Saint Helena General Information

Saint Helena General Information

General: Uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, the British garrison was stationed in the 17th century. It became known as the place of exile of Napoleon BONAPARTE (from 1815 until his death in 1821), but lost its importance as a port of call for ships on a busy sea route after the opening of the Suez Canal. According to, ascension Island hosts an auxiliary airfield for the United States Air Force; There is a meteorological station on the island of Goud.


Location: Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between South America and Africa.
Geographic coordinates: 15° 56′ S. latitude, 5° 42′ W
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 410 sq. km.; land surface area: 410 km2; water surface area: 0 km2; note: includes Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the Tristan da Cunha Island Group, consisting of Tristan da Cunha Island, Gouda Island, Inaccessible Island and the three Nightingale Islands.
Comparative area: slightly more than twice the area of ​​Washington, D.C.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 60 km.
Maritime claims: zone of exclusive right to fish: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: Saint Helena – tropical; sea, soft due to the trade winds; the island of Tristan da Cunha is temperate; maritime, mild due to trade winds (slightly cooler than Saint Helena).
Terrain: St. Helena – uneven, volcanic; small scattered plateaus and plains; note: the remaining islands of the group are of volcanic origin.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Queen Mary Peak, Tristan da Cunha 2,060 m.
Natural resources: fish.
Land use: arable land: 6%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 6%; forests and plantations: 6%; others: 82% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: volcanic activity on the island of Tristan da Cunha.
Current environmental issues: no data available.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Geography note: home to at least 40 plant species not known anywhere else in the world; The coast is an important breeding ground for sea turtles.


Population: 7,266 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 19.08% (male 699; female 687); 15 to 64 years old: 71.72% (male 2,711; female 2,500); over 65: 9.2% (male 286; female 383) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.72% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 13.49 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6.33 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.02 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.08 male/female; over 65: 0.75 male/female; for the general population: 1.04 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 22.38 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 77.01 years; men: 74.13 years; women: 80.04 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.53 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: resident of Saint Helena; adjective: pertaining to Saint Helena.
Ethnic groups: African descent 50%, white 25%, Chinese 25%.
Believers: Anglicans (majority), Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Catholics.
Language(s): English.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 20 who can read and write; for the general population: 97%; men: 97%; women: 98% (1987 est.).


Common long form: no;
Common short form: Saint Helena. Dependency State: British Overseas Territory.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Jamestown.
Administrative division: 1 administrative region and 2 dependent territories*: Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha*.
Independence: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
National holiday: Queen’s Birthday (second Saturday in June).
Constitution: adopted January 1, 1989.
Legal system: no data.
Suffrage: no data.
head of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since February 6, 1952);
head of government: Governor and Commander-in-Chief David HOLLAM-BY (since June 1999);
government: executive council, which includes the governor, two seats are held ex officio, six are held by members of the Legislative Council; elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the governor is appointed by the monarch.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Council (15 seats, including the speaker; 3 seats are ex officio and 12 members are elected by popular vote for 4 years); elections: last held 9 July 1997 (next to be held in August 2001); election results: percentage of votes: no data; distribution of seats: independent 15.
Judiciary: Supreme Court; Magistrate’s Court; Small Claims Court; Juvenile Court.
Political parties and leaders: no.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ICFTU.
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
US Diplomatic Representation: None (UK Overseas Territory).
Flag description: blue with the flag of Great Britain in the upper quarter at the hoist and the shield of Saint Helena located in the center of the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a rocky coastline and a three-masted sailing ship. Economy


Economic overview: The economy is heavily dependent on UK financial support, which amounted to about $5 million in 1997 (about half of annual budget revenues). The local population lives on income from fishing, livestock breeding and the sale of handicrafts. Since jobs are scarce, 25% of the working population found work on Ascension Island, the Falkland Islands and the UK.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $18 million (1998 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: no data available.
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $2,500 (1998 est.)
Composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: no data; industry: no data; service sector: no data.
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 3.2% (1997 est.).
Labor force: 3,500 people (1998 est.); note: 1,200 of which work overseas.
Employment structure: farming and fishing 6%, industry (mainly construction) 48%, services 46% (1987 est.).
Unemployment rate: 14% (1998 est.).
Budget: revenues: $11.2 million; expenses: $11 million, including capital investment – NA (1992 est.).
Spheres of economy: construction, crafts (furniture, lace, wood products), fishing.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 6 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 5.6 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: corn, potatoes, vegetables; wood; fish, lobsters (Tristan da Cunha island).
Export: $704,000 (free on board, 1995)
Export articles: fish (frozen, canned, dried bonito and tuna), coffee, handicrafts.
Export partners: South Africa, UK.
Import: $14.434 million (S.I.F., 1995).
Imports: food, beverages, tobacco, engine oil, livestock feed, building materials, vehicle machinery and spare parts.
Import partners: UK, South Africa.
External debt: no data. Economic aid recipient: $12.6 million (1995); note – $5.3 million from the UK (1997).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Saint Helena pound.
Currency code: SHP.
Exchange rate: SHP/USD – 0.6764 (January 2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6047 (1997), 0.6403 (1996); note – St. Helena’s pound is equal to the British pound.
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 2000 (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 0 (1997).
Telephone system: communication with any place in the world is possible; internal: automatic network; international: high-frequency radiotelephone link between Saint Helena and Ascension Island, then via the main coaxial submarine cable linking South Africa, Portugal and the UK; earth satellite stations: 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 0, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 3,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 0 (1997).
Televisions: 2,000 (1997).
Internet country code: sh
Internet Service Providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: no data.


Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 158 km (Saint Helena 118 km, Ascension Island 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 0 km); paved: 138 km (Saint Helena 98 km, Ascension Island 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 0 km); unpaved: 20 km (Saint Helena 20 km, Ascension Island 0 km, Tristan da Cunha 0 km).
Ports and harbors: Jamestown, Georgetown (Ascension Island).
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; over 3,047 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways:

Saint Helena General Information

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