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 Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand

Geographic Coordinates:

 13 35 S, 172 20 W


 Total: 2,831 sq km
Land: 2,821 sq km
Water: 10 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 403 km (Rank: 116)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)


 Two main islands (Savaii, Upolu) and several smaller islands and uninhabited islets; narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Silisili 1,857 m

Natural Resources:

 Hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

Land Use:

 Arable land: 21.13%
Permanent crops: 24.3%
Other: 54.57% (2005)

Natural Hazards:

 Occasional typhoons; active volcanism

Volcanism: Savai'I Island (elev. 1,858 m), which last erupted in 1911, is historically active

Environment - Current Issues:

 Soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Occupies an almost central position within Polynesia

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 Noun: Samoan(s)
Adjective: Samoan

Ethnic Groups:

 Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians (persons of European and Polynesian blood) 7%, Europeans 0.4% (2001 census)


 Samoan (Polynesian) (official), English


 Protestant 59.9% (Congregationalist 34.8%, Methodist 15%, Assembly of God 6.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.5%), Roman Catholic 19.6%, Mormon 12.7%, Worship Centre 1.3%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)


 193,161 (July 2011 est.)

Note: prior estimates used official net migration data by sex, but a highly unusual pattern for 1993 lead to a significant imbalance in the sex ratios (more men and fewer women) and a seeming reduction in the female population; the revised total was calculated using a 1993 number that was an average of the 1992 and 1994 migration figures

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 35.4% (male 35,233/female 33,060)
15-64 years: 59.4% (male 59,366/female 55,376)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 4,472/female 5,654) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 22.1 years
Male: 22 years
Female: 22.3 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.6% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 22.5 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 5.34 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -11.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 20% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 APIA (capital) 36,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.051 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 22.74 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 26.88 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 18.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 72.4 years
Male: 69.55 years
Female: 75.39 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 3.22 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 7% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.27 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.97 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 92% of population
Rural: 88% of population
Total: 89% of population
Urban: 8% of population
Rural: 12% of population
Total: 11% of population (2000)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Education Expenditures:

 5.7% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 99.7%
Male: 99.6%
Female: 99.7% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 13 years (2005)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 12.2%
Male: 10.6%
Female: 15.5% (2001)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Independent State of Samoa
Conventional short form: Samoa
Local long form: Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa
Local short form: Samoa
Former: Western Samoa

Government Type:

 Parliamentary democracy


 Name: Apia
Geographic coordinates: 13 50 S, 171 44 W
Time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
+1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April

Administrative Divisions:

 11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano


 1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day Celebration, 1 June (1962); note - 1 January 1962 is the date of independence from the New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship; it is observed in June


 January 1, 1962

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 21 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: TUIATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi (since 20 June 2007)

Head of government: Prime Minister TUILA'EPA Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi (since 1998); Deputy Prime Minister FONOTOE Pierre Lauofo (since 2011)

Cabinet: Cabinet consists of 12 members appointed by the chief of state on the prime minister's advice

Elections: chief of state elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 15 June 2007 (next to be held in 2012); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the chief of state with the approval of the Legislative Assembly

Election results: TUIATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi unanimously elected by the Legislative Assembly

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats, 47 members elected by voters affiliated with traditional village-based electoral districts, 2 elected by independent, mostly non-Samoan or part-Samoan, voters who cannot, (or choose not to) establish a village affiliation; only chiefs (matai) may stand for election to the Fono from the 47 village-based electorates; members serve five-year terms)

Elections: election last held on 4 March 2011 (next election to be held not later than March 2016)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HRPP 29, Tautua Samoa 13, independents 7

Judicial Branch:

 Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; District Court; Land and Titles Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP [Sailele Malielegaoi TUILA'EPA]; Samoa Christian Party or TCP [Tuala Tiresa MALIETOA]; Samoa Democratic United Party or SDUP [LE MAMEA Ropati]; Samoa Progressive Political Party or SPPP [Toeolesulusulu SIUEVA]; Tautua Samoa [Vaelua Eti ALESANA]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi ELISAIA
Chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, NY 10017
Telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196 through 6197
FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797
Consulate(s) general: Pago Pago (American Samoa)

