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Sao Tome and Principe were discovered by Portuguese explorers Joao de Santarem and Pedro Escobar around 1470, who found that they were uninhabited. The Portuguese settled the islands as trade bases, and eventually became Portuguese crown colonies in 1522 and 1573 (first Sao Tome and then Principe), though they sent their “undesirables” from Portugal to colonize. The Portuguese cultivated sugar and began importing slaves to work on the islands, beginning to plant coffee and cocoa in the rich volcanic soils. Sao Tome and Principe gained independence from Portugal on July 12, 1975.
Today, the country has a population estimated at about 183,176, which primarily live on Sao Tome, with about 6,000 living on Principe. The population is made up of various ethnic groups, including Mestiços, who are mixed Portuguese and Africans from Benin, Gabon, and Congo, as well as Angolans, Europeans (mainly Portuguese and Sephardi Jews), and Asians, including Macanese people from Macau. Sao Tome and Principe is a predominantly Christian nation. The official language of Sao Tome and Principe is Portuguese, but there are four national languages: Portuguese, Forro, Angolar, and Principense, which are creoles based on Portuguese. French is also widely spoken as a second language in Sao Tome and Principe.
Last Updated On : March 13, 2013