Economic orphans – from the St Helena Human Rights Action Plan 2012 – 2015 p 7-8


During the ten years between the 1998 census and the one taken in 2008, the island’s population declined from 5,644 to 4,255. This decline is due to economic migration, with many people of working age leaving to go to The Falkland Islands, Ascension and the UK. Often one or both parents of children will go overseas leaving their children with relatives or friends. This has lead to a resident population which has an unusually high proportion of potentially vulnerable people:


Under 18 885 21%  of the total population
Over 65 703 16.5   of the total population
Disabled 104 2.5%  of the total population
Children with at least 1 parent overseas[1] 185 20%   of the population        under 18 [2]

[1] Latest figure from Social Services.

[2] It is the belief of many on the island that children with who experience separation from a parent, who leaves to go overseas, have behavioural problems, although this has not been the subject of any research. This group are also highlighted in the current draft Sustainable Development Plan.


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