Saint Helena


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.


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
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

Population: 7,728 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.8% (male 697/female 671)

15-64 years: 70% (male 2,731/female 2,656)

65 years and over: 12.3% (male 468/female 477) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Saint Helena

Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK
Telephones – main lines in use: 2,900 (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: can communicate worldwide

domestic: automatic digital network

international: country code (Saint Helena) – 290, (Ascension Island) – 247; international direct dialling; satellite voice and data communications; satellite earth stations – 5 (Ascension Island – 4, Saint Helena – 1)

Airports: 1 (2010)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Defence is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues: None