Trinidad and Tobagoi/ˈtrɪnᵻˌdædəndtoʊˈbeɪɡoʊ/, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country situated off the northern edge of South America mainland, lying 11 kilometres (6mi) just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and 130 kilometres (81mi) south of Grenada. Bordering the Caribbean to the north, it shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west. The country covers an area of 5,128 square kilometres (1,980sqmi) and consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, with numerous smaller landforms. The two main islands are divided into nine regions, and one ward. Sangre Grande is the largest of the country's nine regions, comprising about 18% of the total area and 10% of the total population of the country. Trinidad and Tobago lies outside of the hurricane belt.
The population was 62,219 at the 2011 census. The capital, Scarborough, has a population of about 25,550. While Trinidad is multiethnic, Tobago's population is primarily of African descent, although with a growing proportion of Trinidadians of East Indian descent and Europeans. Between 2000 and 2011, the population of Tobago grew by 12.55 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing areas of Trinidad and Tobago.
Christopher Columbus first sighted Tobago in 1498. Subsequently, several powers fought over possession of the island.
The original Island Carib population had to defend the island against other Amerindian tribes. Then, during the late 1500s and early 1600s, the natives defended it from European colonists, for instance in 1654 from the Courlanders, who colonised the island intermittently between 1637 and 1690. Over the years, the Dutch, English, Spanish, Swedish, Curonians (Duchy of Courland) and French transformed Tobago into a battle zone and the island changed hands 33 times, the most in Caribbean history, and often name, before the Treaty of Paris ceded it to the British in 1814.