Saint Helena Population: 7,841


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Saint Helena is a British Overseas Territory consisting of Saint Helena and Ascension Islands, and the island group of Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena: 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. During the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, several thousand Boer prisoners were confined on the island between 1900 and 1903.; Saint Helena is one of the most remote populated places in the world. The British Government committed to building an airport on Saint Helena in 2005. After more than a decade of delays and construction, a commercial air service to South Africa via Namibia was inaugurated in October of 2017. The weekly service to Saint Helena from Johannesburg via Windhoek in Namibia takes just over six hours (including the refueling stop in Windhoek) and replaces the mail ship that had made a five-day journey to the island every three weeks.; Ascension Island: This barren and uninhabited island was discovered and named by the Portuguese in 1503. The British garrisoned the island in 1815 to prevent a rescue of Napoleon from Saint Helena. It served as a provisioning station for the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron on anti-slavery patrol. The island remained under Admiralty control until 1922, when it became a dependency of Saint Helena. During World War II, the UK permitted the US to construct an airfield on Ascension in support of transatlantic flights to Africa and anti-submarine operations in the South Atlantic. In the 1960s the island became an important space tracking station for the US. In 1982, Ascension was an essential staging area for British forces during the Falklands War. It remains a critical refueling point in the air-bridge from the UK to the South Atlantic.; The island hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are on Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), Kwajalein (Marshall Islands), and at Cape Canaveral, Florida (US)). NASA and the US Air Force also operate a Meter-Class Autonomous Telescope (MCAT) on Ascension as part of the deep space surveillance system for tracking orbital debris, which can be a hazard to spacecraft and astronauts. Tristan da Cunha: The island group consists of Tristan da Cunha, Nightingale, Inaccessible, and Gough Islands. Tristan da Cunha, named after its Portuguese discoverer (1506), was garrisoned by the British in 1816 to prevent any attempt to rescue Napoleon from Saint Helena. Gough and Inaccessible Islands have been designated World Heritage Sites. South Africa leases a site for a meteorological station on Gough Island.

    Saint Helena harbors at least 40 species of plants unknown elsewhere in the world; Ascension is a breeding ground for sea turtles and sooty terns; Queen Mary's Peak on Tristan da Cunha is the highest island mountain in the South Atlantic and a prominent landmark on the sea lanes around southern Africa
Location: islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about midway between South America and Africa; Ascension Island lies 1,300 km (800 mi) northwest of Saint Helena; Tristan da Cunha lies 4,300 km (2,700 mi) southwest of Saint Helena
Geographic coordinates: Saint Helena: 15 57 S, 5 42 W; Ascension Island: 7 57 S, 14 22 W; Tristan da Cunha island group: 37 15 S, 12 30 W
Area: total: 394 sq km
land: 122 sq km Saint Helena Island
water: 0 sq km 88 sq km Ascension Island, 184 sq km Tristan da Cunha island group (includes Tristan (98 sq km), Inaccessible, Nightingale, and Gough islands)

Size comparison: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: Saint Helena: 60 km Ascension Island: n/a Tristan da Cunha (island only): 34 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate: Saint Helena: tropical marine; mild, tempered by trade winds; Ascension Island: tropical marine; mild, semi-arid; Tristan da Cunha: temperate marine; mild, tempered by trade winds (tends to be cooler than Saint Helena)
Terrain: the islands of this group are of volcanic origin associated with the Atlantic Mid-Ocean Ridge Saint Helena: rugged, volcanic; small scattered plateaus and plains; Ascension: surface covered by lava flows and cinder cones of 44 dormant volcanoes; terrain rises to the east; Tristan da Cunha: sheer cliffs line the coastline of the nearly circular island; the flanks of the central volcanic peak are deeply dissected; narrow coastal plain lies between The Peak and the coastal cliffs
Natural resources: fish, lobster
Land use: agricultural land: 30.8% (2011 est.) arable land: 10.3% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 20.5% (2011 est.) forest: 5.1% (2011 est.)
other: 64.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha volcanism: the island volcanoes of Tristan da Cunha (2,060 m) and Nightingale Island (365 m) experience volcanic activity; Tristan da Cunha erupted in 1962 and Nightingale in 2004
Current Environment Issues: development threatens unique biota on Saint Helena
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Nationality: noun: Saint Helenian(s)
adjective: Saint Helenian note: referred to locally as "Saints"
Ethnic groups: African descent 50%, white 25%, Chinese 25%
Languages: English
Religions: Protestant 75.9% (includes Anglican 68.9, Baptist 2.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.8%, Salvation Army 1.7%, New Apostolic 1.4%), Jehovah's Witness 4.1%, Roman Catholic 1.2%, other 2.5% (includes Baha'i), unspecified 0.8%, none 6.1%, no response 9.4% (2016 est.)

