Trinidad and Tobago

Official Name:republic or Trinidad and Tobago.Form of government:multiparty republic with two legislative houses (Senate (31); House of representatives (41).Chief of state: President George Maxwell Richards (from 2003). Head of governement: Prime Minister Patrick Manning (from 2001).Capital:Port of Spain.Official Language:English.Official Religion:none.Monetary Unit:1 Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$)=100 cents;valuation (1 Jul 2009) US$1= TT $6.18.


Area:1,900 sq mi, 5, 155 sq km.Population (2008): 1,305,000. Density (2008): persons per sq mi 655.8, persons per sq km 253.2. Urban (2005): 12.2%. Sex distribution (2005):male 49.17%;female 50.83%.Age breakdown (2005):under 15,22.3%;15-29, 30.2%;30-44,22.6%; 45-59,15.4%; 60-74, 7.0%; 75-84, 2.0%; 85 and over, 0.5%.Ethnic composition (2000):black39.2%; East Indian 38.6%;mixed 16.3%;Chinese 1.6%;white 1.0%;other/unknown 3.3%.Religious affiliation (2005):Roman Catholic 29%;Hindu 24%; Protestant 19%;independent and other Christian 7%;Muslim 7%;nonreligious 2%;other/unknown 12%.Major citites/built-up areas (2006): Chaguanas 73,100: San Juan 57,100; San Fernando 56,600;Port of Spain 49,800(greater Port of Spain (2004) 264,000); Arima 35,600.Location: islands northeast of Venezuela, between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Vital Statistics

Birth Rate per 1,000 population (2006): 13.7 (world avg.20.3). Death rate per 1,000 population (2006): 7.7 (world avg.8.6). Natural increase rate per 1,000population(2006):6.0 (world average 11.7). Total fertility rate (avg.births per childbearing woman;2005): 1.63.Life expectancy at birth (2005):male 67.3 years;female 71.4 years.

National Economy

Budget (2006-07). Revenue:TT $40,064,000,000(taxes on petroleum and natural gas corporations 40.5%; VAT 12.1%;nonoil corporate taxes12.0%; nontax revenue 6.7%;import duties 5.0%). Expenditures: TT$37,766,000,000(current expenditures 79.4%; development expenditures and net lending 20.6%). Production (metric tons except as noted). Agriculture and fishing(2007):sugarcane 358,000, bananas 7,000, oranges 5,250;livestock (number of live animals) 60,000 goats, 45,000 pigs, 28,500,000 chickens ;fisheries production (2006) 8,4444 (from aquaculture ,negligible). Mining and quarrying (2006): limestone 850,000;natural asphalt 16,200.Manufacturing (value added in US$000,000;2003):refined petroleum products and natural gas products 732;base chemicals 515;food products 129.Energy production(consumption):electricity (kW-hr;2006) 7,110,000,000 (2005) 7,058,000,000);crude petroleum (barrels; 2007)44,200,000 (2005) 60,500,000); petroleum products (metric tons; 2005)8,080,000(887,000);natural gas (cu m; 2006)37,973,000,000 (2005)13, 086,000,000).Selected balance of payments data.Receipts from (US$000,000): tourism (2006) 177;remittances (2007) 92; foreign direct investment (FDI) (2004-06 avg.)909.Disbursements for (US$000,000): tourism (2006)82; FDI (2004-06 avg.) 245. Gross National income (2007) : US $18,7995, 000,000 (US$14,100 per capita). Population economically active (2005):total 623,700; activity rate of total population 48.2% (participation rates: ages 15-64, 70.1%;female 41.9%;unemployed (2007) 5.5%.) Public Debt (external, outstanding; 2007): US$1,265,000,000.

Foreign Trade

Imports (2006; c.i.f): US$6,477,700,000 (crude petroleum 33.1%; nonelectrical machinary and aooaratus 11.5%; chemical products 8.1%;base abd fabricated metals 7.5%). Major import sources:US 27.6%;Brazil 13.9%;Republic of the Congo 6.0%; Colombia 5.9%;Nigeria 5.9%.Exports (2006;f.o.b): US$14,018,700,000(liquefied natural gas petroleum 15.0%;ammonia 6.4%; methanol 6.3%). Major export destinations: US 58.1%;Barbados 3.3%;France 3.2%.

Transport and Communications

Transport.Railroads:none.Roads (2000):total length 8,320 km (paved 51%).Vehicles (2005): passenger cars 320,000;trucks and buses 71,000.Air transport (BWIA only;2005): Passenger-km 3,101,000,000;metric ton-km cargo 47,883,000. Communications, in total units (units per 1,000persons). Telephone landlines (2007): 324,000(249); cellular telephone subscibers (2007):1,008,000 (773); personal computers (2005): 129,000 (100) ; total internet users (2007): 431,000 (331); broadband internet subscribers (2007) : 16,000 (12)

Education and Helath

Educational attainment (2000). Percentage of population ages 15 and over having: no formal schooling/unknown 8.0%;primary education 35.4%;secondary 52.0%;university 4.6%.Literacy (2002): percentage of total population ages 15 and over literate 98.5%; males literate 99.0%; females literate 97.9%.Health (2006):physicians 1,592 ( 1 per 815 persons); hospital beds 3,556 (1 per 356 persons ; infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2005) 13.8; undernourished population (2002-04) 130,000(10% of total population based ib the consumption of minimum daily requirement of 1,950 calories).


Total active duty personnel (2007): 2,700 (army 74.1%, coast guard 25.9%). Military expenditure as percentage of GNP(2005):0.2%; per capita expenditure US $25


When Christopher Columbus visited Trinidad in 1498,it was inhabited by t

he Arawak Indians;Caribs inhabited Tobago.The islands were settled by the Spanish in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries African slaves were imoported for plantation labor to replace the original Indian population ,which had been worked to death by the Spanish .Trinidad was surrendered to the British in 1797 .The British attempted to settle Tobago in 1721, but the French captured the island in 1781 and transformed it into a sugar-producing coolony ; the British acquired it in 1802 . After slavery ended in the islands in 1834-38, immigrants from India were brought in to work the plantations.The islands of Trinidad and Tobago were administratively combined in 1889. Granted limited self-government in 1925, the islands became an independant state within the commonwealth in 1962 and a republic in 1976.Political unrest was followed in 1990 by an attempted Muslim fundamentalist coup against the government.

Recent Developments

Trinidad and TObago's success in discovering offshore natural gas was again evident in 2008 when 17 billion 37 billioon cu m(600 billion- 1.3 trillion cu ft) of new reserves were identified north of Tobago. The economy of the country , the world's fifth -largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and the leading sourde for the US, grew 3.5%, the 17th straight year of growth.