2023 population pyramid



The Portuguese discovered Saint Helena, Ascension Island, and the island group of Tristan da Cunha in the early 1500s. Saint Helena was garrisoned by the British during the 17th century, and Napoleon BONAPARTE was exiled to the island and later died there in 1821. The British garrisoned Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha to prevent a rescue of NAPOLEON. Ascension hosts one of four ground antennas that support the Global Positioning System. 



total: 394 sq km
land: 122 sq km
water: 0 sq km


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)

Natural resources

fish, lobster

People and Society


total: 7,943
male: 3,978
female: 3,965 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

St. Helena 82.1%, UK 7.6%, South Africa 3.6%, Ascension 2.8%, other 3.9% (2021 est.)




Protestant 69.4% (includes Anglican 63.2%, Baptist 2.3%, Salvation Army 2%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.9%), Jehovah's Witness 3.8%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, New Apostolic 1.6%, other Christian 1.4%, other 1.1%, none 9%, unspecified 11.4% (2021 est.)

Population growth rate

0.1% (2024 est.)


Government type

parliamentary democracy


name: Jamestown

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022)
head of government: Governor Nigel PHILLIPS (since 13 August 2022)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Council (17 seats including the speaker and deputy speaker; 12 members directly elected in a single countrywide constituency by simple majority vote and 3 ex-officio members - the chief secretary, financial secretary, and attorney general; members serve 4-year terms)


Economic overview

upper middle-income, British Atlantic Ocean territorial economy; native (but pegged to British pound) currency user on 2 of 3 islands; significant UK financial support; unique land/farming commune structure; military-related economic activity; sport fishing locale

Agricultural products

coffee, corn, potatoes, vegetables; fish, lobster; livestock; timber


construction, crafts (furniture, lacework, fancy woodwork), fishing, collectible postage stamps

Exports - partners

US 55%, Netherlands 17%, Singapore 10%, Japan 8%, Senegal 2% (2022)

Exports - commodities

fish, shellfish, iron alloys, glass working machines, corn (2022)


$20.53 million (2010)

Imports - partners

UK 44%, South Africa 25%, US 21%, Czechia 4%, Namibia 2% (2022)

Imports - commodities

asphalt, baked goods, air pumps, plastic products, iron sheet piling (2022)

Exchange rates

Saint Helenian pounds (SHP) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
0.7836 (2017 est.)
0.6542 (2016 est.)
0.6542 (2015)
0.607 (2014 est.)
0.6391 (2013 est.)

Page last updated: Friday, June 14, 2024