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Trinidad and Tobago, All Areas

Trinidad and Tobago, All Areas

Cost of living in Trinidad and Tobago, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at October 2020.

What is it like to live in Trinidad and Tobago?

Climate: The climate is tropical.

Language: The official language is English. It is widely spoken, while Creole, Spanish and some dialects are also spoken, but not in business circles.

Religion: Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.

Economy: The economy of Trinidad is based on natural gas and oil. Recent growth has been fuelled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Tourism and manufacturing are also important to the local economy. Tourism is a growing sector, although not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. Agricultural products include citrus, cocoa, and other products.

Inflation: 0.6% for Trinidad and Tobago as at June 2020.

Money: The currency of Trinidad and Tobago is the Trinidad/Tobago Dollar (TTD).

Tax: In Trinidad and Tobago is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 30%.

Population: 1.4 Million (2020 est.)

Expat Life: Expatriate dress code is typically a light suit for formal meetings and short-sleeved shirts and cotton trousers for less formal meetings. The safety risk for expatriates in Trinidad and Tobago is medium overall, but high in some areas. Risks include a high crime rate on the island of Trinidad (lower on the island of Tobago), opportunistic street crime, violent crime, muggings and assaults.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally below international standards and can be limited and expensive for routine treatment. Serious or complex health care treatment may require evacuation which can be expensive. Cases of Zika virus and Chikungunya virus have been reported. Dengue fever is endemic. The Coronavirus COVID-19 total reported cases for Trinidad and Tobago as at 29 October 2020 is 5,594, with 107 deaths. The rate of deaths per 1 million population is 76.

Trinidad and Tobago covers all areas within the country other than Port-of-Spain.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Trinidad and Tobago?

The cost of living for expatriates in Trinidad and Tobago as at October 2020 is average in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 68.85 (New York =100). We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Trinidad and Tobago is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very high for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1080. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$23.11, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$1.99, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.61 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$6.45.

2) Clothing: Cost is average for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$860. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$57, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$101, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$83 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$42.

3) Communication: Cost is average for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$194. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$49, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.19 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is average for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$21300. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$13,840 for Primary School, and USD$15,401 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is high for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$2750. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$799, and USD$686 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is high for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$870. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$5.17, 1 kg oranges USD$3.37, 1 head lettuce USD$1.69, 1 kg potatos USD$1.60, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$8.97, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$7.54, 1 dozen large eggs USD$4.17, 500g loaf white bread USD$2.46, 1 L full cream milk USD$2.38, and 1.5 L water USD$1.51.

7) Healthcare: Cost is average for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$700. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$57, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,745.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is average for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$2150. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,917 in a central location, and USD$1,269 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is average for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$335. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$6.54, while an international newspaper is USD$2.01.

10) Personal Care: Cost is high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$385. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$31, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$155.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is average for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$345. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$9.63, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$62 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is average for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$730. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$3.43, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.18, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$7.71, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$96.32.

13) Transport: Cost is average for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$720. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.73, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$32,689.

How does the cost of living in Trinidad and Tobago compare?

Trinidad and Tobago is 5.3% more expensive than USA for groceries, -34.1% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 51.4% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Trinidad and Tobago?

Trinidad and Tobago is ranked as a some hardship location.The hardship premium for Trinidad and Tobago for an expat from Australia, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Trinidad and Tobago) premium of 20% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

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