Samoa

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

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

206,179 (2022 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

0.63% (2022 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)

$1.25 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$6,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

food processing, building materials, auto parts

Exports

$310 million (2018 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)

Imports

$430 million (2018 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)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022