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Saint Helena[Country flag of Saint Helena]
[Country map of Saint Helena]

Introduction Saint Helena
Background:
Uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, Saint Helena was garrisoned by the British during the 17th century. It acquired fame as the place of Napoleon BONAPARTE's exile, from 1815 until his death in 1821, but its importance as a port of call declined after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Ascension Island is the site of a US Air Force auxiliary airfield; Gough Island has a meteorological station.
Geography Saint Helena
Location:
islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about midway between South America and Africa
Geographic coordinates:
15 56 S, 5 42 W
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 410 sq km
land: 410 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Saint Helena Island, Ascension, and the island group of Tristan da Cunha, which consists of Tristan da Cunha Island, Gough Island, Inaccessible Island, and the three Nightingale Islands
Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
60 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
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)
Terrain:
Saint Helena - rugged, volcanic; small scattered plateaus and plains
note: the other islands of the 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:
fish
Land use:
arable land: 12.9%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 87.1% (2001)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha
Environment - current issues:
NA
Geography - note:
harbors at least 40 species of plants unknown anywhere else in the world; Ascension is a breeding ground for sea turtles and sooty terns
People Saint Helena
Population:
7,460 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.8% (male 715/female 691)
15-64 years: 71.3% (male 2,745/female 2,575)
65 years and over: 9.8% (male 330/female 404) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 35.4 years
male: 35.61 years
female: 35.21 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.59% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
12.33 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
6.43 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.76 years
male: 74.86 years
female: 80.81 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.54 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Nationality:
noun: Saint Helenian(s)
adjective: Saint Helenian
Ethnic groups:
African descent 50%, white 25%, Chinese 25%
Religions:
Anglican (majority), Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic
Languages:
English
Literacy:
definition: age 20 and over can read and write
total 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 the UK
Government type:
NA
Capital:
Jamestown
Administrative divisions:
1 administrative area and 2 dependencies*; Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha*
Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
Constitution:
1 January 1989
Legal system:
NA
Suffrage:
NA years of age
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor and Commander in Chief Michael CLANCY (since 15 October 2004)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, two ex officio officers, and six elected members of the Legislative Council
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor is appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council (16 seats, including the 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 June 2005)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 15
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Magistrate's Court; Small Debts Court; Juvenile Court
Political parties and leaders:
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none
International organization participation:
ICFTU, UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description:
blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Saint Helenian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield features a rocky coastline and three-masted sailing ship
Economy Saint Helena
Economy - overview:
The economy depends largely on financial assistance from the UK, which amounted to about $5 million in 1997 or almost one-half of annual budgetary revenues. The local population earns income from fishing, raising livestock, and sales of handicrafts. Because there are few jobs, 25% of the work force has left to seek employment on Ascension Island, on the Falklands, and in the UK.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$18 million (1998 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
NA
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,500 (1998 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA
Labor force:
3,500
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.)
Population below poverty line:
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.2% (1997 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $11.2 million
expenditures: $11 million, including capital expenditures of NA (FY92/93)
Agriculture - products:
corn, potatoes, vegetables; timber; fish, crawfish (on Tristan da Cunha)
Industries:
construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
NA
Electricity - production:
5 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
4.65 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Exports:
$17 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
fish (frozen, canned, and salt-dried skipjack, tuna), coffee, handicrafts
Exports - partners:
Tanzania 30.3%, US 23.8%, Japan 10.4%, UK 7.1%, Spain 6.3% (2004)
Imports:
$42 million c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
food, beverages, tobacco, fuel oils, animal feed, building materials, motor vehicles and parts, machinery and parts
Imports - partners:
UK 35.7%, US 17.6%, South Africa 17.5%, Tanzania 10.4%, Australia 5.5%, Spain 4.1% (2004)
Debt - external:
NA (1996)
Economic aid - recipient:
$12.6 million (1995); note - $5.3 million from UK (1997)
Currency (code):
Saint Helenian pound (SHP)
Currency code:
SHP
Exchange rates:
Saint Helenian pounds per US dollar - 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003), 0.6672 (2002), 0.6947 (2001), 0.6609 (2000)
note: the Saint Helenian pound is on par with the British pound
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Saint Helena
Telephones - main lines in use:
2,200 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
0 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: can communicate worldwide
domestic: automatic network
international: country code - 290; HF radiotelephone from Saint Helena to Ascension Island, 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)
Radios:
3,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
0
note: television programs are received in Saint Helena via satellite and distributed by cable (2002)
Televisions:
2,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.sh
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
500 (2002)
Communications - note:
Gough Island has a meteorological station
Transportation Saint Helena
Highways:
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
Airports:
1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Saint Helena
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues Saint Helena
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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