Australia - Oceania :: American Samoa
  • Introduction :: American Samoa
  • Background:
    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
  • Location:
    Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand
    Geographic coordinates:
    14 20 S, 170 00 W
    Map references:
    Oceania
    Area:
    total: 224 sq km
    land: 224 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island

    country comparison to the world: 216
    Area - comparative:
    slightly larger than Washington, DC
    Land boundaries:
    0 km
    Coastline:
    116 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate:
    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
    Terrain:
    five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)
    Elevation:
    0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    964 highest point: Lata Mountain
    Natural resources:
    pumice, pumicite
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 21.8% (2014 est.)
    arable land: 61.22% (2014 est.) / permanent crops: 38.78% (2014 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2014 est.)
    forest: 78.2% (2014 est.)
    other: 0% (2014 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    0 sq km (2012)
    Natural hazards:

    cyclones common from December to March

    volcanism: limited volcanic activity on the Ofu and Olosega Islands; neither has erupted since the 19th century

    Environment - current issues:
    limited supply of drinking water; pollution; waste disposal; coastal and stream alteration; soil erosion
    Geography - note:
    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
  • Population:
    50,826 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Nationality:
    noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)
    adjective: American Samoan
    Ethnic groups:
    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.)
    note: data represent population by ethnic origin or race
    Languages:
    Samoan 88.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 3.9%, Tongan 2.7%, other Pacific islander 3%, other 1.8% (2010 est.)

    note: most people are bilingual

    Religions:
    Christian 98.3%, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.7% (2010 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 29.59% (male 7,732 /female 7,305)
    15-24 years: 18.42% (male 4,695 /female 4,669)
    25-54 years: 36.79% (male 9,255 /female 9,442)
    55-64 years: 8.96% (male 2,244 /female 2,310)
    65 years and over: 6.24% (male 1,486 /female 1,688) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Median age:
    total: 26.1 years
    male: 25.6 years
    female: 26.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Population growth rate:
    -1.35% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 231
    Birth rate:
    19 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Death rate:
    5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Net migration rate:
    -26.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 87.2% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.07% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    49,000 PAGO PAGO (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 0.96 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 10.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 8.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 73.9 years (2018 est.)
    male: 71.6 years (2018 est.)
    female: 76.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Total fertility rate:
    2.57 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 62.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 62.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 62.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 37.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 37.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 37.5% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Major infectious diseases:

    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

    Education expenditures:
    NA
  • Government :: American Samoa
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: American Samoa
    conventional short form: American Samoa
    abbreviation: AS
    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
    Dependency status:
    unincorporated unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
    Government type:
    presidential democracy; a self-governing territory of the US
    Capital:
    name: Pago Pago
    geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W
    time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    note: pronounced "pahn-go pahn-go"
    Administrative divisions:
    none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 3 districts and 2 islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a, Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western
    Independence:
    none (territory of the US)
    National holiday:
    Flag Day, 17 April (1900)
    Constitution:
    history: adopted 17 October 1960; revised 1 July 1967 (2017)
    amendments: proposed by either house of the Legislative Assembly; passage requires three-fifths majority vote by the membership of each house, approval in a referendum, and approval by the US Secretary of the Interior; amended 1971, 1977, 1979 (2017)
    Citizenship:
    see United States
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017)
    head of government: Governor Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA (since 3 January 2013)
    cabinet: Cabinet consists of 12 department directors appointed by the governor with the consent of the Legislature or Fono
    elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); 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 directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2020)
    election results: Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA reelected governor in first round; percent of vote - Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA (independent) 60.2%, Faoa Aitofele SUNIA (Democratic Party) 35.8%, Tuika TUIKA (independent) 4%
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral Legislature or Fono consists of:
    Senate (18 seats; members indirectly selected by regional governing councils to serve 4-year terms)
    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:
    Senate - last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2020)
    House of Representatives - last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2018)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independent 18
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independent 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 8 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2018)
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: 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
    Political parties and leaders:
    Democratic Party [Fagafaga Daniel LANGKILDE]
    Republican Party [Utu Abe MALAE, chairman]
    International organization participation:
    AOSIS (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, PIF (observer), SPC
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    none (territory of the US)
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    none (territory of the US)
    Flag description:
    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 2 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 US and American Samoa
    National symbol(s):
    a fue (coconut fiber fly whisk; representing wisdom) crossed with a to'oto'o (staff; representing authority); national colors: red, white, blue
    National anthem:
    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
  • Economy - overview:

    American Samoa s 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 processing are the backbone of the private sector with processed fish products as the primary exports. The fish processing business accounted for 15.5% of employment in 2015.

    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 oversaw 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 has some potential as a source of income and jobs.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $658 million (2016 est.)
    $674.9 million (2015 est.)
    $666.9 million (2014 est.)

    note: data are in 2016 US dollars

    country comparison to the world: 209
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $658 million (2016 est.) (2016 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    -2.5% (2016 est.)
    1.2% (2015 est.)
    1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $11,200 (2016 est.)
    $11,300 (2015 est.)
    $11,200 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 66.4% (2016 est.)
    government consumption: 49.7% (2016 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 7.3% (2016 est.)
    investment in inventories: 5.1% (2016 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 65% (2016 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -93.5% (2016 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 27.4% (2012)
    industry: 12.4% (2012)
    services: 60.2% (2012)
    Agriculture - products:
    bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock
    Industries:
    tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts
    Industrial production growth rate:
    NA
    Labor force:
    17,850 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: NA
    industry: 15.5%
    services: 46.4% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    29.8% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Population below poverty line:
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget:
    revenues: 249 million (2016 est.)
    expenditures: 262.5 million (2016 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    37.8% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -2.1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Public debt:
    12.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Fiscal year:
    1 October - 30 September
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    -0.5% (2015 est.)
    1.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Exports:
    $428 million (2016 est.)
    $427 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Exports - partners:
    Australia 25%, Ghana 19%, Indonesia 15.6%, Burma 10.4%, Portugal 5.1% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    canned tuna 93%
    Imports:
    $615 million (2016 est.)
    $657 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Imports - commodities:
    raw materials for canneries, food, petroleum products, machinery and parts
    Imports - partners:
    Fiji 10.7%, Singapore 10.4%, NZ 10.4%, South Korea 9.3%, Samoa 8.2%, Kenya 6.4%, Australia 5.2% (2017)
    Debt - external:

    NA

    Exchange rates:

    the US dollar is used

  • Energy :: American Samoa
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 22,219 (2012)
    electrification - total population: 59% (2012)
    electrification - urban areas: 60% (2012)
    electrification - rural areas: 45% (2012)
    Electricity - production:
    169 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Electricity - consumption:
    157.2 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    43,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    98% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    2,375 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    2,346 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    361,100 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
  • Communications :: American Samoa
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 10,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone services; one of the most complete and modern telecommunications systems in the South Pacific Islands; all inhabited islands have telephone connectivity (2017)
    domestic: 18 per 100 fixed-line teledensity, domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station (2017)
    international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)
    Broadcast media:
    3 TV stations; multi-channel pay TV services are available; about a dozen radio stations, some of which are repeater stations (2009)
    Internet country code:
    .as
    Internet users:
    total: 17,000 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 31.3% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
  • Transportation :: American Samoa
  • Airports:
    3 (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 3 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
    under 914 m: 1 (2017)
    Roadways:
    total: 241 km (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Pago Pago
  • Military and Security :: American Samoa
  • Military - note:
    defense is the responsibility of the US
  • Transnational Issues :: American Samoa
  • Disputes - international:
    Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island (Olosega) in its 2006 draft independence constitution