The city has a municipal population of 36,963 (2011 census), a metropolitan population of 128,026 (1990 unofficial estimate) and a transient daily population of 250,000.
It is located on the Gulf of Paria, on the northwest coast of the island of Trinidad and is part of a larger conurbation stretching from Chaguaramas in the west to Arima in the east with an estimated population of 600,000.
The city serves primarily as a retail and administrative centre and it has been the capital of the island since 1757. It is also an important financial services centre for the Caribbean and is home to two of the largest banks in the region.
The city is also home to the largest container port on the island and is one of several shipping hubs of the Caribbean, exporting both agricultural products and manufactured goods. Bauxite from the Guyanas and iron ore from Venezuela are trans-shipped via facilities at Chaguaramas, about five miles (8.0 km) west of the city. The pre-lenten Carnival is the city's main annual cultural festival and tourist attraction.
Today, Port of Spain is a leading city in the Caribbean region. Trinidad hosted the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009 whose guests included US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Port of Spain also hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2009 and hosted a Commonwealth Business Forum in 2011.