Trinidad and Tobago Politics

Trinidad and Tobago Politics, Population and Geography

General: 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, mainly due to the extraction and processing of oil and natural gas. Tourism, especially to Tobago, is growing and expanding.


Location: Caribbean region, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela.
Geographic coordinates: 11° 00′ N. latitude, 61° 00′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 5,128 km2; land surface area: 5,128 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than Delaware.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 362 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to the outer limits of the continent; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; rainy season from June to December.
Terrain: mostly plains with a few hills and low mountains.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m.
Natural resources: oil, natural gas, asphalt.
Land use: arable land: 15%; cultivated land: 9%; pastures: 2%; forests and plantations: 46%; others: 28% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 220 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: no, it is outside the normal paths of hurricanes and other tropical storms.
Current environmental issues: water pollution by agricultural chemicals, industrial and sewage effluents; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion.
International environmental agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Water wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:


Population: 1,169,682 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 24.1% (male 143,730; female 138,160); 15 to 64 years old: 69.2% (male 415,898; female 393,551); over 65: 6.7% (male 34,785; female 43,558) (2001 est.).
Population growth: -0.51% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 13.73 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 8.82 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -9.97 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.06 male/female; over 65: 0.8 male/female; for the general population: 1.03 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 24.98 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 68.27 years; men: 65.74 years; women: 70.92 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.81 children/wives. (2000 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 1.05% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 7,800 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 530 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Trinidadian, Tobago resident; adjective: pertaining to Trinidad and Tobago.
Ethnic groups: Blacks 39.5%, East Indians (local term for mostly North Indian settlers) 40.3%, Mixed Origins 18.4%, Whites 0.6%, Chinese and Others 1.2%.
Religious: Roman Catholic 29.4%, Hindu 23.8%, Anglican 10.9%, Muslim 5.8%, Presbyterian 3.4%, other 26.7%.
Language(s): English (official), Hindi, French, Spanish, Chinese.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 97.9%; men: 98.8%; women: 97% (1995 est.).


conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago;
Common short form: Trinidad and Tobago
State structure: parliamentary democracy. See to know more about Trinidad and Tobago Political System.
Capital: Port of Spain.
Administrative divisions: 8 counties, 3 municipalities* and 1 district**: Arima*, Victoria, Caroni, Mayaro, Nariva, Port of Spain*, San Fernando*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, St. Patrick, Tobago**.
Independence: from August 31, 1962 (until 1962 – a colony of Great Britain).
National holiday: Independence Day, 31 August (1962).
Constitution: adopted August 1, 1976
Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court is possible; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Arthur Napoleon Raymond ROBINSON (since 19 March 1997);
head of government: Prime Minister Basdeo PANDAY (since 9 November 1995)
government: the cabinet is appointed from the members of Parliament; elections: the president is elected by the electoral college, which consists of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, for 5 years; elections last held 11 December 2000 (next to be held in 2005); the prime minister is appointed from among the members of Parliament; after 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; the percentage of votes cast for him in the electoral college is 69%.
Legislature: the bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; members are appointed by the president for a maximum of 5 years) and the House of Representatives (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote for five years); elections: House of Representatives – last held 11 December 2000 (next to be held December 2005); election results: House of Representatives, percentage of votes cast: UNC 58.1%, PNM 40.8%, NAR 1.1%; distribution of seats among parties: UNC 19, PNM 16, NAR 1; note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly with 15 members and a term of office of 4 years.
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (consists of the High Court and the Court of Appeal; the Chief Justice is appointed by the President on the nomination of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition; other judges are appointed by the President on the nomination of the Judicial-Legal Commission); High Court; Court of Appeal; “Megistra-si” (consideration of minor civil cases and summary criminal proceedings).
Political parties and leaders: National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) (Hochay CHARLES); People’s Confidence Party (PEP) (leader – no data); Popular National Movement (PNM) (Patrick MANNING); United National Congress (UNC) (Basdeo PANDAY).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Jamaat al-Musilmin (Abu BAKR [Abu BAKR]).
Participation in international organizations: 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, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: the post of ambassador is vacant; office: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone: [1] (202) 467-6490; fax: [1] (202) 785-3130; consulates general: Miami and New York.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Edward E. SHUMAKER, III; embassy: 15 Queen’s Park West, Port-of-Spain; mailing address: R. O. Box 752, Port-of-Spain; telephone; [1] (809) 622-6372 to 622-6376,622-6176; fax: [\] (809) 628-5462.
Flag Description: Red, divided diagonally by a black stripe emerging from the upper left corner and bordered in white.

Trinidad and Tobago Politics