Saint Helena

Introduction

Saint Helena həlē´nə [key], island, 47 sq mi (122 sq km), in the S Atlantic Ocean, 1,200 mi (1,931 km) W of Africa. Together with the islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha , it comprises the British overseas territory of St. Helena (2005 est. pop. 7,500). The capital and port is Jamestown . Mountainous and of volcanic origin, the island rises to a height of 2,685 ft (818 m) on Mt. Actaeon. About half the people are of African descent, while a quarter each are of European or Chinese background. The population is mainly Christian and English-speaking. The economy depends largely on support from Great Britain; livestock are raised and there is a fishing industry. Saint Helena is governed by the constitution of 1989. It has a unicameral 16-seat Legislative Council, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms. The monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by a governor, is the head of state; the governor is the head of government. Saint Helena is divided into one administrative area and two dependencies.

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