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Trinidad and Tobago

Key facts

Date of Membership in CARICOM: 1 Aug 1973

Also Known as:Land of the Humming Bird

Status of Independence:Independent 1962/08/31

Area: 5,128 km2 (1,980 miles2)

Capital City: Port-of-Spain

Population: 1,308,600 (208)

Currency: Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TT)

Highest National Award: Trinity Cross


GDP Growth: -0.6% p.a. 2009–13

GNI: US$21.2bn

GNI PC: US$15,760

Key dates in history

1498       Arrival of Columbus on island known to Amerindians as `Iere” (land of the Humming Bird). Renamed Trinidad by Columbus for the three hills sighted from the sea; Tobago also sighted by Columbus; name derived from corruption of word `tobacco’ planted by Amerindians on island

1592       First European settlement by Spain

1783       Spain grants permission to French-speaking Roman Catholics to settle

1797       Captured by Britain from Spain

1802       Tobago finally ceded to Britain by France

1888       Administrative union of Tobago and Trinidad

1937       Violent labour unrest leads to several deaths

1958       Joined West Indies Federation

1962       Independence achieved. Dr. Eric Williams, first Prime Minister

1970       Black power demonstrations and army mutiny

1976       Republican Status, Sir Ellis Clarke, first President

1990       Attempted coup foiled

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