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Introduction - Samoa:




New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the Western from its name in 1997.

Location - Samoa:


Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

13 35 S, 172 20 W

Map references



total: 2,944 sq km
land: 2,934 sq km
water: 10 sq km

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land boundaries

0 km


403 km

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: Mauga Silisili (Savaii) 1,857 m

Natural resources

hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

Land use

arable land: 21.13%
permanent crops: 24.3%
other: 54.57% (2005)

Irrigated land


Natural hazards

occasional typhoons; active volcanism

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

People - Samoa:


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 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 38.1% (male 41,551/female 40,085)
15-64 years: 56.3% (male 63,320/female 57,277)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 5,416/female 6,616) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 20.4 years
male: 20.7 years
female: 20.2 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

1.291% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

28.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

5.88 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

-9.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.037 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.106 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.819 male(s)/female
total population: 1.061 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 25.89 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 30.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.3 years
male: 68.49 years
female: 74.26 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.21 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate


Hiv aids people living with hiv aids


Hiv aids deaths



noun: Samoan(s)
adjective: Samoan

Ethnic groups

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


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


Samoan (Polynesian), English


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.6%
female: 99.7% (2003 est.)

Government - Samoa:

Country name

conventional long form: Independent State of Samoa
conventional short form: Samoa
local long form: Malo Saoloto Tutoatasi 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)

Administrative divisions

11 districts; Aana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Faasaleleaga, Gagaemauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupaitea, Tuamasaga, Vaa-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


1 January 1962

Legal system

based on English common law and local customs; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


21 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: TUIATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi (since 20 June 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Sailele Malielegaoi TUILAEPA (since 1996); Deputy Prime Minister MISA Telefoni (since 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 12 members appointed by the chief of state on the prime ministers advice
elections: chief of state is elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 15 June 2007 (next to be held in 2012); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is 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 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 31 March 2006 (next election to be held not later than March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HRPP 35, SDUP 10, independents 4

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 TUILAEPA]; Samoa Christian Party or TCP [Tuala Tiresa MALIETOA]; Samoa Democratic United Party or SDUP [LE MAMEA Ropati]; Samoa Party or SP [Sua Rimoni Ah CHONG]; Samoa Progressive Political Party or SPPP [Toeolesulusulu SIUEVA]

Political pressure groups and leaders


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, 6197
FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: none; US Ambassador to New Zealand is accredited to Samoa
embassy: Accident Compensation Board (ACB) Building, 5th Floor, Beach Road, Apia
mailing address: P. O. Box 3430, Apia, 0815
telephone: [685] 21436/21452/21631/22696
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

Economy - Samoa:

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 fish catch declined during the El Nino of 2002-03 but returned to normal by mid-2005. 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; about 100,000 tourists visited the islands in 2005. 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

$1.218 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$399 million (2005)

Gdp real growth rate

5.5% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$2,100 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 11.4%
industry: 58.4%
services: 30.2% (2004 est.)

Labor force

90,000 (2000 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment rate


Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

3.3% (2005)


revenues: $171.3 million
expenditures: $78.1 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (FY04/05 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 (2004)

Electricity consumption

100.5 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

1,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance

-$2.428 million (FY03/04)


$94 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

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

Exports partners

Australia 48.1%, American Samoa 32.6%, US 3.7% (2006)


$285 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs

Imports partners

NZ 21.4%, Fiji 14.7%, Singapore 13.2%, Australia 8.6%, Japan 8.6%, US 6.2%, Indonesia 5%, China 4.4% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$70.15 million (FY03/04)

Debt external

$177 million (2004)

Economic aid recipient

$30.8 million (2004)

Currency code

tala (SAT)

Exchange rates

tala per US dollar - 2.7594 (2006), 2.7103 (2005), 2.7807 (2004), 2.9732 (2003), 3.3763 (2002)

Communications - Samoa:

Fiscal year

June 1 - May 31

Telephones main lines in use

19,500 (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

24,000 (2005)

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate
domestic: NA
international: country code - 685; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 2, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television broadcast stations

2 (2002)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

10,680 (2006)

Internet users

8,000 (2006)

Transportation - Samoa:


4 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)


total: 2,337 km
paved: 332 km
unpaved: 2,005 km (2004)

Merchant marine

total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 7,091 GRT/8,127 DWT
by type: cargo 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Germany 1) (2006)

Ports and terminals


Military - Samoa:

Military branches

no regular military forces; Samoa Police Force (2005)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 58,722 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 45,294 (2005 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

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 2,306 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp


This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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