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Central America and Caribbean :: Trinidad and Tobago
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Trinidad and Tobago
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Introduction ::Trinidad and Tobago
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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.
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Geography ::Trinidad and Tobago
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Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
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11 00 N, 61 00 W
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total: 5,128 sq km
country comparison to the world: 173
land: 5,128 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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slightly smaller than Delaware
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0 km
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362 km
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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
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tropical; rainy season (June to December)
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mostly plains with some hills and low mountains
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m
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petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
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arable land: 14.62%
permanent crops: 9.16%
other: 76.22% (2005)
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40 sq km (2003)
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3.8 cu km (2000)
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total: 0.31 cu km/yr (68%/26%/6%)
per capita: 237 cu m/yr (2000)
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outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
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water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
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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
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Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt
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People ::Trinidad and Tobago
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1,229,953 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
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0-14 years: 19.6% (male 123,214/female 117,584)
15-64 years: 72.6% (male 457,868/female 434,486)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 41,467/female 55,334) (2009 est.)
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total: 32.1 years
male: 31.6 years
female: 32.7 years (2009 est.)
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-0.102% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
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14.36 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
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8.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
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-7.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
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urban population: 13% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 29.93 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 75
male: 31.14 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 70.86 years
country comparison to the world: 135
male: 67.98 years
female: 73.82 years (2009 est.)
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1.72 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
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1.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
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14,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
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1,900 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
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noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian
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Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.8% (2000 census)
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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)
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English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.1%
female: 98% (2003 est.)
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total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2005)
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4.2% of GDP (2002)
country comparison to the world: 100
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in 2007, the government of Trinidad and Tobago estimated the population to be 1.3 million
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Government ::Trinidad and Tobago
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conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
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parliamentary democracy
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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)
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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
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31 August 1962 (from the UK)
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Independence Day, 31 August (1962)
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1 August 1976
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based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President George Maxwell RICHARDS (since 17 March 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Patrick MANNING (since 24 December 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament
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
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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 5 November 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - PNM 46%, UNC 29.7%; seats by party - PNM 26, UNC 15
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
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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)
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Congress of the People [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]; United National Congress or UNC [Basdeo PANDAY]
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Jamaat-al Muslimeen [Yasin BAKR]
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ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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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
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chief of mission: Ambassador Roy L. AUSTIN
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
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red with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side
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Economy ::Trinidad and Tobago
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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 for the past seven years has averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, it has slowed down this year to about 5% and is expected to slow further with the global downturn. 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 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 proportionately as important as in 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.
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$29.01 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$28.03 billion (2007 est.)
$26.57 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$24.81 billion (2008 est.)
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3.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
5.5% (2007 est.)
12.2% (2006 est.)
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$23,600 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$22,700 (2007 est.)
$21,500 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 0.5%
industry: 62.3%
services: 37.2% (2008 est.)
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620,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
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agriculture 3.8%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 12.8%, construction and utilities 20.4%, services 62.9% (2007 est.)
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5.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
4.5% (2007 est.)
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17% (2007 est.)
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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16.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
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revenues: $7.421 billion
expenditures: $7.141 billion (2008 est.)
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26.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
54.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
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12% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
7.9% (2007 est.)
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6.94% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 40
10% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 70
11.75% (31 December 2007)
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$2.39 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 86
$2.646 billion (31 December 2007)
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$3.506 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 74
$5.707 billion (31 December 2007)
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$3.423 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 103
$3.73 billion (31 December 2007)
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$12.16 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 70
$15.61 billion (31 December 2007)
$15.57 billion (31 December 2006)
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cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry
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petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles
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4.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
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7.202 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
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7.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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163,300 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
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41,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
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248,300 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
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92,480 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
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728.3 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
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39.3 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
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21.94 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
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17.36 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 13
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
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531.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
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$5.395 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
$5.364 billion (2007 est.)
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$15.9 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
$13.39 billion (2007 est.)
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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
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US 47.5%, Spain 8.3%, Netherlands 7.4%, Jamaica 6.1% (2008)
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$9.843 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
$7.67 billion (2007 est.)
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mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
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US 27.4%, Brazil 10%, Venezuela 8.1%, Colombia 4.8%, China 4.2%, Gabon 4.1% (2008)
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$9.496 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$6.745 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$3.302 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
$2.869 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$102 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$12.44 billion (2007)
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$3.829 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 59
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Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar - 6.2896 (2008 est.), 6.3275 (2007), 6.3107 (2006), 6.2842 (2005), 6.299 (2004)
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Communications ::Trinidad and Tobago
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307,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
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1.505 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 132
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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
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AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2001)
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6 (2005)
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.tt
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162,849 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 67
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227,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 132
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Transportation ::Trinidad and Tobago
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6 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 175
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total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2009)
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gas 659 km; oil 336 km (2008)
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total: 8,320 km
country comparison to the world: 139
paved: 4,252 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (2000)
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total: 9
country comparison to the world: 118
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)
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Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain
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Military ::Trinidad and Tobago
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Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (TTDF): Trinidad and Tobago Army, Coast Guard, Air Guard, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (2008)
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18 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription (2008)
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males age 16-49: 301,561
females age 16-49: 264,225 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 276,224
females age 16-49: 271,677 (2009 est.)
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male: 9,183
female: 8,662 (2009 est.)
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0.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 169
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Transnational Issues ::Trinidad and Tobago
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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
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transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; producer of cannabis
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