Sao Tome and Principe, officially the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, is an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea off the western coast of Central Africa. Sao Tome and Principe is comprised of two archipelagos around the main islands of Sao Tome and Principe, which are 87 miles apart and about 150 miles off the coast of Gabon. Both islands are a part of an extinct volcanic mountain range.
Sao Tome and Principe is the second-smallest African nation behind Seychelles and the smallest Portuguese-speaking country. Given its small size, it is little surprise that Sao Tome and Principe is fairly densely populated with 187 people per square kilometer (485/sq mi). The capital and largest city is Sao Tome with an estimated population of 58,000.
Sao Tome and Principe Demographics
Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese around 1470, Sao Tome and Principe were uninhabited. The first settlement was established in 1493 on Sao Tome, while Principe was settled in 1500. When attracting settlers proved a challenge, the early inhabitants of the island became "undesirables" from Portugal, most of whom were Jews. Later, slaves were imported from the mainland or sugar plantations.
The first census in Sao Tome and Principe took place in 2011. It found that 157,500 people live on Sao Tome while 6,000 live on Principe. All inhabitants today are descended from people from various countries taken to the islands by the Portuguese, including Jews and slaves.
72% of the population is Catholic, 10% belong to another Christian denomination and 18% belong to another religion or are non-religious.