[Country map of Trinidad and Tobago]

Trinidad and Tobago


Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 5,130 sq km
land area: 5,130 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Delaware

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 362 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to December)

Terrain: mostly plains with some hills and low mountains

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, asphalt

Land use:
arable land: 14%
permanent crops: 17%
meadows and pastures: 2%
forest and woodland: 44%
other: 23%

Irrigated land: 220 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
natural hazards: outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
international agreements: party to - Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity


Population: 1,271,159 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (female 191,627; male 198,225)
15-64 years: 64% (female 399,726; male 407,495)
65 years and over: 5% (female 40,577; male 33,509) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.12% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 16.62 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.88 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -8.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 18.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.14 years
male: 67.75 years
female: 72.6 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.01 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian

Ethnic divisions: black 43%, East Indian (a local term - primarily immigrants from northern India) 40%, mixed 14%, white 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 32.2%, Hindu 24.3%, Anglican 14.4%, other Protestant 14%, Muslim 6%, none or unknown 9.1%

Languages: English (official), Hindi, French, Spanish

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990)
total population: 97%
male: 98%
female: 96%

Labor force: 463,900
by occupation: construction and utilities 18.1%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 14.8%, agriculture 10.9%, other 56.2% (1985 est.)


conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago

Digraph: TD

Type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Port-of-Spain

Administrative divisions: 8 counties, 3 municipalities*, and 1 ward**; Arima*, Caroni, Mayaro, Nariva, Port-of-Spain*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick, San Fernando*, Tobago**, Victoria

Independence: 31 August 1962 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 31 August (1962)

Constitution: 1 August 1976

Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Noor Mohammed HASSANALI (since 18 March 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Patrick Augustus Mervyn MANNING (since 17 December 1991)
cabinet: Cabinet; responsible to parliament

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament
Senate: consists of a 31-member body appointed by the president
House of Representatives: elections last held 16 December 1991 (next to be held by December 1996); results - PNM 32%, UNC 13%, NAR 2%; seats - (36 total) PNM 21, UNC 13, NAR 2

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: People's National Movement (PNM), Patrick MANNING; United National Congress (UNC), Basdeo PANDAY; National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR), Selby WILSON; Movement for Social Transformation (MOTION), David ABDULLAH; National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), Makandal DAAGA; Republican Party, Nello MITCHELL; National Development Party (NDP), Carson CHARLES; Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), Hulsie BHAGGAN


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Corinne Averille McKNIGHT
chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490
FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130
consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Brian DONNELLY (since September 1994)
embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain
mailing address: P. O. Box 752, Port-of-Spain
telephone: [1] (809) 622-6372 through 6376, 6176
FAX: [1] (809) 628-5462

Flag: red with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side


Overview: Trinidad and Tobago's petroleum-based economy still enjoys a high per capita income by Latin American standards, even though output and living standards are substantially below the boom years of 1973-82. The country suffers from widespread unemployment, large foreign-debt payments, and periods of low international oil prices. The government has begun to make progress in its efforts to diversify exports and to liberalize its trade regime, making 1994 the first year of substantial growth since the early 1980s.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $15 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $11,280 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.1% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 18.1% (1994 )

revenues: $1.6 billion
expenditures: $1.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $158 million (1993 est.)

Exports: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus, flowers
partners: US 44%, CARICOM 15%, Latin America 9%, EC 5% (1993)

Imports: $996 million (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals
partners: US 43%, Venezuela 10%, UK 8%, other EC 8% (1993)

External debt: $2 billion (1994)

Industrial production: growth rate 1% (1994 est.); accounts for 39% of GDP, including petroleum

capacity: 1,150,000 kW
production: 3.9 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 2,740 kWh (1993)

Industries: petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles

Agriculture: accounts for 3% of GDP; major crops - cocoa, sugarcane; sugarcane acreage is being shifted into rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry sector most important source of animal protein; must import large share of food needs

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe and producer of cannabis

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $373 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $518 million

Currency: 1 Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TT$) per US$1 - 5.8758 (January 1995), 5.9160 (1994), 5.3511 (1993), 4.2500 (fixed rate 1989-1992); note - effective 13 April 1993, the exchange rate of the TT dollar is market-determined as opposed to the prior fixed relationship to the US dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year


note: minimal agricultural railroad system near San Fernando

total: 8,000 km
paved: 4,000 km
unpaved: improved earth 1,000 km; unimproved earth 3,000 km

Pipelines: crude oil 1,032 km; petroleum products 19 km; natural gas 904 km

Ports: Pointe-a-Pierre, Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain, Scarborough, Tembladora

Merchant marine:
total: 2 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 12,507 GRT/21,923 DWT

total: 6
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1


Telephone system: 109,000 telephones; excellent international service via tropospheric scatter links to Barbados and Guyana; good local service
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station; linked to Barbados and Guyana by tropospheric scatter system

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 5
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (includes Ground Forces, Coast Guard, and Air Wing), Trinidad and Tobago Police Service

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 347,841; males fit for military service 249,904 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $83 million, 1.5% of GDP (1994)