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Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe : economy statistics and industry reports

  • Updated on : 27 August 2012  Source : The World Factbook


$112.1 million (2011 est.)
$99.42 million (2010 est.)


$12.5 million (2011 est.)
$12.05 million (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

12.4% (2011 est.)
13.3% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate


GDP - per capita (PPP)

$2,300 (2011 est.)
$2,200 (2010 est.)
$2,200 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars

National product real growth rate

6% (2010 est.)
4% (2009 est.)
5.8% (2008 est.)

Internet users

26,700 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular

102,500 (2009)

Population growth rate

1.996% (2012 est.)


183,176 (July 2012 est.)

Historical background

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.

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Sao Tome and Principe

Economic overview

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.

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