Several statistical updates have been released on August 22, 2019 as follows:

Benefits  up to July 2019

Exchange Rates  up to July 2019

Climate  up to July 2019

Production  up to Quarter 2 2019

Vehicles up to Quarter 2 2019

Ascension Population up to Quarter 2 2019

Additional statistical series and indicators are available at  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the statistics reports and publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-reports-and-publications.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Data on Population, including total population and arrivals and departures up to July 2019 have been released on August 13, 2019: Population.

Additional statistical series and indicators are available on the Statistics Data page, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the Statistics Reports and Publications page.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Download a pdf of this Bulletin here.

This bulletin presents estimates of the total population, available statistics on St Helenians on Ascension, the Falklands, and living in the United Kingdom, and updates to the number of births and deaths and arrivals and departures.

The primary sources that have been used to compile this bulletin are mainly the 2016 St Helena Population Census, immigration records collected by the Immigration Office of the Police Directorate; and records of births and deaths collected by the Customer Service Centre at the Post Office. Estimates of St Helenians (or the St Helenian-born) population overseas have been obtained from the 2016 Falkland Islands Census; population statistics maintained by the Ascension Island Government; and the 2011 Census of the United Kingdom (England and Wales).

Population statistics for St Helena can be downloaded from www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data in the Population data file. Population statistics for Ascension Island are in the Ascension Population data file.

Total population

The total population on St Helena (residents and temporary visitors) at the end of June 2019 was estimated to be 4,425, some 226 less than June 2018 and the lowest number since weekly flights started in October 2017. On the other hand, the number of St Helenians on St Helena was estimated to be 4,349, an increase of 127 compared to June 2018. These differences may reflect month-to-month variation, the significant drop in workers from overseas on St Helena following the completion of the new airport, non-St Helenian residents departing for holidays in the European summer, and some seasonal variation in tourist arrivals as St Helena enters its cooler winter season and the number of weekly flights are reduced from two to one.

St Helenians abroad

Table 1 provides estimates of the number of St Helenians living on Ascension, and those born on St Helena living on the Falkland Islands or in England and Wales (these countries represent the most common destination of St Helenians currently). Please note that there are no known reliable estimates of the total number of St Helenians living abroad outside of St Helena: data sources are often incomplete or do not provide adequate disaggregation, and St Helenian ‘status’[1] (or St Helenian as self-reported national identity) is not systematically reported in surveys or the administrative records of other countries.


[1] St Helena status is defined in St Helena’s Immigration Ordinance; see: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/st-helenian-status/

Place of birth of St Helena is not a good indicator of St Helenian status, or self-reported St Helenian national identity, because St Helenians may acquire their status by descent as well as by place of birth (i.e. they may be born outside of St Helena but to St Helenian parents or grandparents). The numbers in Table 1 should not, therefore, be aggregated to provide a total estimate of St Helenians living abroad, although it provides a lower bound. In addition, there is a significant number of St Helenians living in other countries, especially South Africa, but data sources for estimates of these have not been identified.

Chart 2 shows the population of Ascension since 2014, classified as St Helenian males, females, and other nationalities. The total population has been steadily lowly falling, along with the number of St Helenians, especially males; however St Helenian is still the largest single nationality group on Ascension Island, comprising around two in every three of the population.


Chart 3 illustrates the location of those in the 2011 Census that reported they were St Helenian-born; the largest number live in the South East (which includes Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Berkshire), with a large number also living in the South West (which includes Wiltshire and Gloucestershire).

Births and deaths

So far in 2019 there have been 18 recorded births, with 10 girls and eight boys. There were also 18 deaths, with six of the deaths female and twelve male. This is only the second time that the number of births has equalled or exceeded the number of deaths in a six-month period since 2005, but the long-term trend is for the number of deaths to exceed the number of births (see Chart 4).

Arrivals

In June 2019, 263 people arrived on St Helena, with most arriving by air (258). This is slightly lower than the same month last year, when 285 people arrived altogether. 76 arrivals were returning residents, 67 were coming for a business purpose (including those with long-term entry permits), 59 were tourists (non-St Helenian), and 56 were St Helenians living abroad coming to visit family and friends. The number of arrivals of non-St Helenian tourists is typically lower in the cooler season of June to October; and the estimate for June reflects that trend (see Chart 5). Chart 5 also illustrates that the number of non-St Helenian tourist arrivals by air has tended to be higher than the numbers arriving by RMS St Helena prior to the opening of the airport.

