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Santa Cruz is a municipality located in the eastern part of the island of Santiagomarker in Sotavento in southern Cape Verdemarker and is ranked fourth in Cape Verde. The municipal is around 32,965, the area is 150 km² and the density is about 205/km². The seat of the municipality is Vila de Pedra Badejomarker. Santa Cruz is located about 40 km NNW of Cape Verde's capital Praiamarker, SE of Tarrafalmarker and E of Assomadamarker.

Santa Cruz are linked with a highway linking Tarrafal and Praia and a road to Picosmarker and Assomadamarker. Farmlands are situated within the valley areas, the mountains cover the rest of the municipality especially the western parts. Grasslands and bushes covers the mountain areas to the west. Alluvial basins (ribeiras) create pockets of fertile soil and high water tables to some villages in the eastern half.

Santa Cruz is the native land of Orlando Pantera and Catchás, two of the names most heard in music that the island of Santiago has ever knew.


About 1/3 of the population of Santa Cruz are in agriculture, cattle, and forestry. Commercial, civil works and public administration and have a secondary importance. A Germanmarker group will plan to construct a port next to the old port of Pedra Badejo.

Its economy is based in agriculture, in which rural population produces agricultural commodities for export to larger markets in Praiamarker, Assomadamarker and Fogo. Small market centers exist in São Lourenço dos Órgãos and Pedra Badejomarker, which act primary as commodity exchanges where subsistence farmers exchange goods as available with merchants who transport and sell goods in larger markets. The primary agricultural productions include fodder (usually in the form of maize stalks), bananas, papayas and coconuts. Prior to 1981 the area also produced a substantial percentage of the island's maize, but the arrival of large-scale international food aid, while vastly improving the region’s food security, made producing foodstuffs unprofitable. Maize and legumes are still the region's primary agricultural product, though 97% is consumed by the families that produce it. The mixture of nitrogen fixing and nitrogen consuming crops reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, allowing small farmers to remain solvent despite little cash income.

The dry-season economy is directed primarily by agricultural cooperatives, which assign stonemasonry, carpentry and other construction tasks through contracts awarded by the local governments. The president of the cooperative acts as a de-facto village headman in areas where there are no government representative.

The soil in the region is very fertile (being especially rich in iron and potash, though water is scare in all parts of the municipality.


The municipality includes only one parish:


It was created in 1971, when two parishes of the older Municipality of Praia were separated to become the Municipality of Santa Cruz. In 2005, a southern parish of the municipality was split off to become the Municipality of São Lourenço dos Órgãos.


Harsh living conditions forces a large part of the young population to move to Praiamarker as well as other islands of Salmarker and Boa Vistamarker in search for better conditions of life and working conditions. The municipality has plagued been by unemployment and illiteracy, through recent literacy capmaigns have brought functional literacy to above 75% for younger residents.

Population of (1940—2010)
1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
22995 25892 33015 30038

Northwest: São Miguel North: Atlantic Oceanmarker
West: Santa Catarina Santa Cruz East: Atlantic Ocean
Southwest: Praiamarker South: São Domingosmarker

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