Sao Tome and Principe Population: 197,541


   Back to Flag Counter Overview
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 four failed, non-violent coup attempts in 1995, 1998, 2003, and 2009. In 2012, three opposition parties combined in a no confidence vote to bring down the majority government of former Prime Minister Patrice TROVOADA, but in 2014, legislative elections returned him to the office. New oil discoveries in the Gulf of Guinea may attract increased attention to the small island nation.

The smallest country in Africa; the two main islands form part of a chain of extinct volcanoes and both are mountainous
Location: Central Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, just north of the Equator, west of Gabon
Geographic coordinates: 1 00 N, 7 00 E
Area: total: 964 sq km
land: 964 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: more than five times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 209 km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; one rainy season (October to May)
Terrain: volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: fish, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 50.7% arable land 9.1%; permanent crops 40.6%; permanent pasture 1% forest: 28.1%
other: 21.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 100 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: NA
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion and exhaustion
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
^Back to Top
Nationality: noun: Sao Tomean(s)
adjective: Sao Tomean
Ethnic groups: mestico, angolares (descendants of Angolan slaves), forros (descendants of freed slaves), servicais (contract laborers from Angola, Mozambique, and Cabo Verde), tongas (children of servicais born on the islands), Europeans (primarily Portuguese), Asians (mostly Chinese)
Languages: Portuguese 98.4% (official), Forro 36.2%, Cabo Verdian 8.5%, French 6.8%, Angolar 6.6%, English 4.9%, Lunguie 1%, other (including sign language) 2.4% note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2012 est.)
Religions: Catholic 55.7%, Adventist 4.1%, Assembly of God 3.4%, New Apostolic 2.9%, Mana 2.3%, Universal Kingdom of God 2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.2%, none 21.2%, unspecified 1% (2012 est.)
Population: 197,541 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.47% (male 42,660/female 41,234)
15-24 years: 20.33% (male 20,358/female 19,808)
25-54 years: 30.66% (male 29,728/female 30,829)
55-64 years: 3.7% (male 3,342/female 3,959)
65 years and over: 2.85% (male 2,506/female 3,117) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 84.2%
youth dependency ratio: 78.5%
elderly dependency ratio: 5.7%
potential support ratio: 17.6% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 18.2 years
male: 17.8 years
female: 18.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.78% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 33.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -8.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 65.1% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.58% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SAO TOME (capital) 71,000 (2014)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.4 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008/09 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 156 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 46.6 deaths/1,000 live births male: 48.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 44.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 64.9 years male: 63.6 years
female: 66.3 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.4 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 38.4% (2008/09)
Health expenditures: 8.4% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density: 2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 98.9% of population
rural: 93.6% of population
total: 97.1% of population

urban: 1.1% of population
rural: 6.4% of population
total: 2.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 40.8% of population
rural: 23.3% of population
total: 34.7% of population

urban: 59.2% of population
rural: 76.7% of population
total: 65.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.78% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,000 (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (2014 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 10.6% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 8.8% (2014)
Education expenditures: 3.9% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.9%
male: 81.8%
female: 68.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2015)
^Back to Top
Country name: conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
conventional short form: Sao Tome and Principe
local long form: Republica Democratica de Sao Tome e Principe
local short form: Sao Tome e Principe
etymology: Sao Tome was named after Saint THOMAS the Apostle by the Portuguese who discovered the island on 21 December 1470 (or 1471), the saint's feast day; Principe is a shortening of the original Portuguese name of "Ilha do Principe" (Isle of the Prince) referring to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid
Government type: semi-presidential republic
Capital: name: Sao Tome
geographic coordinates: 0 20 N, 6 44 E
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 2 provinces; Principe, Sao Tome
Independence: 12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July (1975)
Constitution: approved 5 November 1975; revised several times, last in 2006 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil law base on the Portuguese model and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Evaristo CARVALHO (since 3 September 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Patrice Emery TROVOADA (since 29 November 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 July 2016 and second round held on 7 August 2016 (next to be held in July 2021); prime minister chosen by the National Assembly and approved by the president

election results: Evaristo CARVALHO elected president; percent of vote - Evaristo CARVALHO (ADI) 49.8%, Manuel Pinto DA COSTA (independent) 24.8%, Maria DAS NEVES (MLSTP/PSD) 24.1%; note - first round results for CARVALHO were revised downward from just over 50%, prompting the 7 August runoff; however, on 1 August DA COSTA withdrew from the runoff, citing voting irregularities
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (55 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 12 October 2014 (next expected in October 2018)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ADI 33, MLSTP-PSD 16, PCD-GR 5, other 1
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal Justica (consists of 5 judges); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 5 judges, 3 of whom are from the Supreme Court) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the National Assembly; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the president of the republic and elected by the National Assembly for 5-year terms

