American Samoa

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Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was not reached by European explorers until 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

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

14.20° S, 170.00° W

Area 216/257

total: 199 sq km

land: 199 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

116 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m

Natural resources

pumice, pumicite

Land use

agricultural land: 21.7%

arable land 13.3%; permanent crops 8.4%; permanent pasture 0%

forest: 78.3%

other: 0% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

typhoons common from December to March

volcanism: limited volcanic activity on the Ofu and Olosega Islands; neither has erupted since the 19th century

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources; the water division of the government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to improve water catchments and pipelines

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

People and Society

Nationality

noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)

adjective: American Samoan

Ethnic groups

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 92.6% (includes Samoan 88.9%, Tongan 2.9%, other .8%), Asian 3.6% (includes Filipino 2.2%, other 1.4%), mixed 2.7%, other 1.2% (2010 est.)

Languages

Samoan 88.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 3.9%, Tongan 2.7%, other Pacific islander 3%, other 1.8%

note: most people are bilingual (2010 est.)

Religions

Christian 98.3%, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.7% (2010 est.)

Population 208/238

54,343 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.45% (male 6,506/female 6,780)

15-24 years: 19.61% (male 5,264/female 5,395)

25-54 years: 42.1% (male 11,775/female 11,105)

55-64 years: 8.69% (male 2,326/female 2,397)

65 years and over: 5.14% (male 1,287/female 1,508) (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 28.8 years

male: 29.4 years

female: 28.3 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 219/233

-0.3% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 70/224

22.89 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 197/225

4.75 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 222/222

-21.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 87.2% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -0.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

PAGO PAGO (capital) 48,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 149/224

total: 8.69 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 11.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 105/224

total population: 75.14 years

male: 72.18 years

female: 78.28 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 56/224

2.92 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 62.5% of population

rural: 62.5% of population

total: 62.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 37.5% of population

rural: 37.5% of population

total: 37.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Education expenditures

NA

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa

conventional short form: American Samoa

abbreviation: AS

etymology: 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

Government type

NA

Capital

name: Pago Pago

geographic coordinates: 14.16° S, 170.42° W

time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 3 districts and 2 islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a, Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western

Independence

none (territory of the US)

National holiday

Flag Day, 17 April (1900)

Constitution

adopted 17 October 1960; revised 1 July 1967; amended 1971, 1977, 1979 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of US common law and customary law

Citizenship

see United States

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

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 Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA (since 3 January 2013)

cabinet: Cabinet consists of 12 department directors appointed by the governor with the consent of the Legislative Assembly

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); 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 directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 November 2012 with a runoff on 20 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)

election results: Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA elected governor; percent of vote in second round - Lolo Matalasi MOLIGA (independent) 52.9%, Faoa Aitofele SUNIA (Democratic Party) 47.1%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (18 seats; members indirectly selected by regional governing councils to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Representatives (21 seats; 20 members directly elected by simple majority vote and 1 decided by public meeting on Swains Island; members serve 2-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 4 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2016); Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 18; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 20

note: American Samoa elects 1 member by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term as a delegate to the US House of Representatives; the delegate can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of delegate last held on 4 November 2014 (next to be held on November 2016)

Judicial branch

highest court(s): High Court of American Samoa (consists of the chief justice, associate chief justice, and 6 Samoan associate judges and organized into trial, family, drug, and appellate divisions)

note - American Samoa has no US federal courts

judge selection and term of office: chief justice and associate chief justice appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior to serve for life; Samoan associate judges appointed by the governor to serve for life

subordinate courts: district and village courts

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]

Republican Party [Tautai A. F. FAALEVAO]

International organization participation

AOSIS (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, PIF (observer), SPC

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

National symbol(s)

a fue (coconut fiber fly whisk) crossed with a to'oto'o (staff); national colors: red, white, blue

National anthem

name: "Amerika Samoa" (American Samoa)

lyrics/music: Mariota Tiumalu TUIASOSOPO/Napoleon Andrew TUITELELEAPAGA

note: local anthem adopted 1950; as a territory of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)

Economy

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. The two tuna canneries accounted for 13.1% of employment in 2013. In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami devastated American Samoa and nearby Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency oversaw a relief program of nearly $25 million. 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. In 2015, a new fish processing company completed refurbishing the processing facilities left behind by one of the two canneries that closed in 2009 and opened a new cannery. With two operating canneries once again, fish processing and exports will rise in 2015 and beyond.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 207/230

$711 million (2013 est.)

$718 million (2012 est.)

$647 million (2012 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$748.6 million (2005)

GDP - real growth rate 209/225

-2.4% (2013 est.)

-2.7% (2012 est.)

0.6% (2012 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 119/230

$13,000 (2013 est.)

$13,100 (2012 est.)

$11,700 (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 54.6%

government consumption: 52.8%

investment if fixed capital: 2.7%

investment in inventories: 2.3%

exports of goods and services: 54.4%

imports of goods and services: -66.8% (2012)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 27.4%

industry: 12.4%

services: 60.2% (2012)

Agriculture - products

bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Labor force 215/233

16,090 (2013)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: NA

industry: 13.1%

services: 86.9% (2013)

Unemployment rate 185/207

29.8% (2005)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $241.2 million

expenditures: $243.7 million (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 78/219

32.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 35/220

-0.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 115/226

2.1% (2013)

3.5% (2012)

Exports 175/224

$459 million (2013 est.)

$489 million (2012)

Exports - commodities

canned tuna 93%

Exports - partners

US 100%

Imports 191/223

$564 million (2013 est.)

$508 million (2012)

Imports - commodities

raw materials for canneries, food, petroleum products, machinery and parts

Debt - external

$NA

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

Energy

Electricity - production 191/220

156.4 million kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption 194/219

146 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 101/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 117/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 190/214

45,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 36/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 43/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 157/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 154/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 106/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 96/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 157/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 105/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 154/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 185/212

2,375 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 128/214

0.09 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 180/213

2,346 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 155/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 116/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 58/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 157/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 110/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 176/212

607,000 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 199/219

total subscriptions: 9,900

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone services

domestic: domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station

international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

3 TV stations; multi-channel pay TV services are available; about a dozen radio stations, some of which are repeater stations (2009)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2006)

Internet country code

.as

Internet hosts 161/232

2,387 (2012)

Internet users

NA

Transportation

Airports 192/236

3 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 3

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 207/223

total: 241 km (2008)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Pago Pago

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island (Olosega) in its 2006 draft independence constitution