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Australia-Oceania :: SAMOA
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SAMOA
  • 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.
  • Geography :: SAMOA

  • Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand
    13 35 S, 172 20 W
    Oceania
    total: 2,831 sq km
    land: 2,821 sq km
    water: 10 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 178
    slightly smaller than Rhode Island
    0 km
    403 km
    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, rugged mountains in interior
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Silisili 1,857 m
    hardwood forests, fish, hydropower
    agricultural land: 12.4%
    arable land 2.8%; permanent crops 7.8%; permanent pasture 1.8%
    forest: 60.4%
    other: 27.2% (2011 est.)
    0 sq km (2012)
    occasional cyclones; active volcanism
    volcanism: Savai'I Island (elev. 1,858 m), which last erupted in 1911, is historically active
    soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing
    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
    occupies an almost central position within Polynesia
  • People and Society :: SAMOA

  • 200,108 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    noun: Samoan(s)
    adjective: Samoan
    Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians (persons of European and Polynesian blood) 7%, Europeans 0.4% (2001 census)
    Samoan (Polynesian) (official), English
    Protestant 57.4% (Congregationalist 31.8%, Methodist 13.7%, Assembly of God 8%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.9%), Roman Catholic 19.4%, Mormon 15.2%, Worship Centre 1.7%, other Christian 5.5%, other 0.7%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
    0-14 years: 31.35% (male 32,372/female 30,359)
    15-24 years: 19.82% (male 20,358/female 19,306)
    25-54 years: 36.33% (male 37,423/female 35,273)
    55-64 years: 6.78% (male 6,912/female 6,663)
    65 years and over: 5.72% (male 4,976/female 6,466) (2017 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 74.2
    youth dependency ratio: 64.9
    elderly dependency ratio: 9.3
    potential support ratio: 10.8 (2015 est.)
    total: 23.9 years
    male: 23.7 years
    female: 24.2 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    0.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    20.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    -9.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    urban population: 18.8% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 0.06% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    APIA (capital) 37,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    23.6 years
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2009 est.)
    51 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    total: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 22.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 15.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    total population: 73.7 years
    male: 70.8 years
    female: 76.8 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    2.7 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    26.9% (2014)
    7.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    0.46 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    improved:
    urban: 97.5% of population
    rural: 99.3% of population
    total: 99% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.5% of population
    rural: 0.7% of population
    total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 93.3% of population
    rural: 91.1% of population
    total: 91.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 6.7% of population
    rural: 8.9% of population
    total: 8.5% of population (2015 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
    41.6% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    5.1% of GDP (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99%
    male: 99.1%
    female: 98.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 19.1%
    male: 15.6%
    female: 25.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
  • Government :: SAMOA

  • 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
    etymology: the name "Samoa" is composed of two parts, "sa" meaning sacred and "moa" meaning center, so the name can mean Holy Center; alternatively, it can mean "place of the sacred moa bird" of Polynesian mythology
    parliamentary republic
    name: Apia
    geographic coordinates: 13 49 S, 171 46 W
    time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
    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)
    Independence Day Celebration, 1 June (1962); note - 1 January 1962 is the date of independence from the New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship, but it is observed in June
    several previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
    mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Samoa
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi II (since 21 July 2017)
    head of government: Prime Minister TUILA'EPA Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi (since 23 November 1998); Deputy Prime Minister FONOTOE Pierre Lauofo (since 2011)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the chief of state on the prime minister's advice
    elections/appointments: chief of state indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 4 July 2017 (next to be held in 2022); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the chief of state, approved by the Legislative Assembly
    election results: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi unanimously elected by the Legislative Assembly on 5 July 2017
    description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (50 seats; 47 members - traditional family chiefs or matai, 2 members - part-Samoan or non-Samoan, and 1 woman member - added following the 2016 election - directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: election last held on 4 March 2016 (next election to be held no later than March 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party - HRPP 57.3%, Tautua Samoa 8%, independent 34.7%; seats by party - HRPP 35, Tautua Samoa 2, independents 3
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 2 Supreme Court judges and meets once or twice a year); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and several judges)
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the head of state upon the advice of the prime minister; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a 3-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes the attorney general and an appointee of the Minister of Justice; judges normally appointed until retirement at age 68
    subordinate courts: District Court; Magistrates' Courts; Land and Titles Courts; village fono or village chief councils
    Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP [TUILA'EPA Sailele Malielegaoi]
    Samoa Christian Party or SCP [Tuala Falenaoti Tiresa MALIETOA]
    Samoa Progressive Political Party or SPPP [Toalepaiali'i Toesulusulu S'iueva POSE II]
    Tautua Samoa [Palasajue FA'APO II]
    NA
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi ELISAIA (since 4 December 2003)
    chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400J, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196 through 6197
    FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797
    consulate(s) general: Pago Pago (American Samoa)
    chief of mission: the US Ambassador to New Zealand is accredited to Samoa; ambassador Scott BROWN (since 27 June 2017)
    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
    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
    note: similar to the flag of Taiwan
    Southern Cross constellation (five, five-pointed stars); national colors: red, white, blue
    name: "O le Fu'a o le Sa'olotoga o Samoa" (The Banner of Freedom)
    lyrics/music: Sauni Liga KURESA
    note: adopted 1962; also known as "Samoa Tula'i" (Samoa Arise)
  • Economy :: SAMOA

