Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



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. In the late 2000s, Samoa began making efforts to more closely align with Australia and New Zealand.



total: 2,831 sq km
land: 2,821 sq km
water: 10 sq km


tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)

Natural resources

hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

People and Society


207,501 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Samoan 96%, Samoan/New Zealander 2%, other 1.9% (2011 est.)


Samoan (Polynesian) (official) 91.1%, Samoan/English 6.7%, English (official) 0.5%, other 0.2%, unspecified 1.6% (2006 est.)


Protestant 54.9% (Congregationalist 29%, Methodist 12.4%, Assembly of God 6.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4.4%, other Protestant 2.3%), Roman Catholic 18.8%, Church of Jesus Christ 16.9%, Worship Centre 2.8%, other Christian 3.6%, other 2.9% (includes Baha'i, Muslim), none 0.2% (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.65% (2023 est.)


Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Apia

Executive branch

chief of state: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi II (since 21 July 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister FIAME Naomi Mata’afa (since 24 May 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (53 seats for 2021-2026 term); members from 51 single-seat constituencies directly elected by simple majority vote, with a minimum 10% representation of women in the Assembly required; members serve 5-year terms)


Economic overview

ower middle-income Pacific island economy; enormous fishing and agriculture industries; significant remittances; growing offshore financial hub; recently hosted Pacific Games to drive tourism and infrastructure growth

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.211 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$5,500 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, taro, bananas, yams, tropical fruit, pineapples, mangoes/guavas, papayas, roots/tubers nes, pork


food processing, building materials, auto parts


$97.774 million (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

American Samoa 21%, United States 13%, New Zealand 12%, Australia 10%, Tokelau 6%, Taiwan 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, fish, fruit juice, coconut oil, beer (2019)


$430.011 million (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

New Zealand 22%, China 16%, Singapore 13%, United States 10%, Australia 9%, South Korea 8%, Fiji 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, iron products, poultry meats, cars, insulated wiring (2019)

Exchange rates

tala (SAT) per US dollar -
2.556 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023