Departures

So far in the first six months of 2019, some 3,185 people departed from St Helena, including both short-term and long-term visitors, and residents. 478 (15%) of those left St Helena stated that they departed either to find temporary work overseas or to emigrate. This is a slightly higher number than the same period last year, when 449 people left for work or emigration. But it is not as high as the same period in either 2012 or 2013, when 538 and 512 people left for this reason respectively. Chart 6 shows monthly departures for work or emigration – the peaks correspond to the months following the Christmas holiday period, when many St Helenians return overseas after coming home to spend time with friends and family.

Definitions and methodology

The classification of arrivals and departures into purpose of visit or departure is based on the declarations made to Immigration Officers. Tourism/holiday includes short-term visitors or departures (i.e. less than six months) for tourism or holiday purposes, and it includes St Helenians visiting short-term to see family and friends, both those that live permanently abroad and those who are away for a period of overseas employment. Day visitors arriving on cruise ships are not included in either arrivals or departures. Business and employment includes short-term and long-term arrivals who arrive for work purposes, including those employed by the St Helena Government on contract (and their families). Returning residents are people who are returning to their normal place of residence (for arrivals, this excludes those returning for the purpose of business or employment). It also includes people returning permanently from periods of overseas employment. Transit includes those for whom St Helena is not their final destination; it includes most arrivals by yacht and any people transiting to or from a ship via air.

Three categories of the total population are computed. The on-Island population is an estimate of the total number of people on St Helena at the end of the given period (this is sometimes also referred to as the ‘de facto’ population). The resident population is an estimate of the total number of people living on St Helena (i.e. excluding any short-term visitors), regardless of their nationality. The on-Island St Helenian population is an estimate of the total number of St Helenians on the Island, regardless of their residence status. Estimates of the total population are calculated by combining the number of arrivals and departures and the number of births and deaths with the estimated total population from the population censuses.

Have questions or comments?

Please get in touch: we are Neil Fantom, Statistical Commissioner, Justine Joshua, Senior Statistical Assistant, and Bertina Benjamin, Statistical Assistant. You can find us in person at the Statistics Office on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown, at the back of the main courtyard. You can also contact us by telephone: our direct line is 22138 or via the Castle switchboard on 22470. If calling from overseas, the international dialling code for St Helena is +290. Our general office e-mail address is statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, or you can email team members directly (the format is firstname.lastname@sainthelena.gov.sh).

 

Several statistical updates have been released on July 19, 2019 as follows:

Benefits, up to June 2019

Exchange rates, up to June 2019

Construction, up to Quarter 2 2019

Utilities, up to Quarter 2 2019

Climate, up to June 2019

External Trade, up to Quarter 1 2019

Additional statistical series and indicators are available at  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the statistics reports and publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-reports-and-publications.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Download a PDF of this Bulletin here.

This bulletin includes estimates of the latest annual price inflation rates for the second quarter of 2019, calculated from the Retail Price Index (RPI). The data released in this Bulletin, including the RPI itself, can be downloaded from the St Helena Statistics website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data.

Annual and quarterly inflation rates

The overall Retail Price Index was measured at 104.9 in the second quarter of 2019. This compares with 104.1 in the first quarter of the year, and 100.9 in the second quarter of last year. This means that retail prices rose, on average, by 4.0% over the past year, between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019, and by 0.7% in the three months between the first and second quarters.

The annual price inflation rate of 4.0% is a very slight decrease in the rate from last quarter (Q1 2019), when the annual price inflation rate was measured at 4.1% (see Chart 1). The quarterly price inflation rate of 0.7% is a very slight increase in the rate from last quarter, when it was 0.5% (i.e. Q1 2019 compared to Q4 2018).

Many goods available in retail outlets on St Helena are imported from either South Africa or the United Kingdom, and so St Helena’s prices are heavily influenced by price inflation in those two countries, the value of the St Helena pound compared to the South Africa Rand, and the cost of freight and import taxes.

In the United Kingdom, the latest measured annual price inflation rate is 2.0%, and in South Africa it is 4.5% (both figures represent the May 2019 Consumer Price Index). Over the last year, the South African Rand has weakened against the St Helena pound, reducing the effect of South African inflation and changes in freight rates and import taxes.

Changes in prices of different groups of goods and services

Table 1 shows the average price change in item groups, comparing current prices to a year ago (the annual change) and to last quarter (the quarterly change).

Compared to a year ago, the biggest increase in prices has been in ‘Communications’ (12.5%), the cumulative effect of an increase in landline telephone services in the third quarter of 2018, and an increase in broadband internet services in the second quarter of 2019. The lowest annual increase has been in ‘Household Energy’, reflecting the unchanged price of domestic electricity.

Compared to the last quarter, average prices increased in all categories, except for household energy and transport which remained unchanged. The biggest quarterly increase was in ‘Household Goods and Services’ (3.4%), largely because of recorded increases in the price of imported furniture and household cleaning fluids.

Some frequently asked questions:

What is price inflation?

Price inflation is the change in the average prices of goods and services over time. The rate of price inflation is calculated from the change in the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is the official measure of the average change in the prices of goods and services paid by consumers. The RPI is estimated each quarter, or once every three months, and the rate of price inflation is usually quoted on an annual basis; that is, comparing price changes over a 12-month period. Prices and the RPI tend to go up, but they can occasionally go down – which is price deflation.

Why do we measure inflation?

An accurate measure of price inflation helps understand the extent and nature of the impact of price changes on the government, businesses, households and individuals.

How is the RPI calculated?

The basis for the RPI is the average weekly cost of goods and services purchased by households on St Helena, sometimes called the ‘shopping basket’. Items which households purchase more of, such as food, have the biggest share of the RPI basket. The current RPI uses a basket from the latest Household Expenditure Survey in 2017; prices representing the groups of items in the basket are collected every quarter, and the price of the total basket is compared to the price in the baseline period, the first quarter of 2018. By convention, the value of the basket in the baseline period is scaled to 100, and the RPI values are quoted in relation to that baseline. For example, an RPI value of 120 means that average prices have increased by 20 per cent compared to those recorded in the baseline period.

What happens when items are not available?

If an item of the ‘basket’ is not available then either the previous price will be carried forward from the previous quarter, or a suitable substitute item will be identified and an adjustment calculation made. Care is taken to ensure that this substitute item represents the item category and that it does not introduce error to the measurement of the RPI. An important principle is that price changes should reflect actual price increases, and not changes in the quality of items.

Where can I get the data?

For detailed tables of the RPI and annual inflation rates from 1994 onwards, please visit: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data and download the ‘inflation’ data file. Other datasets, bulletins and reports are also available on our website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics.

Several statistical updates have been released on June 27, 2019 as follows:

Population, up to May 2019

Benefits, up to May 2019

Exchange rates, up to May 2019

Climate, up to May 2019

Additional statistical series and indicators are available at  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the statistics reports and publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-reports-and-publications.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Several statistical updates have been released on May 31, 2019 as follows:

Benefits  up to April 2019

Exchange Rates  up to April 2019

Climate up to March 2019

Additional statistical series and indicators are available at  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the statistics reports and publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-reports-and-publications.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Data on Population, including total population and arrivals and departures up to April 2019 have been released on May 10, 2019: Population.

Additional statistical series and indicators are available on the Statistics Data page, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the Statistics Reports and Publications page.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Several statistical updates have been released on April 30, 2019 as follows:

Benefits, up to March 2019

Exchange rates, up to March 2019

Construction, up to Quarter 1 2019

Utilities, up to Quarter 1 2019

Population, up to March 2019

Climate, up to December 2018

Additional statistical series and indicators are available at  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the statistics reports and publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-reports-and-publications.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Download a PDF of this Bulletin here.

This Bulletin presents updated and revised estimates of the Human Development Index (HDI). This was first calculated and published by the Statistics Office in the Quarter 3 2016 Statistical News, as an additional tool to measure St Helena’s progress and a way to compare St Helena to the level of human development in other countries around the world.

The HDI uses data on years of education, life expectancy, and Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. New estimates on life expectancy and GNI per capita were published earlier this year, and years of education have been updated with enrolment figures supplied by the Education Directorate. The statistics and indicators presented in this Bulletin can be downloaded in Excel format from the ‘HDI’ file on the St Helena Statistics website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data.

The HDI is calculated and published each year by the United Nations (see hdr.undp.org), but St Helena is not included since it is not a member state of the UN. The estimates for St Helena and the global rankings published in this Bulletin have been calculated as a complement to the international UN estimates.

St Helena’s HDI

Table 1 presents the estimates of St Helena’s HDI from 2009 to 2017, and the rankings compared to other countries (a lower ranking is better – the ‘best’ country in the world has a ranking of 1). For comparison purposes, the table includes the same estimates for the United Kingdom and South Africa, the two countries with which St Helenians are usually considered to be most closely connected.

Since 2009 St Helena’s HDI increased from 0.714 to 0.756; this places St Helena in the ‘high’ category of human development, according to the classification used by the United Nations. Compared to other countries around the globe, St Helena’s HDI ranking rose from 93rd (out of 190 countries ranked) to 83rd in the world – an improvement of ten places. Chart 1 illustrates the change in the HDI index and global ranking compared to the United Kingdom and South Africa. In all three countries the value of HDI increased. The ranking of St Helena and South Africa rose by ten and seven places respectively, but the UK’s ranking fell by five places in the same period.

Components of the Human Development Index

The HDI is calculated as the average (using the geometric mean) of three sub-components which measure three dimensions of human development: incomes, health, and education. Income is measured using Gross National Income per capita in US dollars, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), health is measured using life expectancy, and education is measured using the average number of years at school in full-time education (a combination of the average years experienced by adults that have completed their education, and the average years that children can expect to be in full-time education).

Each component is “normalised” based on a maximum standard: if a country achieves these standards, its index value would be 1. For income, it is $PPP 85,000 per year GNI per capita, for health it is a life expectancy of 85 years, and for education it is a mean period of schooling of current adults of 15 years, and an expected period of schooling of 18 years. Table 2 shows the component index values and their global rankings for St Helena.

Chart 2 shows the change in the St Helena index values and global rankings of each component from 2009; all components have increased in value, but the income component increased the fastest, largely due to the additional activity during the construction of St Helena’s airport. St Helena’s rank on the income component is lowest of the three components, at 127th in the world in 2009 before airport construction. But it gained twenty three places to 104th by 2017, after airport construction. St Helena’s rank on the health component of the HDI was relatively stable, at 46th in 2009 and 50th in 2017. But its rank on the education component fell, from 63rd in 2009 to 84th in 2017, as other countries increased their number of years of schooling faster than St Helena.

Chart 3 shows the value of the three HDI components for 2017 for St Helena, compared to the United Kingdom and South Africa. St Helena has a much higher index component for health than South Africa, because of its longer life expectancy, but it is still slightly lower than the UK. For the other two components, St Helena has lower values than both countries, but only slightly lower than South Africa. Education is lower because of relatively low enrolment rates past the age of compulsory schooling (16), and income is lower because of much lower incomes compared to the UK, and the relatively high cost of imported goods; the adjustment for lower purchasing power of a St Helena pound (on St Helena) compared to a UK pound (in the UK) has the effect of reducing average Gross National Income per capita.

Chart 4 shows the same component indices, but using the global rankings instead of the index values themselves. St Helena’s rank is below the UK for all three components, and slightly below South Africa for both education and income (in the case of income, this is largely a result of the adjustment for local purchasing power). South Africa is well below both St Helena and the UK for health; in part, this is likely because of the higher prevalence of HIV.

Notes and Methodology

About the Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. It is published by the United Nations Development Program each year in an annual Human Development Report. A key philosophy of the HDI is that it measures development in dimensions beyond the purely economic, and although it is a somewhat crude measure it is widely accepted in development discourse. Read more about the HDI, and the research and theory behind the index, here: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi.

Measurement methodology

The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth, the education dimension is measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita (HDI uses the logarithm of income, to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GNI.) The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions. The full technical methodology to compile the HDI is described in a document published by the United Nations here: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr2018_technical_notes.pdf.

Data sources

The values used to calculate the value of St Helena’s HDI are given in Table 3, based on estimates calculated by St Helena’s statistical office.

Life expectancy at birth uses published estimates based on census data and statistics on deaths, smoothed using moving averages where appropriate.

GNI per capita estimates use published statistics, but data for GNI per capita for 2010-2013 are missing and have been interpolated using simple growth rates. Adjustments for purchasing power parity (PPP) have been made using a combination of the UK pound to US dollar PPP exchange rate published by the World Bank, and the St Helena pound to UK pound PPP exchange rate published in 2016 by the St Helena Statistics office.

Mean years of schooling estimates use data collected from the census for those aged 25 and older in 2016, adjusting the cohort for each year 2009-2017 (so for example the 2017 estimate uses those aged 24 and older in 2016).

Expected years of schooling is calculated as the sum of age-specific school enrolment rates in each year group. Nursery enrolment is assumed close to 100%, and enrolment in Year 1 to Year 11 (the compulsory years of schooling on St Helena) is assumed to be 100%. Years 12 and 13, and three years of tertiary, are based on enrolments in full-time education only.

Questions or comments?

Please get in touch: we are Neil Fantom, Statistical Commissioner, Justine Joshua and Stuart Moors, Senior Statistical Assistants, and Bertina Benjamin, Statistics Assistant. You can find us in person at the Statistics Office on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown, at the back of the main courtyard. You can also contact us by telephone: our direct line is 22138 or via the Castle switchboard on 22470. If calling from overseas, the international dialling code for St Helena is +290. Our general office e-mail address is statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, or you can email team members directly (the format is firstname.lastname@sainthelena.gov.sh).