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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 half way 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, rocky, rugged mountains in interior
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Silisili 1,857 m
    hardwood forests, fish, hydropower
    arable land: 2.83%
    permanent crops: 7.77%
    other: 89.4% (2012 est.)
    NA
    occasional typhoons; 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

  • 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.)
    196,628
    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 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    0-14 years: 33.4% (male 33,842/female 31,749)
    15-24 years: 20.1% (male 20,227/female 19,200)
    25-54 years: 35.2% (male 35,872/female 33,355)
    55-64 years: 6% (male 5,955/female 5,770)
    65 years and over: 5.4% (male 4,647/female 6,011) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 74.4%
    youth dependency ratio: 65.4%
    elderly dependency ratio: 9%
    potential support ratio: 11.1% (2014 est.)
    total: 23.1 years
    male: 22.9 years
    female: 23.4 years (2014 est.)
    0.59% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    21.29 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    5.32 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    -10.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    urban population: 19.3% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: -0.24% annual rate of change (2010-15 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: 1.08 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    23.6
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2009 est.)
    100 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    total: 20.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 24.18 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 16.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    total population: 73.21 years
    male: 70.32 years
    female: 76.24 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    2.94 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    28.7% (2009)
    6.8% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    0.45 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    1 beds/1,000 population (2005)
    improved:
    urban: 97.4% of population
    rural: 98.8% of population
    total: 98.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.6% of population
    rural: 1.2% of population
    total: 1.5% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 93.3% of population
    rural: 91.1% of population
    total: 91.6% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 6.7% of population
    rural: 8.9% of population
    total: 8.4% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    54.1% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    5.8% of GDP (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.9%
    male: 99.1%
    female: 98.7% (2012 est.)
    total: 16.1%
    male: 13.8%
    female: 22.2% (2011 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
    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
    parliamentary democracy
    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; it is observed in June
    several previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962; amended several times, last in 2013 (2013)
    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
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: TUI ATUA 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 20 July 2012 (next to be held in 2017); 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: TUI ATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi unanimously elected by the Legislative Assembly
    description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats; 47 members - traditional family chiefs or matai and 2 members - part-Samoan or non-Samoan - directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: election last held on 4 March 2011 (next election to be held no later than March 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HRPP 29, Tautua Samoa 13, independents 7
    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 [Sailele Malielegaoi TUILA'EPA]
    Samoa Christian Party or TCP [Tuala Tiresa MALIETOA]
    Samoa Progressive Political Party or SPPP [Toalepaiali'i Toesulusulu S'iueva POSE II]
    Tautua Samoa [Leatinu'u Salole LESA]
    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 does not have an embassy in Samoa; the 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
    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
    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, agriculture, and fishing. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs roughly 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. 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 in Samoa's Upolu island. 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.
    $995 million (2014 est.)
    $975.8 million (2013 est.)
    $987.1 million (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 204
    $825 million (2014 est.)
    2% (2014 est.)
    -1.1% (2013 est.)
    1.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    $5,200 (2014 est.)
    $5,100 (2013 est.)
    $5,200 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 164
    agriculture: 11.4%
    industry: 30.1%
    services: 58.5% (2014 est.)
    coconuts, bananas, taro, yams, coffee, cocoa
    food processing, building materials, auto parts
    1.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    48,580 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    agriculture: 65%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    NA%
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $214.7 million
    expenditures: $257.6 million (2014 est.)
    26% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    -5.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    June 1 - May 31
    -1.2% (2014 est.)
    0.6% (2013 est.)
    10.2% (31 December 2014 est.)
    10.19% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    $106.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $104.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    $366 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $318.7 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    $332.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $319.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    $NA
    -$76.11 million (2011 est.)
    -$32.4 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    $11.4 million (2011 est.)
    $31.2 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    fish, coconut oil and cream, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer
    American Samoa 42.4%, Australia 19.1% (2013)
    $318.7 million (2011 est.)
    $308.4 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    machinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs
    NZ 21.6%, Fiji 19.5%, Singapore 15%, China 12.6%, US 6.5%, Australia 5.7% (2013)
    $170.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $170.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    $368.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $422.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    tala (SAT) per US dollar -
    2.329 (2014 est.)
    2.3109 (2013 est.)
    2.29 (2012 est.)
    2.3175 (2011 est.)
    2.4847 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: SAMOA

  • 115.2 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    107.1 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    42,100 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    71.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    28.5% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    1,130 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    1,149 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    161,000 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: SAMOA

  • 35,300 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    167,400 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    general assessment: adequate
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 100 telephones per 100 persons
    international: country code - 685; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2007)
    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)
    AM 2, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2004)
    2 (2002)
    .ws
    18,013 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    9,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 198
  • Transportation :: SAMOA

  • 4 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    total: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 3
    under 914 m:
    3 (2013)
    total: 2,337 km
    paved: 332 km
    unpaved: 2,005 km (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    total: 2
    by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1
    foreign-owned: 1 (NZ 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    major seaport(s): Apia
  • Military :: SAMOA

  • no regular military forces; Samoa Police Force (2008)
    males age 16-49: 47,906 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 38,260
    females age 16-49: 38,032 (2010 est.)
    male: 2,221
    female: 2,062 (2010 est.)
    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
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