São Tomé and Príncipe were first inhabited in the 15th century and are today one of Africa’s smallest countries. The islands have struggled with widespread poverty, but have recently discovered oil in the surrounding waters and hope this can lead to more prosperity.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: São Tomé
- Ethnic groups: Mestis, Angolares (descendants of Angolan slaves), forro people (descendants of freed slaves), servicais (contract workers from Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde), tongas (children of servicais born in the country), Europeans (mainly Portuguese), Asians (mainly Chinese)
- Language: Portuguese (official) 98.4%, forro 36.2%, Cape Verde Creole (version of Portuguese) 8.5%, French 6.8%, Angola Creole (version of Portuguese) 6.6%, English 4, 9%, lung 1%, other 2.4% (2012)
- Religion: Catholics 55.7%, Adventists 4.1%, Assembly of God 3.4%, New Apostolic Church 2.9%, Mana Christian Church 2.3%, Universal Church (Universal Kingdom 2%), Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.2%, other 6.2%, unspecified 1% (2012)
- Population: 208 818 (2018)
- Control Form: Republic
- Area: 690 km2
- Currency: Dobra
- GNP per capita: 3 237 PPP $
- National Day: July 12th
São Tomé and Príncipe’s Population
In 2006, São Tomé and Príncipe had a population of 193,400, which gives a population density of 193.2 per km2, one of the highest in Africa. Population growth for the period 1994–2004 averaged 2.0% annually.
The population consists mainly of Africans, many descendants of slaves. Before the liberation in 1975, there were about 4,000 white, substantial Portuguese. A large majority of these left the country by independence. In addition, there are some contract workers from Angola.
The bulk of the population lives in the coastal area of the island of São Tomé.
The Catholic Church has support from approximately 79% of the population; About 21% are Protestants.
The official language is Portuguese. The spoken language is a Portuguese Creole language.