Imports$112.1 million (2011 est.)
Exports$12.5 million (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)12.4% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,300 (2011 est.)
National product real growth rate6% (2010 est.)
Internet users26,700 (2009)
Telephones - mobile cellular102,500 (2009)
Population growth rate1.996% (2012 est.)
Population183,176 (July 2012 est.)
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 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 two failed coup attempts in 1995 and 2003....
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 all fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and a substantial amount of food....
Modest GDP growth of 4-5% is forecast for 2013-14, with a lack of finance preventing faster expansion. IMF fiscal targets, a squeeze on external grants and ongoing problems with tax collection have hit ...
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