  • The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It has a nominal GDP of $830 million. Agriculture, including fishing, employs roughly two-thirds of the labor force and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring fish, coconut oil, nonu products, and taro. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. One factory in the Foreign Trade Zone employs over 700 people to make automobile electrical harnesses for an assembly plant in Australia, and accounts for 65% of total exports, but it is set to close by yearend 2017. Industry accounts for nearly 24% of GDP while employing less than 6% of the work force. The service sector accounts for nearly three-quarters of GDP and employs approximately 50% of the labor force. Tourism is an expanding sector accounting for 25% of GDP; 132,000 tourists visited the islands in 2013.
    The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. In 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. In December 2012, extensive flooding and wind damage from Tropical Cyclone Evan killed four people, displaced over 6,000, and damaged or destroyed an estimated 1,500 homes on Samoa's Upolu Island.
    The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the country's financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline, while at the same time protecting the environment. Foreign reserves are relatively healthy and inflation is low, but external debt is approximately 45% of GDP. Samoa became the 155th member of the WTO in May 2012, and graduated from least developed country status in January 2014.
    $1.082 billion (2016 est.)
    $1.015 billion (2015 est.)
    $999 million (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 203
    $786 million (2016 est.)
    6.6% (2016 est.)
    1.6% (2015 est.)
    1.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    $5,500 (2016 est.)
    $5,300 (2015 est.)
    $5,200 (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 166
    agriculture: 10.3%
    industry: 23.9%
    services: 65.8% (2016 est.)
    coconuts, nonu, bananas, taro, yams, coffee, cocoa
    food processing, building materials, auto parts
    6.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    50,700 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    agriculture: 65%
    industry: 6%
    services: 29% (2015 est.)
    NA%
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $232.4 million
    expenditures: $235.1 million (2016 est.)
    29.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    -0.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    52.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    57.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    June 1 - May 31
    1.3% (2016 est.)
    0.7% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    9.12% (31 December 2016 est.)
    9.51% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    $131.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $116.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    $367 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $334.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    $380.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $347 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    $NA
    -$48 million (2016 est.)
    -$43.6 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $27.5 million (2014 est.)
    $33.8 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    fish, coconut oil and cream, nonu, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer
    Australia 30.2%, American Samoa 21.7%, Afghanistan 11.2%, NZ 10.1%, US 5.6% (2016)
    $341.3 million (2014 est.)
    $341.3 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    machinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs
    NZ 23%, Singapore 14%, China 13.5%, US 10.2%, Australia 9.9%, Fiji 6.3%, Japan 5% (2016)
    $99.31 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $122.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    $447.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $437.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    tala (SAT) per US dollar -
    2.565 (2016 est.)
    2.565 (2015 est.)
    2.5609 (2014 est.)
    2.3318 (2013 est.)
    2.29 (2012 est.)
  • Energy :: SAMOA

  • population without electricity: 10,942
    electrification - total population: 94%
    electrification - urban areas: 100%
    electrification - rural areas: 93% (2012)
    100 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    100 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    45,000 kW (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    71.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    28.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    1,700 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    1,688 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    200,000 Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
  • Communications :: SAMOA

  • total subscriptions: 7,192
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    total: 134,619
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 68 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    general assessment: most households have at least one mobile phone; all businesses in the greater Apia area have access to broadband and Wi-Fi, which is reasonably reliable and fast, but relatively expensive; in rural Upolu and on Savaii Island there is limited availability of high speed Internet and Wi-Fi; Samoa recently completed the installation of a National Broadband Highway that will provide fiber optic data services and 4G LTE cellular data speeds to the entire country; 4G LTE data speeds are operative and commercially available to limited areas; 3G Internet accessibility from cellular devices is currently available nationwide (2017)
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 70 telephones per 100 persons (2016)
    international: country code - 685; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2015)
    state-owned TV station privatized in 2008; 4 privately owned television broadcast stations; about a half-dozen privately owned radio stations and one state-owned radio station; TV and radio broadcasts of several stations from American Samoa are available (2009)
    .ws
    total: 58,508
    percent of population: 29.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
  • Transportation :: SAMOA

  • number of registered air carriers: 1
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 270,908
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    5W (2016)
    4 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    total: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    total: 3
    under 914 m: 3 (2013)
    total: 1,200 km
    paved: 1,105 km
    unpaved: 95 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    total: 2
    by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1
    foreign-owned: 1 (NZ 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    major seaport(s): Apia
  • Military and Security :: SAMOA

  • no regular military forces; Samoa Police Force
    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
  • Transnational Issues :: SAMOA

  • none