The World Factbook (1982)/Sao Tome and Principe


(See reference map VII)


964 km2 (Sao Tome, 855 km2 and Principe, 109 km2; including small islets of Pedras Tinhosas)


Limits of territorial waters: 12 nm (economic, including fishing, 200 nm)

Coastline: estimated 209 km


Population: 85,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.1%

Nationality: noun—Sao Tomean(s): adjective—Sao Tomean

Ethnic divisions: native Sao Tomeans, migrant Cape Verdians, Portuguese

Religion: Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Seventh Day Adventist

Language: Portuguese official

Literacy: estimated at 5%-10%

Labor force: most of population engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; some unemployment, but labor shortages on plantations and for skilled work


Official name: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe

Type: republic established when independence received from Portugal in July 1975; constitution adopted December 1975

Capital: Sao Tome

Legal system: based on Portuguese law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July

Branches: da Costa heads the government assisted by a cabinet of ministers; elected National Popular Assembly

Government leader: President Manuel Pinto DA COSTA

Suffrage: universal for age 18 and over

Elections: da Costa reelected May 1980 by Popular Assembly; Assembly elections held March-April 1980

Political parties and leaders: Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP), Secretary General Manuel Pinto da Costa

Communists: no Communist party, probably a few Communist sympathizers

Member of: AFDB, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IBRD, ICCO, IDA, IMF, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UPU, WHO, WMO


GNP: $40 million (1978); per capita income $490 (1978)

Agriculture: cash crops—cocoa, copra, coconut, coffee, palm oil, bananas

Fishing: catch, 1,500 metric tons (1979 est.)

Major industries: food processing on small scale, timber

Electric power: 3,000 kW capacity (1980); 10 million kWh produced (1980), 120 kWh per capita

Exports: $26.6 million (f.o.b., 1979); mainly cocoa (90%), copra (7%), coffee, palm oil

Imports: $15.5 million (f.o.b., 1979); food products, machinery and electrical equipment, fuels

Major trade partners: main partner, Netherlands; followed by Portugal, US, and West Germany

Aid: economic commitments—Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF (1970-79), $579 million; US (FY77-80), $0.6 million

Budget: (1979 est.) revenues $15.7 million, current expenditures $10.4 million, capital expenditures $9.1 million

Monetary conversion rate: 38.6 escudos=US$1 (1981)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Ports: 1 major (Sao Tome), 1 minor

Civil air: 1 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 3 total, 3 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: minimal system; 900 telephones (1.0 per 100 popl.); 1 AM, 1 FM, and no TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite ground station