Samoa

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

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

Climate

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

Natural resources

hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

People and Society

Population

207,501 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

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

Religions

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

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

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)

Economy

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)

$1.147 billion (2022 est.)
$1.211 billion (2021 est.)
$1.303 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$5,200 (2022 est.)
$5,500 (2021 est.)
$6,100 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

food processing, building materials, auto parts

Exports

$171.278 million (2022 est.)
$97.774 million (2021 est.)
$116.519 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

US 20%, New Zealand 16%, American Samoa 11%, Brazil 8%, Australia 7% (2021)

Exports - commodities

coconut oil, insulated wiring, refined petroleum, integrated circuits, sardines, air pumps, tuna, lemons, beer (2021)

Imports

$512.002 million (2022 est.)
$430.011 million (2021 est.)
$376.791 million (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

New Zealand 24%, China 19%, Singapore 11%, United States 8%, Australia 7% (2021)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, poultry meats, iron, lumber, processed fish, cars (2021)

Exchange rates

tala (SAT) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
2.689 (2022 est.)
2.556 (2021 est.)
2.665 (2020 est.)
2.649 (2019 est.)
2.587 (2018 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024