Sao Tome and Principe Flag Icon

Sao Tome and Principe Country Guide

Explore Sao Tome and Principe in Africa

Sao Tome and Principe with the capital city São Tomé is located in Africa (Western Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea). It covers some 1,002 square kilometres (more than five times the size of Washington, DC) with 205,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Sao Tome and Principe

The landscape offers volcanic, mountainous. The average density of population is approximately 205 per km². The notable climate conditions in Sao Tome and Principe can be described as tropical with hot, humid, one rainy season (October to May). Potential threats by nature are NA.

To reach someone in Sao Tome and Principe dial +239 prior to a number. There are 7,800 installed telephones. And there are 64,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".st". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Sao Tome and Principe

Three horizontal bands of green (top), yellow (double width), and green with two black five-pointed stars placed side by side in the center of the yellow band and a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; green stands for the country's rich vegetation, red recalls the struggle for independence, and yellow represents cocoa, one of the country's main agricultural products; the two stars symbolize the two main islands
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia.

Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands'' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with African plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered into the 20th century. While independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. The country held its first free elections in 1991, but frequent internal wrangling between the various political parties precipitated repeated changes in leadership and two failed coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. In 2012, three opposition parties combined in a no confidence vote to bring down the majority government of former Prime Minister Patrice TROVOADA. The new government of Prime Minister Gabriel Arcanjo Ferreira DA COSTA is entirely composed of opposition party members with limited experience in governance. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea promises to attract increased attention to the small island nation.

National administrative regions of Sao Tome and Principe

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Capital: São Tomé
Size 1,001 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 386 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
more than five times the size of Washington, DC
Population 205,000
Currency Name: Dobra, Currency Code: STD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .st
Telephone Country Prefix +239
Mobile Phone Connections 64,000
Landline Phone Connections 7,800

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 964 (sq km) 185

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 186,817 185
Population growth rate 1.94 (%) 58
Birth rate 36.05 (births/1,000 population) 21
Death rate 7.68 (deaths/1,000 population) 109
Net migration rate -8.96 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 208
Maternal mortality rate 70.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 87
Infant mortality rate 50.48 (deaths/1,000 live births) 42
Life expectancy at birth 63.86 (years) 177
Total fertility rate 4.81 (children born/woman) 23
Health expenditures 7.20 (% of GDP) 76
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 9.50 (%) 132
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 14.40 (%) 53


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 408,600,000 217
GDP - real growth rate 4.00 (%) 80
GDP - per capita (PPP) 2,400 184
Labor force 52,490 189
Investment (gross fixed) 50.10 (% of GDP) 1
Taxes and other revenues 42.2 (% of GDP) 36
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -10.80 (% of GDP) 208
Public debt 76.50 (% of GDP) 31
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10.20 (%) 199
Central bank discount rate 28.00 (%) 4
Commercial bank prime lending rate 26.75 (%) 9
Stock of narrow money 37,510,000 187
Stock of broad money 80,550,000 190
Stock of domestic credit 87,120,000 186
Industrial production growth rate 7.00 (%) 40
Current account balance -85,100,000 68
Exports 11,900,000 213
Imports 121,900,000 210
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 44,700,000 166
Debt - external 316,600,000 178


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 32,000,000 (kWh) 210
Electricity - consumption 29,760,000 (kWh) 210
Electricity - installed generating capacity 14000 (kW) 198
Electricity - from fossil fuels 57.1 (% of total installed capacity) 142
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 42.9 (% of total installed capacity) 52
Refined petroleum products - consumption 904 (bbl/day) 208
Refined petroleum products - imports 889 (bbl/day) 197
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 150,300 (Mt) 199


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 8,000 204
Telephones - mobile cellular 115,000 189
Internet hosts 1,678 165
Internet users 26,700 184


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 2 206
Roadways 320 (km) 202
Merchant marine 3 136


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.50 (% of GDP) 162

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since