Trinidad and Tobago 1998Trinidad%20and%20Tobago

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Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago 


Trinidad and Tobago - Introduction 1998
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Background: The islands came under British control in the 19th century; independence was granted 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.

Trinidad and Tobago - Geography 1998
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Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Geographic coordinates: 11 00 N, 61 00 W

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 5,130 km²
Land: 5,130 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: 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

Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to December)

Terrain: mostly plains with some hills and low mountains

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

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 15%
Permanent crops: 9%
Permanent pastures: 2%
Forests and woodland: 46%
Other: 28% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 220 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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


Trinidad and Tobago - People 1998
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Population: 1,116,595 (July 1998 est.)
Growth rate: -1.27% (1998 est.)

Noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
Adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian

Ethnic groups: black 40%, East Indian (a local term_primarily immigrants from northern India) 40.3%, mixed 14%, white 1%, Chinese 1%, other 3.7%

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

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 28% (male 159,353; female 152,898)
15-64 years: 65% (male 375,889; female 347,115)
65 years and over: 7% (male 36,627; female 44,713) (July 1998 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -1.27% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 14.89 births/1000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -19.55 migrant(s)/1000 population (1998 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 18.84 deaths/1000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 70.51 years
Male: 68.06 years
Female: 73.03 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 97.9%
Male: 98.8%
Female: 97% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Trinidad and Tobago - Government 1998
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago

Government 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

Dependent areas

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Arthur Napoleon Raymond ROBINSON (since 19 March 1997): ead of
Government: Prime Minister Basdeo PANDAY (since 9 November 1995)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament
Elections: president elected by an electoral college that consists of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives for a five-year term; election last held NA February 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); prime minister appointed from among the members of Parliament; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives is usually appointed prime minister
Election results: Arthur Napoleon Raymond ROBINSON elected president; percent of electoral college vote_69%

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate (31 seats; members appointed by the president for a maximum term of five years) and a House of Representatives (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: House of Representatives_last held 6 November 1995 (next to be held by December 2000)
Election results: House of Representatives_percent of vote_PNM 52%, UNC 42.2%, NAR 5.2%; seats by party_PNM 15, UNC 19, NAR 1, independent 1; note_the UNC formed a coalition with the NAR
Note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly with 15 members serving four-year terms

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Michael A. ARNEAUD
In the us chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,036
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 467-6,490
In the us fax: [1] (202) 785-3,130
In the us consulates general: Miami and New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Edward E. SHUMAKER, III
From the us embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 752, Port-of-Spain
From the us telephone: [1] (809) 622-6,372 through 6,376, 6,176
From the us fax: [1] (809) 628-5,462

Flag descriptionflag of Trinidad%20and%20Tobago: red with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Trinidad and Tobago - Economy 1998
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Economy overview: Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses. Successful economic reforms were implemented in 1995, and foreign investment and trade are flourishing. Unemployment - a main cause of the country's socio-economic problems_is high, but has decreased to its lowest point in five years. The country enjoys a healthy trade surplus, yet its heavy dependence on oil and petrochemical prices makes its trade balance vulnerable to sudden shifts. Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner, with 260,000 arrivals in 1995, 80% from Europe.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3.1% (1996 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 2%
Industry: 45%
Services: 53% (1995 est.)

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

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

Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (1995)

Labor force
Total: 404,500
By occupation constructionandutilities: 13%
By occupation andquarrying: 14%
By occupation agriculture: 11%
By occupation services: 62% (1993est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 16.1% (December 1996)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $1.7 billion
Expenditures: $1.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $243 million (1997 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value:$2.5 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
Commodoties: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus, flowers
Partners: US 48%, Caricom countries 15%, Latin America 9%, EU 5% (1994)

Imports: total value:$2.1 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
Commodoties: machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals
Partners: US 48%, Venezuela 10%, UK 8%, Germany, Canada (1995)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.9 billion (1996 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TT$) per US$1_6.2840 (January 1998), 6.2503 (1997), 6.0051 (1996), 5.9478 (1995), 5.9249 (1994), 5.3511 (1993)

Trinidad and Tobago - Energy 1998
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3.9 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,068 kWh (1995)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Trinidad and Tobago - Communication 1998
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: excellent international service; good local service
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Trinidad and Tobago - Military 1998
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $83 million (1994)
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Trinidad and Tobago - Transportation 1998
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 6 (1997 est.)
With paved runways total: 3
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (1997 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 3
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 3
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 3
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 2 (1997 est.)


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

Railways: note:minimal agricultural railroad system near San Fernando; railway service was discontinued in 1968



Merchant marine: total:1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,336 GRT/2,567 DWT (1997 est.)

Ports and terminals

Trinidad and Tobago - Transnational issues 1998
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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

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