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Australia-Oceania :: American Samoa
(territory of the US)
Page last updated on April 21, 2015
 
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American Samoa
  • Introduction :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was not reached by European explorers until the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.
  • Geography :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
    14 20 S, 170 00 W
    Oceania
    total: 199 sq km
    land: 199 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island
    country comparison to the world: 216
    slightly larger than Washington, DC
    0 km
    116 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages about 3 m; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October); little seasonal temperature variation
    five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m
    pumice, pumicite
    arable land: 15%
    permanent crops: 9.5%
    other: 75.5% (2012 est.)
    NA
    typhoons common from December to March
    volcanism: limited volcanic activity on the Ofu and Olosega Islands; neither has erupted since the 19th century
    limited natural freshwater resources; the water division of the government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to improve water catchments and pipelines
    Pago Pago has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean, sheltered by shape from rough seas and protected by peripheral mountains from high winds; strategic location in the South Pacific Ocean
  • People and Society :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)
    adjective: American Samoan
    Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 92.6% (includes Samoan 88.9%, Tongan 2.9%, other .8%), Asian 3.6% (includes Filipino 2.2%, other 1.4%), mixed 2.7%, other 1.2% (2010 est.)
    Samoan 88.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 3.9%, Tongan 2.7%, other Pacific islander 3%, other 1.8%
    note: most people are bilingual (2010 est.)
    Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%
    54,517 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    0-14 years: 24.9% (male 6,671/female 6,917)
    15-24 years: 20.2% (male 5,468/female 5,565)
    25-54 years: 41.7% (male 11,694/female 11,056)
    55-64 years: 8.2% (male 2,211/female 2,260)
    65 years and over: 4.9% (male 1,234/female 1,441) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 28.3 years
    male: 28.8 years
    female: 27.8 years (2014 est.)
    -0.35% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    22.87 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    4.68 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    -21.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    urban population: 87.3% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: -0.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PAGO PAGO (capital) 48,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    total: 8.92 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 11.47 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 6.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    total population: 74.91 years
    male: 71.96 years
    female: 78.04 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    2.98 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    improved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 62.5% of population
    rural: 62.5% of population
    total: 62.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 37.5% of population
    rural: 37.5% of population
    total: 37.5% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    74.6% (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 1
  • Government :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
    conventional short form: American Samoa
    abbreviation: AS
    note: 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
    unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
    NA
    name: Pago Pago
    geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W
    time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three districts and two islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a, Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western
    none (territory of the US)
    Flag Day, 17 April (1900)
    ratified 2 June 1966, effective 1 July 1967 (2013)
    mixed legal system of US common law and customary law
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
    head of government: Governor Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA (since 3 January 2013)
    cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors
    elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as American Samoa, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 November 2012 with a runoff held on 20 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
    election results: runoff election percent of vote - Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA 52.9%, Faoa Aitofele SUNIA 47.1%
    description: bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (18 seats; members indirectly selected by regional governing councils to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Representatives (21 seats; 20 members directly elected by simple majority vote and 1 decided by public meeting on Swains Island; members serve 2-year terms)
    elections: House of Representatives - last held on 4 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2016); Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 18; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 20
    note: American Samoa elects 1 member by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term as a delegate to the US House of Representatives; the delegate can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of delegate last held on 4 November 2014 (next to be held on November 2016)
    highest court(s): High Court of American Samoa (consists of the chief justice, associate chief justice, and 6 Samoan associate judges and organized into trial, family, drug, and appellate divisions)
    note - American Samoa has no US federal courts
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice and associate chief justice appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior to serve for life; Samoan associate judges appointed by the governor to serve for life
    subordinate courts: district and village courts
    Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]
    Republican Party [Tautai A. F. FAALEVAO]
    Population Pressure LAS (addresses the growing population pressures)
    AOSIS (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, PIF (observer), SPC
    none (territory of the US)
    none (territory of the US)
    blue, with a white triangle edged in red that is based on the fly side and extends to the hoist side; a brown and white American bald eagle flying toward the hoist side is carrying two traditional Samoan symbols of authority, a war club known as a "fa'alaufa'i" (upper; left talon), and a coconut fiber fly whisk known as a "fue" (lower; right talon); the combination of symbols broadly mimics that seen on the US Great Seal and reflects the relationship between the United States and American Samoa
    a fue (coconut fiber fly whisk) crossed with a to'oto'o (staff); national colors: red, white, blue
    name: "Amerika Samoa" (American Samoa)
    lyrics/music: Mariota Tiumalu TUIASOSOPO/Napoleon Andrew TUITELELEAPAGA
    note: local anthem adopted 1950; as a territory of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)
  • Economy :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • American Samoa has a traditional Polynesian economy in which more than 90% of the land is communally owned. Economic activity is strongly linked to the US with which American Samoa conducts most of its commerce. Tuna fishing and tuna processing plants are the backbone of the private sector with canned tuna the primary export. The two tuna canneries account for 80% of employment. In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami devastated American Samoa and nearby Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency is overseeing a relief program of nearly $25 million. Transfers from the US Government add substantially to American Samoa's economic well-being. Attempts by the government to develop a larger and broader economy are restrained by Samoa's remote location, its limited transportation, and its devastating hurricanes. Tourism is a promising developing sector.
    $575.3 million (2007 est.)
    $510.1 million (2003 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    $462.2 million (2005)
    3% (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $8,000 (2007 est.)
    $5,800 (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock
    tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts
    NA%
    17,630 (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    29.8% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $155.4 million
    expenditures: $183.6 million (2007 est.)
    33.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    -6.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    1 October - 30 September
    NA%
    $445.6 million (FY04 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    canned tuna 93%
    $308.8 million (FY04 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    raw materials for canneries, food, petroleum products, machinery and parts
    $NA
    the US dollar is used
  • Energy :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • 155 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    144.2 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    45,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    4,090 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    2,003 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    607,000 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • 10,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    general assessment: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone services
    domestic: domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
    international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)
    3 TV stations; multi-channel pay TV services are available; about a dozen radio stations, some of which are repeater stations (2009)
    AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)
    1 (2006)
    .as
    2,387 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    NA
  • Transportation :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • 3 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    total: 3
    over 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 241 km (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    major seaport(s): Pago Pago
  • Military :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • males age 16-49: 14,562
    females age 16-49: 14,129 (2010 est.)
    male: 775
    female: 762 (2010 est.)
    defense is the responsibility of the US
  • Transnational Issues :: AMERICAN SAMOA

  • Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island (Olosega) in its 2006 draft independence constitution
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