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Trinidad and Tobago

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Background:
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.



Location:
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

Area:
total: 5,128 sq km
country comparison to the world: 173
land: 5,128 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Delaware

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
362 km

Maritime claims:
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

Climate:
Current Weather
tropical; rainy season (June to December)

Terrain:
mostly plains with some hills and low mountains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, asphalt

Land use:
arable land: 14.62%
permanent crops: 9.16%
other: 76.22% (2005)

Irrigated land:
40 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
3.8 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.31 cu km/yr (68%/26%/6%)
per capita: 237 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:
outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms

Environment - current issues:
water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion

Environment - international agreements:
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

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



Population:
1,228,691 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.5% (male 122,431/female 116,998)
15-64 years: 72.4% (male 456,784/female 432,503)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 42,864/female 57,111) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 32.6 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 33.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.094% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210

Birth rate:
14.37 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Death rate:
8.21 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102

Net migration rate:
-7.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Urbanization:
urban population: 13% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.028 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 28.9 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 75
male: 30.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.09 years
country comparison to the world: 136
male: 68.23 years
female: 74.02 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.72 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
14,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,900 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

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

Ethnic groups:
Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.8% (2000 census)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 26%, Hindu 22.5%, Anglican 7.8%, Baptist 7.2%, Pentecostal 6.8%, Muslim 5.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4%, other Christian 5.8%, other 10.8%, unspecified 1.4%, none 1.9% (2000 census)

Languages:
English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.1%
female: 98% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2005)

Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2002)
country comparison to the world: 98

People - note:
in 2007, the government of Trinidad and Tobago estimated the population to be 1.3 million



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

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Capital:
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)

Administrative divisions:
9 regional corporations, 2 city corporations, 3 borough corporations, 1 ward
regional corporations: Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Diego Martin, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Penal/Debe, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, San Juan/Laventille, Siparia, Tunapuna/Piarco
city corporations: Port-of-Spain, San Fernando
borough corporations: Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin
ward: Tobago

Independence:
31 August 1962 (from the 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 George Maxwell RICHARDS (since 17 March 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR (since 26 May 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by an electoral college, which consists of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 February 2008 (next to be held by February 2013); the president usually appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives
election results: George Maxwell RICHARDS reelected president; percent of electoral college vote - NA

Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; 16 members appointed by the ruling party, 9 by the President, 6 by the opposition party to serve a maximum term of five years) and the House of Representatives (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-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
note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly with 12 members serving four-year terms; last election held in January 2005; seats by party - PNM 11, DAC 1

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Judicature (comprised of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeals; the chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission); the highest court of appeal is the Privy Council in London; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

Political parties and leaders:
Congress of the People or COP [Winston DOOKERAN]; Democratic Action Congress or DAC [Hochoy CHARLES] (only active in Tobago); Democratic National Alliance or DNA [Gerald YETMING] (coalition of NAR, DDPT, MND); Movement for National Development or MND [Garvin NICHOLAS]; National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR [Dr. Carson CHARLES]; People's National Movement or PNM [Patrick MANNING]; Tobago Organization of the People or TOP [Ashworth JACK]; United National Congress or UNC [Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Jamaat-al Muslimeen [Yasin BAKR]

International organization participation:
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Beatrice W. WELTERS
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

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



Economy - overview:
Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, it has slowed down since then and contracted about 3.5% in 2009. Growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Additional petrochemical, aluminum, and plastics projects are in various stages of planning. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources but 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. The country is also a regional financial center, and tourism is a growing sector, although it is not as important domestically as it is to many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. The MANNING administration has benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues which will challenge his government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$28.41 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$29.44 billion (2008 est.)
$28.44 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$23.27 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-3.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
3.5% (2008 est.)
5.5% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$23,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$23,900 (2008 est.)
$23,100 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.5%
industry: 59.2%
services: 40.3% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
629,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3.8%
manufacturing, mining, and quarrying: 12.8%
construction and utilities: 20.4%
services: 62.9% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:
5.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
4.6% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:
17% (2007 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):
11.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Budget:
revenues: $6.036 billion
expenditures: $7.513 billion (2009 est.)

Public debt:
26% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
27.2% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
12% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
10.75% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 41
10% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
12.44% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 75
11.75% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$3.047 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 82
$2.646 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$6.795 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 73
$5.707 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$3.423 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 93
$3.73 billion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$11.15 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 66
$12.16 billion (31 December 2008)
$15.61 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:
cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry

Industries:
petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles

Industrial production growth rate:
-5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113

Electricity - production:
7.202 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101

Electricity - consumption:
7.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
151,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Oil - consumption:
43,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101

Oil - exports:
248,300 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Oil - imports:
92,480 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66

Oil - proved reserves:
728.3 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

Natural gas - production:
39.3 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21

Natural gas - consumption:
21.94 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Natural gas - exports:
17.36 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

Natural gas - proved reserves:
531.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Current account balance:
$1.76 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
$8.294 billion (2008 est.)

Exports:
$9.175 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
$18.69 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers

Exports - partners:
US 38.53%, Jamaica 8.86%, Spain 6.88%, Mexico 6.23% (2009)

Imports:
$6.974 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$9.845 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals

Imports - partners:
US 30.87%, Colombia 7.1%, Venezuela 7.01%, Russia 6.64%, Brazil 5.53%, China 4.19% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$9.246 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
$9.496 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$2.079 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$3.289 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$102 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$12.44 billion (2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$3.829 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 61

Exchange rates:
Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar - 6.2993 (2009), 6.2896 (2008), 6.3275 (2007), 6.3107 (2006), 6.2842 (2005)



Telephones - main lines in use:
307,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 115

Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.505 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 134

Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent international service; good local service
domestic: mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 175 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

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 28, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television broadcast stations:
6 (2005)

Internet country code:
.tt

Internet hosts:
162,849 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 67

Internet users:
227,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 132



Airports:
6 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 171

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2009)

Pipelines:
gas 659 km; oil 336 km (2009)

Roadways:
total: 8,320 km
country comparison to the world: 139
paved: 4,252 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (2000)

Merchant marine:
total: 9
country comparison to the world: 115
by type: passenger 2, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 1 (US 1)
registered in other countries: 2 (Bahamas 1, unknown 1) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain



Military branches:
Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (TTDF): Trinidad and Tobago Army, Coast Guard, Air Guard, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (2010)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 347,044
females age 16-49: 323,847 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 273,361
females age 16-49: 266,535 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 8,572
female: 7,966 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 170



Disputes - international:
in April 2006, the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a decision that delimited a maritime boundary with Trinidad and Tobago and compelled Barbados to enter a fishing agreement that limited Barbadian fishermen's 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 UNCLOS 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

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

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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