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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 1,001 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 and 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

Sao Tome and Principe Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: Africa
Capital: São Tomé
Size1,001 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 386 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
more than five times the size of Washington, DC
CurrencyName Dobra, Currency Code:STD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).st
Telephone Country Prefix+239
Mobile Phone Connections64,000
Landline Phone Connections7,800

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area964 (sq km)185

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population186,817 185
Population growth rate1.94 (%)58
Birth rate36.05 (births/1,000 population)21
Death rate7.68 (deaths/1,000 population)109
Net migration rate-8.96 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)208
Maternal mortality rate70.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)87
Infant mortality rate50.48 (deaths/1,000 live births)42
Life expectancy at birth63.86 (years)177
Total fertility rate4.81 (children born/woman)23
Health expenditures7.20 (% of GDP)76
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.50 (%)132
Children under the age of 5 years underweight14.40 (%)53


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)408,600,000 217
GDP - real growth rate4.00 (%)80
GDP - per capita (PPP)2,400 184
Labor force52,490 189
Investment (gross fixed)50.10 (% of GDP)1
Taxes and other revenues42.20 (% of GDP)36
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-10.80 (% of GDP)208
Public debt76.50 (% of GDP)31
Inflation rate (consumer prices)10.20 (%)199
Central bank discount rate28.00 (%)4
Commercial bank prime lending rate26.75 (%)9
Stock of narrow money37,510,000 187
Stock of broad money80,550,000 190
Stock of domestic credit87,120,000 186
Industrial production growth rate7.00 (%)40
Current account balance-85,100,000 68
Exports11,900,000 213
Imports121,900,000 210
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold44,700,000 166
Debt - external316,600,000 178


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production32,000,000 (kWh)210
Electricity - consumption29,760,000 (kWh)210
Electricity - installed generating capacity14,000 (kW)198
Electricity - from fossil fuels57.10 (% of total installed capacity)142
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants42.90 (% of total installed capacity)52
Refined petroleum products - consumption904 (bbl/day)208
Refined petroleum products - imports889 (bbl/day)197
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy150,300 (Mt)199


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use8,000 204
Telephones - mobile cellular115,000 189
Internet hosts1,678 165
Internet users26,700 184


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports2 206
Roadways320 (km)202
Merchant marine3 136


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures0.50 (% of GDP)162

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

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