The East–West corridor is an urban–industrial conurbation from Port of Spain, the capital, in the west to Arima in the east. Afro-Trinidadians and other Creoles predominate in urban areas and in the north of Trinidad; Indo-Trinidadians live mostly in the central and south parts of the island. According to the 1990 census, the total population was 1,234,400.
San Fernando in the south is Trinidad's second city. The two major ethnic groups are Blacks (39.59 percent of the population) and East Indians (40.27 percent). At present, Trinidad is multilingual, with inhabitants speaking standard and nonstandard forms of English, a French-based creole, nonstandard Spanish, and Bhojpuri. Arabic, Yoruba, Bhojpuri, Urdu and other languages are used in religious contexts, and the traditional Christmas music called parang is sung in Spanish.
British administrators, British planters, and their slaves added to the island's ethnic, national, and linguistic diversity.
Enslaved Africans arrived from varied ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious groups from along the West African coast, while Creole slaves spoke a French or English creole, depending on their islands of origin.
Trinidad (but not Tobago) is ethnically heterogeneous.
Trinidadians and Tobagonians of African descent are called "Negro," "Black," or "African." Trinidadians of Indian descent are called "East Indian" (to differentiate them from Amerindians) or "Indian." More recently the terms "Afro-Trinidadian" (or "Afro-Tobagonian") and "Indo-Trinidadian" have gained currency, reflecting heightened ethnic claims to national status.
Trinidadians of European ancestry are called "White" or "French Creole." There are a number of designations for those of black–white ancestry, including "Mixed," "Colored," "Brown," and "Red" among other terms.
The term Creole, from the Spanish criollo , meaning "of local origin," refers to Blacks, Whites, and mixed individuals who are presumed to share significant elements of a common culture as well as biogenetic properties because most claim these designations do not represent "pure races." The term Creole thus tends to relegate non-Creoles like East Indians to a somewhat foreign status. The term "French Creole" refers to white families of long standing whether their surname is French-derived or not.There was little if any intermarriage and little intermating between the two groups. Colonial discourses on African and Indian ancestral culture depicted Blacks as culturally "naked" and Indians possessing a culture, albeit an inferior one to European culture.These divisions dictated the course of national identity and nationalist politics. Perhaps for this reason, Blacks have emphasized Western learning and culture and Indians have emphasized the glories of their subcontinental past.The majority were from the north of India and were drawn from a multiplicity of castes.The vast majority were Hindus, but there was a significant Muslim minority.Trinidad is 1,864 square miles in area (4,828 square kilometers), and Tobago is 116 square miles (300 square kilometers).