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  Introduction Back To Top

Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was "discovered" by European explorers in 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 Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

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

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
14 20 S, 170 00 W

Natural resources:
pumice, pumicite

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m

five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)

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

total: 199 sq km
land: 199 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand

116 km

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources; the water division of the government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to improve water catchments and pipelines

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
typhoons common from December to March

Land use:
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 15%
other: 75% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
3.35 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.47 years
male: 70.55 years
female: 76.56 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 98%
female: 97% (1980 est.)

Net migration rate:
-7.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
native Pacific islander 91.6%, Asian 2.8%, white 1.1%, mixed 4.2%, other 0.3% (2000 census)

Median age:
total: 22.8 years
male: 22.7 years
female: 23 years (2008 est.)

64,827 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:

Population growth rate:
1.236% (2008 est.)

Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%, other 2%
note: most people are bilingual (2000 census)

Death rate:
4.13 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 10.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.69 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

Age structure:
0-14 years: 34.4% (male 11,337/female 10,946)
15-64 years: 61.8% (male 20,335/female 19,728)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 1,161/female 1,320) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
23.66 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%

noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)
adjective: American Samoan

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of the US)

National holiday:
Flag Day, 17 April (1900)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Population Pressure LAS (addresses the growing population pressures)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of the US)

Dependency status:
unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior

International organization participation:
Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC, UPU

Legislative branch:
bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the House of Representatives (21 seats; 20 members are elected by popular vote and 1 is an appointed, nonvoting delegate from Swains Island; members serve two-year terms) and the Senate (18 seats; members are elected from local chiefs to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010); Senate - last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 18
note: American Samoa elects one nonvoting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010); results - Eni F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA reelected as delegate

Legal system:

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 two 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 United States and American Samoa

none (territory of the US)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
conventional short form: American Samoa
abbreviation: AS

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]; Republican Party [Tautai A. F. FAALEVAO]

name: Pago Pago
geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W
time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

ratified 2 June 1966, effective 1 July 1967

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
head of government: Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 7 April 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors
elections: 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 elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 and 18 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: Togiola TULAFONO reelected governor; percent of vote - Togiola TULAFONO 56.5%, Afoa Moega LUTU 43.5%

Administrative divisions:
none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three districts and two islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a, Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western

Judicial branch:
High Court (chief justice and associate justices are appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior)

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
167.4 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Debt - external:

Unemployment rate:
29.8% (2005)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,800 (2005 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$510.1 million (2003 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$333.8 million (2005)

Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used

GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2003 est.)

Labor force:
17,630 (2005)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Oil - imports:
4,066 bbl/day (2005)

$445.6 million (FY04 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
US dollar (USD)

Economy - overview:
American Samoa has 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 tuna processing plants are the backbone of the private sector, with canned tuna the primary export. 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 is a promising developing sector.
note: as a territory of the US, American Samoa does not treat the US as an external trade partner

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%, machinery and parts 6% (2004 est.)

tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Electricity - production:
180 million kWh (2006 est.)

$308.8 million (FY04 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 34%
industry: 33%
services: 33% (1990)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
4,053 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
canned tuna 93% (2004 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:
important financial support from the US, more than $40 million in 1994

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $121 million (37% in local revenue and 63% in US grants)
expenditures: $127 million (FY96/97)

Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:

Telephones - main lines in use:
10,400 (2004)

14,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)

57,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
2,200 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2006)

Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
1,923 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
Pago Pago

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

total: 221 km (2007)

3 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 806
female: 781 (2008 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
Tokelau periodically asserts claims to American Samoa's Swains Island (Olohega), such as in its 2006 draft independence constitution

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