Trinidad & Tobago Country Statistics

AREA Trinidad (4,828 sq. km or 1,864 sq. miles) and Tobago (300 sq. km or 117 sq. miles)

Warm all year round with a mean temperature ranging between 32ºC (90ºF) at maximum and 23ºC (73ºF) at minimum. There are two seasons: dry season (January to May) and wet season (June to December)

POPULATION 1.3 million
CAPITALS Port of Spain
CURRENCY Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TT$)
TEL/FAX CODE 868 & seven digits
ACCESS 2 international airports, 3 major shipping ports and 4 smaller ports
Time 4 hours behind GMT


Located 11 km (7 miles) off the north-eastern coast of Venezuela and at the most southern tip of the Caribbean archipelago, the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is strategically positioned for trade with neighbouring islands as well as with North and South America.


Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is the largest economy in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its petroleum sector is the main driver of economic growth. In 2018, the energy sector accounted for approximately 30 percent of GDP and 70 percent of exports. During the early 1990s the energy sector evolved from being oil-dominant to a natural gas-dominant sector. Like many hydrocarbon-producing states, the decline in global energy prices, which commenced in 2014, negatively affected the country’s economic growth. T&T’s production of oil and gas has been declining for some years and in 2020 the country lost its status as the region’s major oil-producer with the commencement of oil production in Guyana. Although the slide in T&T’s oil output halted in 2021, the urgent need to combat climate change through reducing carbon dioxide emissions has caused a number of major energy companies and energy-producing states to rethink their longterm strategies..

Between 2000 and 2007, the domestic economy experienced healthy expansion with real GDP growth averaging around 8 percent. Although the nation weathered the 2008 financial crisis better than many other countries, from 2009 economic growth has been patchy and the government has been running on fiscal deficits for more than five consecutive years. In 2020, T&T’s economy suffered a contraction of 8.3 percent, following marginal growth of 0.2 percent in 2019. The decline in energy sector growth was mainly due to lower output coupled with a drop in global energy prices. Overall, the entire domestic economy was constrained by pandemic-related challenges and the non-energy sector was mostly subdued by COVID-19 containment measures.

The T&T dollar is not pegged to the US dollar like other regional economies, but it is under a managed float foreign exchange system in which the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) intervenes in markets to prevent significant spikes in inflation and other economic volatilities. With export earnings from the energy sector still low, the foreign exchange market remains tight. The TT currency has depreciated over the last six years, with the average TT$/US$ exchange increasing from 6.3776 in 2015 to 6.7803 in 2020. While the foreign reserves position weakened during the same period, it is still considered to be healthy at 8.6 months of import cover, as at the end of October 2021.

With regard to the country’s foreign policy stance, the twin-island state has maintained healthy economic and political relations with its regional counterparts, as well as the United States, which remains its largest trading partner. For the last five years, T&T’s top export partners have included Guyana, Mexico, Chile, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Spain. The country’s main sources of imports were the US, Gabon, China, Russia, Congo, Brazil and Canada.

In 2020, T&T ranked 86th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which was a decline from 78th in 2018. The country’s individual score also fell from 41 out of a possible 100 in 2018 to 40 in 2020.

The country faces job market challenges and the latest statistics reveal that the unemployment rate increased to 5.1 percent in June 2020 from 4.4 percent in June 2019. Although unemployment data for 2021 is unavailable, retrenchment notices and other indicators suggest that domestic labour market conditions deteriorated further in 2021. Over the last five years, the labour market has also been impacted by a strong increase in migrants seeking employment and better living conditions.

In its fight against the virus, the current administration is doing its best to preserve lives and livelihoods. As at December 7th, 2021, approximately 46 percent of the total population was fully vaccinated. However, from November 2021, the country experienced its third wave of COVID19 cases, which was arguably the worst the country faced since the onset of the pandemic. During the month of November, 2021, the country recorded its highest number of infections (14,032) and COVID-related deaths (462). Vaccine hesitance is proving to be an issue for T&T as well as some of its neighbouring countries. This can pose a serious threat for the country, in light of the growing concerns surrounding the emergence of new strains of the coronavirus around the globe.

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