There has been a lot of guessing and conjecturing going on about the Muslim population in Trinidad and Tobago. The most authoritative source of data on the population of any country is its census reports. The most recent census report for Trinidad and Tobago was done in 2011. The Muslim Chronicle did some number crunching with the data on the Muslim population and found the following.
According to the 2011 census report, there were 65,705 Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago, comprising 5% of the overall population.
Of all Muslims in the country, approximately one fifth of them (20.1%) live in the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo municipality. The municipality with the second largest share of Muslims was Princes Town (13.2%), followed by Tunapuna/Piarco (12.9%). The Borough of Point Fortin and Tobago have the lowest share with 0.5% each.
In terms of the concentration of Muslims in each municipality (i.e. the proportion of Muslims in the population of each municipality), the Borough of Chaguanas was the highest with 8.6%, followed very closely by Princes Town with 8.5%. Tobago was the lowest with 0.6%.
The great majority of the Muslims live in the central and southern regions of the country – 65.8%.
33.7% live in regions classified as falling within the broad geographic region of ‘East to West’, and only 0.5% reside in Tobago.
Ethnicity % in the Muslim Population
The vast majority of Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago are of East Indian descent – 83%. The other notable racial groupings are: African (7%), Mixed – other (5%) and Mixed – African/East Indian (4%).
According to the census figures, there are 4,077 more males than females among Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago.
The two population pyramid diagrams above show the age structure for the Muslim population (on the left) and the total population of Trinidad and Tobago (on the right) by sex. The pyramid for the total population has a very symmetrical pattern throughout with the bars for females only beginning to be noticeably longer than those for males at older ages i.e. from 70 and over. This is in line with global trends of higher life expectancies for females than males.
The pyramid for the Muslims show longer bars for males from earlier ages, most noticeably in the age group from 20-24 until about the 60-64 group – Muslim males outnumber Muslim females for these age groups.
In both diagrams, the narrow base of the pyramids (from age groups 0-4 to 10-14) reflect declining fertility rates in the respective populations i.e. Muslim women of childbearing age, and also throughout Trinidad and Tobago more generally, are not having as many children as the women of their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. If continued, this results to the phenomenon typically known as population aging i.e. the population has increasingly higher numbers of older persons compared younger persons, and this inevitably leads to population decline if not corrected.