.)
3.42% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 157

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 12.7%

male: 12.8%

female: 12.6% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 136


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: 131

Taxes and other revenues

19.52% (of GDP) (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 95

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Current account balance

$2.9 billion (2021 est.)
-$1.356 billion (2020 est.)
$1.02 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 38


$11.467 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$6.44 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$9.566 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 98

Exports - partners

United States 37%, Guyana 6%, China 5%, Mexico 4%, Belgium 4% (2021)

Exports - commodities

ammonia, industrial alcohols, natural gas, crude petroleum, iron products, fertilizers, refined petroleum (2021)


$8.592 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$6.785 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$7.96 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 121

Imports - partners

United States 37%, China 9%, Mexico 6%, Brazil 5%, Canada 4% (2021)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, iron, excavation machinery, ships, cars (2021)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$6.88 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$6.954 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$6.929 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 96

Debt - external

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

comparison ranking: 121

Exchange rates

Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
6.759 (2021 est.)
6.751 (2020 est.)
6.754 (2019 est.)
6.771 (2018 est.)
6.78 (2017 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; consumption 107; exports 180; imports 186; transmission/distribution losses 133

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: 340,000 (2021)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 105

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 2 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 130 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 149

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 22 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity 130 per 100 persons (2021)

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


4 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 187

Airports - with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


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

Merchant marine

total: 102

by type: general cargo 1, other 101 (2022)

comparison ranking: total 89

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port of Spain, Scarborough

oil terminal(s): Galeota Point terminal

LNG terminal(s) (export): Port Fortin

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) (2023)

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: 91

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 (2022)

note: as of 2017, 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

Disputes - international

Trinidad and Tobago-Barbados: 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

Trinidad and Tobago-Barbados-Guyana-Venezuela: 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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 28,500 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2021)

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 increased investigations and prosecutions, identified more victims, and expanded training; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous year to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; the government has never convicted a trafficker under its 2011 anti-trafficking law; corruption and official complicity in trafficking remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement, and the government did not take action against senior officials alleged in 2020 to be involved in trafficking; victim identification and services remained weak, and the government did not formally adopt the National Action Plan for 2021-2023; therefore, Trinidad and Tobago remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year (2022)

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, and large numbers of Venezuelans in particular continued to arrive in large numbers on a daily basis; unaccompanied or separated Venezuelan children are at increased risk for sex trafficking; migrants from the Caribbean region and from Asia are at risk for forced labor in domestic service and the retail sector; women and girls primarily from Venezuela, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana are at risk of sex trafficking; traffickers also exploit victims from Puerto Rico, the Philippines, China, India, Nepal, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and they increasingly target vulnerable foreign women and girls; 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 likely a sex tourism destination (2022)

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