The World Factbook (1982)/Sao Tome and Principe

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Sao Tome and Principe


World Factbook (1982) Sao Tome and Principe.jpg
(See reference map VII)


964 km2 (Sao Tome, 855 km2 and Principe, 109 km2; including small islets of Pedras Tinhosas)


Limits of territorial waters: 12 nm (economic, including fishing, 200 nm)

Coastline: estimated 209 km


Population: 85,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.1%

Nationality: noun—Sao Tomean(s): adjective—Sao Tomean

Ethnic divisions: native Sao Tomeans, migrant Cape Verdians, Portuguese

Religion: Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Seventh Day Adventist

Language: Portuguese official

Literacy: estimated at 5%-10%

Labor force: most of population engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; some unemployment, but labor shortages on plantations and for skilled work


Official name: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe

Type: republic established when independence received from Portugal in July 1975; constitution adopted December 1975

Capital: Sao Tome

Legal system: based on Portuguese law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July

Branches: da Costa heads the government assisted by a cabinet of ministers; elected National Popular Assembly

Government leader: President Manuel Pinto DA COSTA

Suffrage: universal for age 18 and over

Elections: da Costa reelected May 1980 by Popular Assembly; Assembly elections held March-April 1980

Political parties and leaders: Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP), Secretary General Manuel Pinto da Costa

Communists: no Communist party, probably a few Communist sympathizers

Member of: AFDB, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IBRD, ICCO, IDA, IMF, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UPU, WHO, WMO


GNP: $40 million (1978); per capita income $490 (1978)

Agriculture: cash crops—cocoa, copra, coconut, coffee, palm oil, bananas

Fishing: catch, 1,500 metric tons (1979 est.)

Major industries: food processing on small scale, timber

Electric power: 3,000 kW capacity (1980); 10 million kWh produced (1980), 120 kWh per capita

Exports: $26.6 million (f.o.b., 1979); mainly cocoa (90%), copra (7%), coffee, palm oil

Imports: $15.5 million (f.o.b., 1979); food products, machinery and electrical equipment, fuels

Major trade partners: main partner, Netherlands; followed by Portugal, US, and West Germany

Aid: economic commitments—Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF (1970-79), $579 million; US (FY77-80), $0.6 million

Budget: (1979 est.) revenues $15.7 million, current expenditures $10.4 million, capital expenditures $9.1 million

Monetary conversion rate: 38.6 escudos=US$1 (1981)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Ports: 1 major (Sao Tome), 1 minor

Civil air: 1 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 3 total, 3 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: minimal system; 900 telephones (1.0 per 100 popl.); 1 AM, 1 FM, and no TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite ground station