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Flag of Saint Helena
Map of Saint Helena
Introduction Saint Helena
Uninhabited when first discovered by Portuguese in 1502, Saint Helena previously garrisoned by British during 17th century. It acquired fame as place of Napoleon BONAPARTE's exile, from 1815 until his death in 1821, but its importance as a port of call declined after opening of Suez Canal in 1869. Ascension Island is site of a US Air Force auxiliary airfield; Gough Island has a meteorological station.
Geography Saint Helena
islands in South Atlantic Ocean, about midway between South America and Africa
Geographic coordinates:
15 56 S, 5 42 W
Map references:
total: 410 sq km
note: includes Saint Helena Island, Ascension, and island group of Tristan da Cunha, which consists of Tristan da Cunha Island, Gough Island, Inaccessible Island, and three Nightingale Islands
water: 0 sq km
land: 410 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
60 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Saint Helena - tropical; marine; mild, tempered by trade winds; Tristan da Cunha - temperate; marine, mild, tempered by trade winds (tends to be cooler than Saint Helena)
Saint Helena - rugged, volcanic; limited scattered plateaus and plains
note: other islands of group have a volcanic origin
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Queen Mary's Peak on Tristan da Cunha 2,060 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 12.9%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 87.1% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
harbors at least 40 species of plants unknown anywhere else in world; Ascension is a breeding ground for sea turtles and sooty terns
People Saint Helena
Total Population:
7,367 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.9% (male 704; female 685)
15-64 years: 71.6% (male 2,732; female 2,545)
65 years and over: 9.5% (male 309; female 392) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 34.2 years
male: 34.4 years
female: 33.9 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.67% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
12.9 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.24 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
Population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 24.66 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 77.38 years
male: 74.49 years
female: 80.42 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.54 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Saint Helenian(s)
adjective: Saint Helenian
Ethnic groups:
African descent 50%, white 25%, Chinese 25%
Anglican (majority), Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic
definition: age 20 and over can read and write
Population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 98% (1987 est.)
Government Saint Helena
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Helena
Dependency status:
overseas territory of UK
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
1 administrative area and 2 dependencies*; Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha*
none (overseas territory of UK)
National holiday:
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
1 January 1989
Legal system:
NA years of age
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; governor is appointed by monarch
head of government: Governor and Commander in Chief Michael CLANCY (since NA October 2003)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of governor, two ex officio officers, and six elected members of Legislative Council
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council (16 seats, includes speaker, 3 ex officio and 12 elected members; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 June 2001 (next to be held NA June 2005)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 15
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Magistrate's Court; limited Debts Court; Juvenile Court
Political parties and leaders:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Diplomatic representation from US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Flag description:
blue with flag of UK in upper hoist-side quadrant and Saint Helenian shield centered on outer half of flag; shield features a rocky coastline and three-masted sailing ship
Economy Saint Helena
Economy - overview:
economy depends largely on financial assistance from UK, which amounted to about $5 million in 1997 or almost one-half of annual budgetary revenues. local population earns income from fishing, raising of livestock, and sales of handicrafts. Because there are few jobs, 25% of work force has left to seek employment on Ascension Island, on Falklands, and in UK.
buying power parity - $18 million (1998 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $2,500 (1998 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.2% (1997 est.)
Labor force:
note: 1,200 work offshore (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and fishing 6%, industry (mainly construction) 48%, services 46% (1987 est.)
Unemployment rate:
14% (1998 est.)
revenues: $11.2 million
expenditures: $11 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (FY92)
construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
5 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
4.65 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
corn, potatoes, vegetables; timber; fish, crawfish (on Tristan da Cunha)
$704,000 f.o.b. (1995)
Exports - commodities:
fish (frozen, canned, and salt-dried skipjack, tuna), coffee, handicrafts
Exports - partners:
US 23.7%, Japan 20.5%, Netherlands 16%, Tanzania 15.4%, Spain 6.4%, UK 5.1%, Indonesia 4.5% (2002)
$14.434 million c.i.f. (1995)
Imports - commodities:
food, beverages, tobacco, fuel oils, animal feed, building materials, motor vehicles and parts, machinery and parts
Imports - partners:
UK 47.6%, Tanzania 14.6%, Italy 12.1%, South Africa 10.9%, US 5.3% (2002)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
$12.6 million (1995); note - $5.3 million from UK (1997)
Saint Helenian pound (SHP)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Saint Helenian pounds per US dollar - 0.6661 (2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998),
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Saint Helena
Telephones - main lines in use:
2,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
0 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: can communicate worldwide
domestic: automatic network
international: HF radiotelephone from Saint Helena to Ascensionm, which is a major coaxial submarine cable relay point between South Africa, Portugal, and UK; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
3,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
note: television programs are received in Saint Helena via satellite and distributed by cable (2002)
2,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Communications - note:
Gough Island has a meteorological station
Transportation Saint Helena
0 km
total: 198 km (Saint Helena 138 km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 20 km)
paved: 168 km (Saint Helena 118km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 10 km)
unpaved: 30 km (Saint Helena 20 km, Ascension 0 km, Tristan da Cunha 10 km) (2000)
Ports and harbors:
Georgetown (on Ascension), Jamestown
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
1 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Military Saint Helena
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of UK
Transnational Issues Saint Helena
Disputes - international: