Dependencies of Saint Helena

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ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. It assigns codes to the three "geographical entities" of Saint Helena. ISO originally issued codes for these entities in the original draft of ISO 3166-2, and they remained in force until they were revoked in the second edition of the standard (2007-12-15). From then until the 2011 update, the subdivisions were considered irrelevant for ISO's purposes. To compound the confusion, the original code for Saint Helena in 1998 was SH-SH; in the update, it's SH-HL. The codes for the other two geographical entities are unchanged.

The "St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009" - effectively the country's new constitution - went into force on 2009-09-01. Under it, the name of the territory is changed from "St Helena and Dependencies" to "St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha". The new name was recognized by ISO in ISO 3166-1 Newsletter number VI-7, dated 2010-02-22, and ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-2, dated 2010-06-30. The name for the new status of the subdivisions is unclear, but dependencies is no longer appropriate. Ascension and Tristan da Cunha were and will continue to be governed by island councils.

The area given in "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries" for Tristan da Cunha included only the island itself. In the table below, the area given includes the other islands administered as part of Tristan da Cunha dependency.

Country overview: 

ISO codeSH
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone+0


Saint Helena has been a British possession for the entire 20th century.

Other names of country: 

  1. Dutch: Sint Helena
  2. English: St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (formal)
  3. French: Sainte-Hélène; Sainte-Hélène, Ascension et Tristan da Cunha (formal)
  4. German: Sankt Helena
  5. Italian: Sant'Elena
  6. Portuguese: Santa Helena
  7. Spanish: Santa Elena
  8. Turkish: Saint Helena

Origin of name: 

named after Saint Helena (248?-328?), mother of Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine; discovered by João da Nova on Saint Helena's Day, 1502-08-18.

Primary subdivisions: 

Saint Helena is divided into one administrative area and two dependencies.

Saint HelenaSH.SHHLSH024,5344,25512247Jamestown
Tristan da CunhaSH.TATASH0329328420077Edinburgh
3 divisions5,6335,661410158
  • Dependency: except Ascension, which is an administrative area.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Dependency codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-2016: 2016-02-07 census.
  • Pop-2008: 2008-02-10 census.
  • Capitals: These are not formally so designated; they are the only significant
    population centers.

Postal codes: 

According to address expert Graham Rhind , the postal codes of these divisions in the U.K. system are respectively ASCN 1ZZ, STHL 1ZZ, and TDCU 1ZZ.

Note: The international country dialing code for Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha is +290, but for Ascension Island it's +247.

Territorial extent: 

Tristan da Cunha includes Inaccessible Island, Gough Island, and the Nightingale Islands.

The UN LOCODE page  for Saint Helena lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Ascension Island: discovered by João da Nova on 1501-06-01, Ascension Day
  2. Tristan da Cunha: discovered by Portuguese navigator Tristão da Cunha in 1506

Change history: 

  1. 1922-09-12: Ascension transferred from direct rule by the Admiralty Board to Saint Helena.
  2. 1938-01-12: Tristan da Cunha became a dependency of Saint Helena.
  3. 2009-09-01: Under new constitution, the formal name of the country changed from "St Helena and Dependencies" to "St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha".

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Ascension: Ascensão (Portuguese); Остров Вознесения (Russian)
  2. Saint Helena: Остров Святой Елены (Russian)
  3. Tristan da Cunha: Tristão da Cunha (Portuguese); Острова Тристан-да-Кунья (Russian)


2008 census data are from this Wikipedia article  (retrieved 2009-06-05). On that date, the total population given in the table on that page was not the sum of the three individual territory populations. It was, in fact, the sum of the 1998 population of Saint Helena and the 2008 populations of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

  1. [1] Results of 2016 Population Census . (retrieved 2017-11-22).


  1. Sorin Cosoveanu
    2017-11-22 - Sent link to source [1].
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