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Saint Helena Country Guide

Explore Saint Helena in Africa

Saint Helena with the capital city Jamestown is located in Africa (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 2). It covers some 410 square kilometres (slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC) with 7,460 citizens.

Interactive map of Saint Helena

The terrain features the islands of this group result from volcanic activity associated with the Atlantic Mid-Ocean Ridge<br /><i>Saint Helena: </i>rugged, volcanic with small scattered plateaus and plains<br /><i>Ascension: </i>surface covered by lava flows and cinder cones of 44 dormant volcanoes, ground rises to the east<br /><i>Tristan da Cunha: </i>sheer cliffs line the coastline of the nearly circular island, the flanks of the central volcanic peak are deeply dissected and narrow coastal plain lies between The Peak and the coastal cliffs. The average density of population is approximately 18 per km². The notable climate conditions in Saint Helena can be described as <i>Saint Helena: </i>tropical marine with mild, tempered by trade winds<br /><i>Ascension Island: </i>tropical marine, mild, semi-arid<br /><i>Tristan da Cunha: </i>temperate marine and mild, tempered by trade winds (tends to be cooler than Saint Helena). Potential natural disasters are active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha.

To reach someone in Saint Helena dial +290 prior to a number. There are 2,900 installed telephones. And there are 0 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of n/a MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".sh". 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 Saint Helena

Saint Helena Flag Icon

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 upper third of the shield depicts a white plover (wire bird) on a yellow field; the remainder of the shield depicts a rocky coastline on the left, offshore is a three-masted sailing ship with sails furled but flying an English flag.

Saint Helena is a British Overseas Territory consisting of Saint Helena and Ascension Islands, and the island group of Tristan da Cunha.<br /><i>Saint Helena: </i>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.<br /><i>Ascension Island: </i>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. 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 transatlantic 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. It remains a critical refueling point in the air-bridge from the UK to the South Atlantic.<br /><i>Tristan da Cunha: </i>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.

National administrative regions of Saint Helena

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Africa
Capital: Jamestown
Size410 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 158 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
CurrencyName Pound, Currency Code:SHP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).sh
Telephone Country Prefix+290
Mobile Phone Connections0
Landline Phone Connections2,900

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area308 (sq km)209

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population7,754 227
Population growth rate0.30 (%)167
Birth rate10.19 (births/1,000 population)191
Death rate7.22 (deaths/1,000 population)123
Infant mortality rate15.25 (deaths/1,000 live births)109
Life expectancy at birth79.06 (years)46
Total fertility rate1.57 (children born/woman)181


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)31,100,000 227
GDP - per capita (PPP)7,800 135
Labor force2,486 228
Unemployment rate14.00 (%)138
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.00 (%)115
Exports19,000,000 208
Imports20,530,000 219


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production8,000,000 (kWh)215
Electricity - consumption7,440,000 (kWh)215
Electricity - installed generating capacity4,000 (kW)208
Electricity - from fossil fuels100.00 (% of total installed capacity)37
Refined petroleum products - consumption100 (bbl/day)211
Refined petroleum products - imports66 (bbl/day)207
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy15,060 (Mt)209


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use3,000 215
Internet hosts6,729 141
Internet users900 215


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports1 232
Roadways198 (km)209

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

List of current world heritage sites