St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Chunha

Status: Overseas territory

Governor: Mark Andrew Capes (2011)

Total area: 158 sq mi (410 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 7,728 (growth rate: 0.35%); birth rate: 10.48/1000; infant mortality rate: 15.8/1000; life expectancy: 78.91; density per sq mi: 34.7

Capital (2008 est.): Jamestown, 714

Monetary unit: Saint Helena pound

Language: English

Ethnicity/race: African descent 50%, white 25%, Chinese 25%

Literacy rate: 97% (1987 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP: (1998 est.): $18 million; per capita $2,500. Inflation: 3.2% (1997 est.). Unemployment: 14% (1998 est.). Exports: $19 million f.o.b. (2004 est.). Imports: $45 million c.i.f. (2004 est.).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 3,000 (2009). Radio broadcast stations: Saint Helena: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 Ascension: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (2007). Television broadcast stations: 0 (3 television channels are received via satellite and distributed by UHF) (2005). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6,724 (2010). Internet users: 900: note - includes Ascension Island (2009).

Transportation: Highways: total: 198 km (Saint Helena 138 km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 20 km) paved: 168 km (Saint Helena 118 km, Ascension 40 km, Tristan da Cunha 10 km) unpaved: 30 km (Saint Helena 20 km, Ascension 0 km, Tristan da Cunha 10 km) (2002). Airports: 1 (2012).

Major sources and definitions

St. Helena is a remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic about 1,100 mi (1,770 km) from the west coast of Africa. It is famous as Napoléon's place of exile (1815–1821). The island was discovered in 1502 by João da Nova, a Spanish navigator in the service of Portugal. It was taken for England in 1659 by the East India Company and was brought under the direct government of the Crown in 1834. After the opening of the Suez Canal in 1870, St. Helena's importance as a port of call diminished. About two-thirds of the colony's budget is provided by the United Kingdom in the form of a subsidy.

Before September 1, 2009, St. Helena had two dependencies: Ascension (34 sq mi; 88 sq km), an island about 700 mi (1,127 km) northwest of St. Helena; and Tristan da Cunha (40 sq mi; 104 sq km), a group of six islands about 1,500 mi (2,414 km) south-southwest of St. Helena. A new constitution which began on September 1, 2009, came into force giving the three islands equal status in the territory.

See also Encyclopedia: Saint Helena.

Pitcairn Island Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands