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Saint Helena (2008)

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 Saint Helena
Administrative divisions 1 administrative area and 2 dependencies*; Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha*
Age structure 0-14 years: 18.7% (male 716/female 691)

15-64 years: 71.1% (male 2,755/female 2,608)

65 years and over: 10.2% (male 358/female 415) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, corn, potatoes, vegetables; timber; fish, lobster (on Tristan da Cunha); livestock
Airports 1 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Area total: 413 sq km

land: Saint Helena Island 122 sq km; Ascension Island 90 sq km; Tristan da Cunha island group 201 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Background 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.

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 and 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 trans-Atlantic 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, and it remains a critical refueling point in the air-bridge from the UK to the South Atlantic.

Tristan da Cunha: The island group consists of the islands of Tristan da Cunha, Nightingale, Inaccessible, and Gough. Tristan da Cunha is named after its Portuguese discoverer (1506); it 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.
Birth rate 11.93 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $13.09 million

expenditures: $32.16 million

note: revenue data reflect locally raised revenues only; the budget deficit is resolved by grant aid from the United Kingdom (FY06/07 est.)
Capital name: Jamestown

geographic coordinates: 15 56 S, 5 44 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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)
Coastline Saint Helena: 60 km

Ascension Island: NA

Tristan da Cunha: 40 km
Constitution 1 January 1989
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Saint Helena
Death rate 6.63 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $NA
Dependency status overseas territory of the UK
Diplomatic representation from the US none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation in the US none (overseas territory of the UK)
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $29.56 million obtained in a grant from the United Kingdom (FY06/07)
Economy - overview The economy depends largely on financial assistance from the UK, which will amount to about $27 million in FY06/07 or almost 70% 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.
Electricity - consumption 7.44 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 8 million kWh (2005)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Queen Mary's Peak on Tristan da Cunha 2,062 m; Green Mountain on Ascension Island 859 m; Mount Actaeon on Saint Helena Island 818 m
Environment - current issues NA
Ethnic groups African descent 50%, white 25%, Chinese 25%
Exchange rates Saint Helenian pounds per US dollar - 0.4993 (2007), 0.5434 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003)

note: the Saint Helenian pound is on par with the British pound
Executive branch chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Governor and Commander in Chief Andrew GURR (since 11 November 2007)

cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, three ex-officio officers, and five elected members of the Legislative Council

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor is appointed by the monarch
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $19 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities fish (frozen, canned, and salt-dried skipjack, tuna), coffee, handicrafts
Exports - partners Tanzania 37.7%, US 17.4%, Japan 15.2%, UK 8.4%, Nigeria 4.8%, Spain 4.5% (2006)
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
Flag description blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Saint Helenian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield features a rocky coastline and three-masted sailing ship
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%
GDP - real growth rate NA%
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
Geography - note Saint Helena harbors at least 40 species of plants unknown anywhere else 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
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $45 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 64.07 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities food, beverages, tobacco, fuel oils, animal feed, building materials, motor vehicles and parts, machinery and parts
Imports - partners UK 53.5%, South Africa 14.3%, Spain 10.3%, Tanzania 8.5%, US 4.6% (2006)
Independence none (overseas territory of the UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fishing, philatelic sales
Infant mortality rate total: 17.67 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 21.19 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.2% (1997 est.)
International organization participation UPU
Irrigated land NA
Judicial branch Magistrate's Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal
Labor force 2,486

note: 1,200 work offshore (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 6%

industry: 48%

services: 46% (1987 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 12.9%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 87.1% (2005)
Languages English
Legal system English common law and statutes, supplemented by local statutes
Legislative branch unicameral Legislative Council (16 seats, including the speaker, three ex officio and 12 elected members; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 31 August 2005 (next to be held in 2009)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 12
Life expectancy at birth total population: 78.09 years

male: 75.19 years

female: 81.15 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 20 and over can read and write

total population: 97%

male: 97%

female: 98% (1987 est.)
Location islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about midway between South America and Africa; Ascension Island lies 700 nm northwest of Saint Helena; Tristan da Cunha lies 2300 nm southwest of Saint Helena
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Military - note defense is the responsibility of the UK
National holiday Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
Nationality noun: Saint Helenian(s)

adjective: Saint Helenian

note: referred to locally as "Saints"
Natural hazards active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha, last eruption in 1961
Natural resources fish, lobster
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders none
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 7,543

note: only Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha islands are inhabited (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.53% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations Saint Helena: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0

Ascension: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (2005)
Religions Anglican (majority), Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.036 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.056 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.863 male(s)/female

total population: 1.031 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage NA years of age
Telephone system general assessment: can communicate worldwide

domestic: automatic digital network

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)
Telephones - main lines in use 2,200 (2002)
Television broadcast stations 0 (3 television channels are received via satellite and distributed by UHF) (2005)
Terrain the islands of this group result from volcanic activity 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; ground 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
Total fertility rate 1.55 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Transportation - note there is no air connection to Saint Helena or Tristan da Cunha; an international airport for Saint Helena is in development for 2010
Unemployment rate 14% (1998 est.)
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