The World Factbook (1990)/St. Helena

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St. Helena (dependent territory of the UK)

World Factbook (1990) St. Helena.jpg

See regional map VII


Total area: 410 km²; land area: 410 km²; includes Ascension, Gough Island, Inaccessible Island, Nightingale Island, and Tristan da Cunha

Comparative area: slightly more than 2.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 60 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; marine; mild, tempered by trade winds

Terrain: rugged, volcanic; small scattered plateaus and plains

Natural resources: fish; Ascension is a breeding ground for sea turtles and sooty terns; no minerals

Land use: 7% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 7% meadows and pastures; 3% forest and woodland; 83% other

Environment: very few perennial streams

Note: Napoleon Bonaparte's place of exile and burial; the remains were taken to Paris in 1840


Population: 6,657 (July 1990), growth rate 0.6% (1990)

Birth rate: 13 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NEGl migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 46 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 70 years male, 75 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.4 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—St. Helenian(s); adjective—St. Helenian

Ethnic divisions: NA

Religion: Anglican majority; also Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Roman Catholic

Language: English

Literacy: NA%, but probably high

Labor force: NA

Organized labor: St. Helena General Workers' Union, 472 members; 17% crafts, 10% professional and technical, 10% service, 9% management and clerical, 9% farming and fishing, 6% transport, 5% sales, 1% security, and 33% other


Long-form name: none

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: Jamestown

Administrative divisions: 2 dependencies and 1 administrative area*; Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Constitution: 1 January 1967

Legal system: NA

National holiday: Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June), 10 June 1989

Executive branch: British monarch, governor, Executive Council (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);

Head of Government—Governor and Commander in Chief Robert F. STIMSON (since 1987)

Political parties and leaders: St. Helena Labor Party, G. A. O. Thornton; St. Helena Progressive Party, leader unknown; note—both political parties inactive since 1976

Suffrage: NA

Elections: Legislative Council—last held October 1984 (next to be held NA); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(15 total, 12 elected) number of seats by party NA

Communists: probably none

Diplomatic representation: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Flag: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the St. Helenian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield features a rocky coastline and three-masted sailing ship


Overview: The economy depends primarily on financial assistance from the UK. The local population earns some income from fishing, the rearing of livestock, and sales of handicrafts. Because there are few jobs, a large proportion of the work force have left to seek employment overseas.

GDP: $NA, per capita $NA; real growth rate NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.1% (1986)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $3.2 million; expenditures $2.9 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1984)

Exports: $23.9 thousand (f.o.b., 1984); commodities—fish (frozen skipjack, tuna, salt-dried skipjack), handicrafts; partners—South Africa, UK

Imports: $2.4 million (c.i.f., 1984); commodities—food, beverages, tobacco, fuel oils, animal feed, building materials, motor vehicles and parts, machinery and parts; partners—UK, South Africa

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 9,800 kW capacity; 10 million kWh produced, 1,390 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fish

Agriculture: maize, potatoes, vegetables; timber production being developed; crawfishing on Tristan da Cunha

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $168 million

Currency: St. Helenian pound (plural pounds); 1 St. Helenian pound (£S) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: St. Helenian pounds (£S) per US$1—0.6055 (January 1990), 0.6099 (1989), 0.5614 (1988), 0.6102 (1987), 0.6817 (1986), 0.7714 (1985); note—the St. Helenian pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Highways: 87 km bitumen-sealed roads, 20 km earth roads on St. Helena; 80 km bitumen-sealed on Ascension; 2.7 km bitumen-sealed on Tristan da Cunha

Ports: Jamestown (St. Helena), Georgetown (Ascension)

Merchant marine: 1 passenger-cargo ship totaling 3,150 GRT/2,264 DWT

Airports: 1 with permanent-surface runway 2,440-3,659 m on Ascension

Telecommunications: 1,500 radio receivers; stations—1 AM, no FM, no TV; 550 telephones in automatic network; HF radio links to Ascension, then into worldwide submarine cable and satellite networks; major coaxial cable relay point between South Africa, Portugal, and UK at Ascension; 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth stations

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK