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Saint Helena (island)

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Flag
Quick Facts
CapitalJamestown
GovernmentNA
CurrencySaint Helenian pound (SHP)
Areatotal: 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
Population7,317 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageEnglish
ReligionAnglican (majority), Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic

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.


saint helena (island) Travel Guide :

Saint Helena (island)

Geography


Map of 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: 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% (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
Saint Helena (island)

People

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 mas)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 mas)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 mas)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 mas)/female
total population: 1.04 mas)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
21.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 77.2 years
female: 80.23 years (2002 est.)
male: 74.31 years
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.)
Saint Helena (island)

Government

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)
elections: none; the monarch is herary; governor is appointed by the monarch
head 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
Saint Helena (island)

Economy

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
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.)
Budget 
revenues: $11.2 million
expenditures: $11 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY92)
Industries 
construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fishing
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
Saint Helena (island)

Communications

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
note: television programs are received in St. Helena via satellite and distributed by cable (2002)
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
Saint Helena (island)

Transportation

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 (2002)
Saint Helena (island)

Military

Military - note 
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Saint Helena (island)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
none

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