subordinate courts: Court of First Instance; Audit Court
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Movement of Forces for Change or MDFM [Fradigue Bandeira Melo DE MENEZES] Independent Democratic Action or ADI [Patrice TROVOADA] Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe-Social Democratic Party or MLSTP-PSD [Aurelio MARTINS] Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Leonel Mario D'ALVA] other small parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: Association of Sao Tome and Principe NGOs or FONG other: the media
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, CD, CEMAC, CPLP, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
National symbol(s): palm tree; national colors: green, yellow, red, black
National anthem: name: "Independencia total" (Total Independence)
lyrics/music: Alda Neves DA GRACA do Espirito Santo/Manuel dos Santos Barreto de Sousa e ALMEIDA

note: adopted 1975
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos Filomeno Azevedo Agostinho das NEVES (since 3 December 2013)
chancery: 675 Third Avenue, Suite 1807, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 651-8116
FAX: [1] (212) 651-8117
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Sao Tome and Principe; the US Ambassador to Gabon is accredited to Sao Tome and Principe on a nonresident basis and makes periodic visits to the islands
^Back to Top
This small, poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence in 1975. Cocoa production has substantially declined in recent years because of drought and mismanagement. Sao Tome and Principe has to import fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and food, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in global commodity prices. Maintaining control of inflation, fiscal discipline, and increasing flows of foreign direct investment into the oil sector are major economic problems facing the country. The government also has attempted to reduce price controls and subsidies. Over the years, Sao Tome and Principe has had difficulty servicing its external debt and has relied heavily on concessional aid and debt rescheduling. It benefited from $200 million in debt relief in December 2000 under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries program, which helped bring down the country's $300 million debt burden. In August 2005, the government signed on to a new 3-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program worth $4.3 million. In April 2011, the country completed a Threshold Country Program with The Millennium Challenge Corporation to help increase tax revenues, reform customs, and improve the business environment. Considerable potential exists for development of a tourist industry, and the government has taken steps to expand facilities in recent years. Potential also exists for the development of petroleum resources in Sao Tome and Principe's territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, which are being jointly developed in a 60-40 split with Nigeria, but any actual production is at least several years off.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $694 million (2016 est.) $667.3 million (2015 est.) $641.6 million (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $351 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2016 est.) 4% (2015 est.) 4.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,300 (2016 est.) $3,300 (2015 est.) $3,200 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 19.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 16% of GDP (2015 est.) 3.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 85.2%
government consumption: 14.9%
investment in fixed capital: 48.5%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 9.6%
imports of goods and services: -58.7% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 85.2%
government consumption: 14.9%
investment in fixed capital: 48.5%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 9.6%
imports of goods and services: -58.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industries: light construction, textiles, soap, beer, fish processing, timber
Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 70,620 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: note: population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate: 13.5% (2014 est.) 13.7% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line: 66.2% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $108.6 million
expenditures: $127 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 30.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 89.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 81.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.1% (2016 est.) 5.3% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$44 million (2016 est.) -$55 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $11 million (2016 est.) $11.3 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil (2010 est.)
Exports - partners: Netherlands 29.2%, Belgium 22.4%, Spain 15.5%, US 6.6%, Nigeria 5.1% (2015)
Imports: $116.8 million (2016 est.) $118.9 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners: Portugal 65.2%, China 8.1%, Gabon 7.3% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $68.3 million (31 December 2016 est.) $72.86 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $236.5 million (31 December 2016 est.) $219 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: dobras (STD) per US dollar - 22,624 (2016 est.) 22,091 (2015 est.) 22,091 (2014 est.) 18,466 (2013 est.) 19,068 (2012 est.)
^Back to Top
Electricity - production: 70 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 65.1 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 20,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 75% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 25% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2010 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,001 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 100,000 Mt (2013 est.)
^Back to Top
Cellular Phones in use: total: 132,000 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 68 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: local telephone network of adequate quality with most lines connected to digital switches

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 70 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 239; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media: 1 government-owned TV station; 1 government-owned radio station; 3 independent local radio stations authorized in 2005 with 2 operating at the end of 2006; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .st
Internet users: total: 50,000 percent of population: 25.8% (July 2015 est.)
^Back to Top
Airports: 2 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 320 km
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (2000)
Merchant marine: total 3

by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 2

foreign-owned: 2 (China 1, Greece 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Sao Tome
^Back to Top
Sao Tome and Principe's army is a tiny force with almost no resources at its disposal and would be wholly ineffective operating unilaterally; infantry equipment is considered simple to operate and maintain but may require refurbishment or replacement after 25 years in tropical climates; poor pay, working conditions, and alleged nepotism in the promotion of officers have been problems in the past, as reflected in the 1995 and 2003 coups; these issues are being addressed with foreign assistance aimed at improving the army and its focus on realistic security concerns; command is exercised from the president, through the Minister of Defense, to the Chief of the Armed Forces (infantry, technical issues) and the Chief of the General Staff (logistics, administration, finances) (2012)
Military branches: Armed Forces of Sao Tome and Principe (Forcas Armadas de Sao Tome e Principe, FASTP): Army, Coast Guard of Sao Tome e Principe (Guarda Costeira de Sao Tome e Principe, GCSTP; also called "Navy"), Presidential Guard, National Guard (2015)
Military service age and obligation: 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service (2012)
^Back to Top
 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
^Back to Top

   Back to Flag Counter Overview

   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

Flag Counter