note: data represent Saint Helena only
Population: 7,841 (July 2018 est.) note: Saint Helena's statistical agency estimated the enumerated national population (including Ascension Island and Tristan da Cuhna) to be 5,901 in 2016, according to the 2016 census; only Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha islands are inhabited, none of the other nearby islands/islets are
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.69% (male 627 /female 603)
15-24 years: 12.21% (male 487 /female 470)
25-54 years: 43.59% (male 1,695 /female 1,723)
55-64 years: 12.86% (male 512 /female 496)
65 years and over: 15.66% (male 627 /female 601) (2018 est.)
Median age: total: 42.4 years
male: 42.4 years
female: 42.4 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.14% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 9.4 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 39.8% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.73% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 1,000 JAMESTOWN (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births male: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.8 years male: 76.8 years
female: 82.9 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.59 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Education expenditures: n/a
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Country name: conventional long form: Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
conventional short form: none
etymology: Saint Helena was discovered in 1502 by Galician navigator Joao da NOVA, sailing in the service of the Kingdom of Portugal, who named it "Santa Helena"; Ascension was named in 1503 by Portuguese navigator Afonso de ALBUQUERQUE who sighted the island on the Feast Day of the Ascension; Tristan da Cunha was discovered in 1506 by Portuguese explorer Tristao da CUNHA who christened the main island after himself (the name was subsequently anglicized)
Government type: parliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); limited self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Capital: name: Jamestown
geographic coordinates: 15 56 S, 5 43 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: founded in 1659 and named after James, Duke of York, who would become King James II of England (r. 1785-1788)
Administrative divisions: 3 administrative areas; Ascension, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha
Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday: Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, third Monday in April (1926)
Constitution: several previous; latest effective 1 September 2009 (St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order, 2009)
Legal system: English common law and local statutes
Suffrage: 18 years of age
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Governor Philip RUSHBROOK (sinceĀ 11 May 2019)

cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, 3 ex-officio officers, and 5 elected members of the Legislative Council elections/appointments: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch

note: the constitution order provides for an administrator for Ascension and Tristan da Cunha appointed by the governor
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Legislative Council (17 seats including the speaker and deputy speaker; 12 members directly elected in a single countrywide constituency by simple majority vote and 3 ex-officio members - the chief secretary, financial secretary, and attorney general; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 26 July 2017 (next to be held in 2021)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - independent 12; composition - men 14, women 3, percent women 17.6% note: the Constitution Order provides for separate Island Councils for both Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 2 justices); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice - a nonresident - andn/ajudges); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court justices appointed by the governor acting upon the instructions from a secretary of state acting on behalf of Queen ELIZABETH II; justices of both courts serve until retirement at age 70, but terms can be extended

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Court; Small Claims Court; Juvenile Court
Political parties and leaders: none
International organization participation: UPU
National symbol(s): Saint Helena plover (bird)
National anthem:

note: as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
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The economy depends largely on financial assistance from the UK, which amounted to about $27 million in FY06/07 or more than twice the level 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): $31.1 million (FY09/10 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): n/a
GDP - real growth rate: n/a
GDP - per capita (PPP): $7,800 (FY09/10 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: n/a industry: n/a services: n/a
Agriculture - products: coffee, corn, potatoes, vegetables; fish, lobster; livestock; timber
Industries: construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fishing, collectible postage stamps
Industrial production growth rate: n/a
Labor force: 2,486 (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 6%
industry: 48%
services: 46% (1987 est.)
Unemployment rate: 14% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 8.427 million (FY06/07 est.)
expenditures: 20.7 million (FY06/07 est.)

note: revenue data reflect only locally raised revenues; the budget deficit is resolved by grant aid from the UK
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2012 est.)
Exports: $19 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: fish (frozen, canned, and salt-dried skipjack, tuna), coffee, handicrafts
Imports: $20.53 million (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, beverages, tobacco, fuel oils, animal feed, building materials, motor vehicles and parts, machinery and parts
Debt - external: n/a
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates: Saint Helenian pounds (SHP) per US dollar - 0.7836 (2017 est.) 0.6542 (2016 est.) 0.6542 (2015) 0.607 (2014 est.) 0.6391 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 7 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 6.51 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 70 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 65 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 10,650 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 3,018
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: can communicate worldwide; ADSL- broadband service; LTE service; Wi-Fi hotspots in Jamestown, 1 ISP, many services are not offered locally but made available for visitors (2018)

domestic: automatic digital network; fixed-line 35 per 100 and moblie-cellular 39 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code (Saint Helena) - 290, (Ascension Island) - 247; international direct dialing; satellite voice and data communications; satellite earth stations - 5 (Ascension Island - 4, Saint Helena - 1); and the United Kingdom; branching spur to St. Helena from South Atlantic Express submarine cable between South Africa and South America by 2020 (2017)
Broadcast media: Saint Helena has no local TV station; 2 local radio stations, one of which is relayed to Ascension Island; satellite TV stations rebroadcast terrestrially; Ascension Island has no local TV station but has 1 local radio station and receives relays of broadcasts from 1 radio station on Saint Helena; broadcasts from the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) are available, as well as TV services for the US military; Tristan da Cunha has 1 local radio station and receives BFBS TV and radio broadcasts
Internet country code: .sh; note - Ascension Island assigned .ac
Internet users: total: 1,800
percent of population: 23.1% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 2 (2015)
Airports (paved runways): total 2
(2017) over 3,047 m: 1 Ascension Island - Wideawake Field (ASI) (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 Saint Helena (HLE); (2017) note - weekly commercial air service to South Africa via Namibia commenced on 14 October 2017
Roadways: total 198 km
(Saint Helena 138 km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 20 km) (2002) paved: 168 km (Saint Helena 118 km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 10 km) (2002)
unpaved: 30 km (Saint Helena 20 km, Tristan da Cunha 10 km) (2002)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Saint Helena Saint Helena: Jamestown Ascension Island: Georgetown Tristan da Cunha: Calshot Harbor (Edinburgh)
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Defense is the responsibility of the UK
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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