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: US Ambassador to New Zealand is accredited to Samoa
Embassy: Accident Corporation Building, 5th Floor, Matafele, Apia
Mailing address: P. O. Box 3430, Matafele, Apia
Telephone: [685] 21436/21631/21452/22696
FAX: [685] 22030

Flag Description:

 Red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation; red stands for courage, blue represents freedom, and white signifies purity

National Symbols:

 Southern Cross constellation (five, five-pointed stars)

National Anthem:

 Name: "O le Fu"a o le Sa"olotoga o Samoa" (The Banner of Freedom)
Lyrics/music: Sauni Iiga KURESA

Note: adopted 1962; the anthem is also known as "Samoa Tula'i" (Samoa Arise)

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Economy - Overview:

 The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, agriculture, and fishing. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labor force and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. One factory in the Foreign Trade Zone employs 3,000 people to make automobile electrical harnesses for an assembly plant in Australia. Tourism is an expanding sector accounting for 25% of GDP; 122,000 tourists visited the islands in 2007. In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami severely damaged Samoa, and nearby American Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline, while at the same time protecting the environment. Observers point to the flexibility of the labor market as a basic strength for future economic advances. Foreign reserves are in a relatively healthy state, the external debt is stable, and inflation is low.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $1.055 billion (2010 est.)
$1.055 billion (2009 est.)
$1.112 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $556 million (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 0% (2010 est.)
-5.1% (2009 est.)
5.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $5,500 (2010 est.)
$5,500 (2009 est.)
$5,900 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 11.6%
Industry: 13.1%
Services: 75.3% (2004 est.)

Labor Force:

 66,270 (2007 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Unemployment Rate:


Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%


 Revenues: $201.2 million
Expenditures: $281.7 million (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 36.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -14.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 1% (2010 est.)
6.3% (2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 10.725% (31 December 2010 est.)
12.108% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $60.13 million (31 December 2008)
$69.97 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $162.8 million (31 December 2008)
$168.7 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $105.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$80.43 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $323.6 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$282.8 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $256.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$242.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Coconuts, bananas, taro, yams, coffee, cocoa


 Food processing, building materials, auto parts

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 2.8% (2000)

Electricity - Production:

 108 million kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 58%
Hydro: 42%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 98.58 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 1,125 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$590,000 (2009 est.)
-$1.14 million (2007 est.)


 $35.07 million (2009 est.)
$25.11 million (2006)

Exports - Commodities:

 Fish, coconut oil and cream, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer

Exports - Partners:

 American Samoa 45.4%, Australia 30.1% (2010)


 $280 million (2006)
$207.9 million (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs

Imports - Partners:

 NZ 21.8%, China 16.6%, Fiji 16.2%, Singapore 13%, Japan 7.5%, Australia 6.3%, US 4.6% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $209.5 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$165.9 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $235.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)
$177 million (2004)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Samoa Tala to Any Currency

Tala (SAT) per US dollar -
NA (2007)
2.7594 (2006)
2.7103 (2005)
2.7807 (2004)
2.9732 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 35,300 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 167,400 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: adequate

Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 85 telephones per 100 persons; coverage extended to roughly 95 percent of the country

International: country code - 685; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast Media:

 State-owned television station privatized in 2008; 4 privately-owned television broadcast stations; about a half dozen privately-owned radio stations and one state-owned radio station; television and radio broadcasts of several stations from American Samoa are available (2009)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 2 (2002)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 17,044 (2010)

Internet Users:

 9,000 (2009)

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 4 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 3
Under 914 m: 3 (2010)


 Total: 2,337 km
Paved: 332 km
Unpaved: 2,005 km (2001)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 2
By type: passenger/cargo 1, cargo 1
Foreign-owned: 1 (NZ 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:


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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces; Samoa Police Force (2008)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 47,906 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 38,260
Females age 16-49: 38,032 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 2,221
Female: 2,062 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Samoa has no formal defense structure or regular armed forces; informal defense ties exist with NZ, which is required to consider any Samoan request for assistance under the 1962 Treaty of Friendship

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Last Updated: December 2011

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