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St. Helena

St Helena coffee

Ascension Island
Administrator of Ascension Island

The Islander


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 note: includes St. 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 water: 0 sq km land: 410 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  60 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 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: 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: 13% permanent crops: 0% other: 87% (1998 est.)

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:  7,317 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 18.8% (male 698; female 678) 15-64 years:
71.9% (male 2,727; female 2,531) 65 years and over: 9.3% (male 296;
female 387) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.7% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  13.26 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.29 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.77 male(s)/female total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  21.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   80.23 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.53 children born/woman (2002 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

Constitution:  1 January 1989

Legal system:  NA

Suffrage:  NA years of age

Executive branch:   Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) elections:
of government: Governor and Commander in Chief David HOLLAMBY (since NA
June 1999) cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, two ex
officio officers, and six elected members of the Legislative Council

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 NA 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

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, the raising of 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%

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.)

Labor force:  3,500 (1998 est.)  note: 1,200 work offshore

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture and fishing 6%, industry
(mainly construction) 48%, services 46% (1987 est.)

Unemployment rate:  14% (1998 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $11.2 million expenditures: $11 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY92)

Industries:  construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork),

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  5 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  4.65 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  corn, potatoes, vegetables; timber; fish,
crawfish (on Tristan da Cunha)

Exports:  $704,000 (f.o.b., 1995)

Exports - commodities:  fish (frozen, canned, and salt-dried skipjack,
tuna), coffee, handicrafts

Exports - partners:  South Africa, UK

Imports:  $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, South Africa

Debt - external:  $NA

Economic aid - recipient:  $12.6 million (1995); note - $5.3 million
from UK (1997)

Currency:  Saint Helenian pound (SHP)

Currency code:  SHP

Exchange rates:  Saint Helenian pounds per US dollar - 0.6981 (January
2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6047
(1997); note - the Saint Helenian pound is at par with the British pound

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
Ascension 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 (1997)

Televisions:  2,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .sh

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  NA

Communications - note:  Gough Island has a meteorological station

Transportation Saint Helena

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 158 km (Saint Helena 118 km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da
Cunha 0 km) paved: 138 km (Saint Helena 98km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan
da Cunha 0 km) unpaved: 20 km (Saint Helena 20 km, Ascension 0 km,
Tristan da Cunha 0 km)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Georgetown (on Ascension), Jamestown

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  1 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

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 January 2002




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