In 2016, the country had an average population density of 210 residents per square kilometer, but the vast majority (95 percent) live on the island of São Tomé. In 2019, 68 percent of the population lived in urban areas, and the capital São Tomé (67 900 residents, 2012) is the completely dominant city.
- AllCityPopulation: Find Sao Tome and Principe demographics including latest population, life expectancy, age structure, and urbanization.
The official language is Portuguese. The majority of the population speak different variants of Portuguese-based Creole languages.
In São Tomé and Príncipe, today (2011) more than 80% are Catholics and just over 12% Protestants. The strong dominance of the Catholic Church is because Portuguese sailors in the 1470s came to these then uninhabited islands, which in 1522 became a Portuguese colony. The Catholic Church was established in the country in 1534. The first Protestant church was first established in 1935. The largest Protestant community today is Igreja Nova Apostolica (New Apostolic Church). It began operations in the country in 1980, and today 7% of the population are members of this church.
According to Countryaah, Islam is poorly represented in the country. Only 2% are expected to be Muslims, but their numbers are increasing due to Muslim immigrants from Nigeria and Cameroon. As in many other places in Africa, there are also, albeit to a small extent, syncretistic religious variants in which traditional African religion is mixed with Christian or Islamic beliefs and rites.
During the colonial period until independence from Portugal in 1975, the country’s constitution was the same as Portugal’s and thus had a Catholic base. Today’s constitution from 2003, on the other hand, is secular. It and other laws protect religious freedom.
National religious holidays are Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, All Souls Day and Christmas Day.