Area 1,980 sq. mi. population 1,230,000 capital port of Spain (pop. 55,000) literacy 99% life expectancy 71 currency Trinidad & Tobago dollar gdp per capita $18,600 economy ind: petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing agr: cacao, sugarcane, rice, citrus, poultry. exp: petroleum & petroleum products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer.
Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands of the Caribbean chain. The Spanish were present on Trinidad from Columbus’s arrival in 1498. The British took possession in 1802 and held power until 1962. While geographically close, the islands are far apart in their tempo of life: steel band music and a multiethnic population, including many of african and east indian descent, give flamboyant Trinidad a fast beat; small farms and quiet resorts give scenic Tobago a slower rhythm. in addition to having reserves of oil and natural gas, Trinidad which is more than 16 times as large as Tobago contains pitch lake, a huge asphalt deposit. High priorities for the economy are increased gas production, aggressive promotion of foreign investment, and industrial and agricultural diversification.