Saint Helena


Saint Helena həlēˈnə, island, 47 sq mi (122 sq km), in the S Atlantic Ocean, 1,200 mi (1,931 km) W of Africa. Together with the islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, it comprises the British overseas territory of St. Helena (2015 est. pop. 7,800). The capital and port is Jamestown. Mountainous and of volcanic origin, the island rises to a height of 2,685 ft (818 m) on Mt. Actaeon. About half the people are of African descent, while a quarter each are of European or Chinese background. The population is mainly Christian and English-speaking. The economy depends largely on support from Great Britain; livestock are raised and there is a fishing industry. The island was accessible only by ship until a commercial airport opened in 2016. Saint Helena is governed by the constitution of 1989. It has a unicameral 16-seat Legislative Council, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms. The monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by a governor, is the head of state; the governor is the head of government. Saint Helena is divided into one administrative area and two dependencies.

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