[Country map of Saint Helena]

Saint Helena

(dependent territory of the UK)


Location: Southern Africa, island in the South Atlantic Ocean, west of Angola, about two-thirds of the way from South America to Africa

Map references: Africa

total area: 410 sq km
land area: 410 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than 2.3 times the size of Washington, DC
note: includes Ascension, Gough Island, Inaccessible Island, Nightingale Island, and Tristan da Cunha

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 60 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; marine; mild, tempered by trade winds

Terrain: rugged, volcanic; small scattered plateaus and plains

Natural resources: fish; Ascension is a breeding ground for sea turtles and sooty terns, no minerals

Land use:
arable land: 7%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 7%
forest and woodland: 3%
other: 83%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha
international agreements: NA

Note: Napoleon Bonaparte's place of exile and burial (the remains were taken to Paris in 1840); harbors at least 40 species of plants unknown anywhere else in the world


Population: 6,762 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 0.31% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 9.5 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.43 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 36.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.07 years
male: 73.01 years
female: 76.89 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.13 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Saint Helenian(s)
adjective: Saint Helenian

Ethnic divisions: NA

Religions: Anglican (majority), Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic

Languages: English

Literacy: age 20 and over can read and write (1987)
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 98%

Labor force: 2,516
by occupation: professional, technical, and related workers 8.7%, managerial, administrative, and clerical 12.8%, sales people 8.1%, farmer, fishermen, etc. 5.4%, craftspersons, production process workers 14.7%, others 50.3% (1987)


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Helena

Digraph: SH

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: Jamestown

Administrative divisions: 1 administrative area and 2 dependencies*; Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha*

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

National holiday: Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen, 10 June 1989 (second Saturday in June)

Constitution: 1 January 1989

Legal system: NA

Suffrage: NA

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor A. N. HOOLE (since NA 1991)
cabinet: Executive Council

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislative Council: elections last held July 1993 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote NA; seats - (15 total, 12 elected) independents 15

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: none

Member of: ICFTU

Diplomatic representation in US: none (dependent territory of the UK)

US diplomatic representation: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy depends primarily on financial assistance from the UK. The local population earns some income from fishing, the raising of livestock, and sales of handicrafts. Because there are few jobs, a large proportion of the work force has left to seek employment overseas.

National product: GDP $NA

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -1.1% (1986)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $11.2 million
expenditures: $11 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY92/93)

Exports: $27,400 (f.o.b., FY92/93)
commodities: fish (frozen and salt-dried skipjack, tuna), handicrafts
partners: South Africa, UK

Imports: $9.8 million (c.i.f., FY92/93)
commodities: food, beverages, tobacco, fuel oils, animal feed, building materials, motor vehicles and parts, machinery and parts
partners: UK, South Africa

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 9,800 kW
production: 10 million kWh
consumption per capita: NA kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: maize, potatoes, vegetables; timber production being developed; crawfishing on Tristan da Cunha

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1992-93), $13.5 million

Currency: 1 Saint Helenian pound (#S) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Saint Helenian pounds (#S) per US$1 - 0.6350 (January 1995), 0.6529 (1994), 0.6033 (1993), 0.5664 (1992), 0.5652 (1991), 0.5603 (1990); note - the Saint Helenian pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Railroads: 0 km

total: NA (mainland 107 km, Ascension NA, Tristan da Cunha NA)
paved: 169.7 km (mainland 87 km, Ascension 80 km, Tristan da Cunha 2.70 km)
unpaved: NA (mainland 20 km earth roads, Ascension NA, Tristan da Cunha NA)

Ports: Georgetown, Jamestown

Merchant marine: none

total: 1
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1


Telephone system: 550 telephones; automatic network
local: NA
intercity: HF radio links to Ascension, then into worldwide submarine cable and satellite networks
international: major coaxial submarine cable relay point between South Africa, Portugal, and UK at Ascension; 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: 1,500

broadcast stations: 0
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK