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World Factbook (1982) Trinidad and Tobago.jpg
(See reference map III)


5,128 km2; 41.9% in farms (25.7% cropped or fallow, 1.5% pasture, 10.6% forests, and 4.1% unused or built on), 58.1% outside of farms, including grassland, forest, built-up area, and wasteland


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm

Coastline: 362 km


Population: 1,203,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.5%

Nationality: noun—Trinidadian(s), Tobagan(s); adjective—Trinidadian, Tobagan

Ethnic divisions: 43% Negro, 40% East Indian, 14% mixed, 1% white, 2% other

Religion: 26.8% Protestant, 31.2% Roman Catholic, 23.0% Hindu, 6.0% Muslim, 13.0% unknown

Language: English

Literacy: 95%

Labor force: 393,800 (July 1975), 13.5% agriculture, 20.0% mining, quarrying, and manufacturing, 17.4% commerce; 15.7% construction and utilities; 7.5% transportation and communications; 23.0% services, 2.9% other

Organized labor: 30% of labor force


Official name: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Type: independent state since August 1962; in August 1976 country officially became a republic severing legal ties to British crown

Capital: Port-of-Spain

Political subdivisions: 8 counties (29 wards, Tobago is 30th)

Legal system: based on English common law; constitution came into effect 1976; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 31 August

Branches: legislative branch consists of 36-member elected House of Representatives and 31-member appointed Senate; executive is Cabinet led by the Prime Minister; judiciary is headed by the Chief Justice and includes a Court of Appeal, High Court, and lower courts

Government leaders: Prime Minister George CHAMBERS, President Ellis CLARKE

Suffrage: universal over age 18

Elections: elections to be held at intervals of not more than five years; last election held 9 November 1981

Political parties and leaders: People's National Movement (PNM), George Chambers; United Labor Front (ULF), Basdeo Panday; Organization for National Reconstruction (ONR), Karl Hudson-Phillips; Democratic Action Congress (DAC), Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson; Tapia House Movement, Lloyd Best

Voting strength (1981 election): 55% of registered voters cast ballots; PNM captured 26 seats in House of Representatives, ULF 8, and DAC the 2 Tobago seats

Communists: not significant

Other political pressure groups: National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), radical anti government Black-identity organization; Trinidad and Tobago Peace Council, leftist organization affiliated with the World Peace Council; Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce; Trinidad and Tobago Labor Congress, moderate labor federation; Council of Progressive Trade Unions, radical labor federation

Member of: CARICOM, Commonwealth, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IBRD, International Coffee Agreement, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, ISO, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, NAM, OAS, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO


GDP: $6,708 million (1980 prov.), $5,719 per capita; 42% private consumption, 17% government consumption, 28% investment, 13% foreign; growth rate (1980), 10%

Agriculture: main crops—sugarcane, cocoa, coffee, rice, citrus, bananas; largely dependent upon imports of food

Fishing: catch 4,823 metric tons (1978); exports $1.1 million (1975), imports $4.5 million (1975)

Major industries: petroleum, tourism, food processing, cement

Electric power: 555,000 kW capacity (1981); 2.0 billion kWh produced (1981), 1,697 kWh per capita

Exports: $4.0 billion (f.o.b., 1980 prelim.); petroleum and petroleum products, ammonia, fertilizer

Imports: $3.1 billion (c.i.f., 1980); crude petroleum (31%), machinery, fabricated metals, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals

Major trade partners: imports—US 27%, UK 10%, Japan 7%, crude oil for refineries supplied almost exclusively from Saudi Arabia and Indonesia; exports—US 58%, CARICOM 8%

Aid: economic—bilateral commitments including Ex-Im (FY70-80), US, $295.2 million; (1970-79) other Western countries, ODA and OOF, $100 million

Budget: (1978) central government revenues $1.3 billion, expenditures $1.2 billion (current $618 million, capital $560 million)

Monetary conversion rate: tied to US dollar in 1976; 2.40 Trinidad and Tobago dollars=US$1

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: none

Highways: 7,900 km total; 3,600 km paved, 1,100 km improved earth, 3,200 km unimproved earth

Pipelines: 1,032 km crude oil and refined products; 832 km natural gas

Ports: 3 major (Port of Spain, Chaguaramas Bay, Point Tembladora), 6 minor

Civil air: 19 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 8 total, 6 usable; 3 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 3 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: excellent international service via tropospheric scatter links to Barbados and Guyana; good local service; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station; 75,000 telephones (7.0 per 100 popl.); 2 AM, 2 FM, and 3 TV stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 331,000; 235,000 fit for military service

Supply: mostly from UK

Military budget: proposed for fiscal year ending 31 December 1979, $105.0 million; 4.8% of central government budget