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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal American Samoa
Flag of American Samoa
Map of American Samoa
Introduction American Samoa
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 American Samoa
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
14 20 S, 170 00 W
Map references:
total: 199 sq km
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island
water: 0 sq km
land: 199 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
116 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages about 3 m; rainy season from November to April, dry season from May to October; little seasonal temperature variation
five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Lata 966 m
Natural resources:
pumice, pumicite
Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 10%
other: 85% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
typhoons common from December to March
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
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 American Samoa
68,688 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.1% (male 13,445; female 12,688)
15-64 years: 56.7% (male 19,228; female 19,741)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 1,931; female 1,655) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.31% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
24.04 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
4.34 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.17 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
10.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.53 years
female: 80.21 years (2002 est.)
male: 71.12 years
Total fertility rate:
3.4 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: American Samoan(s)
adjective: American Samoan
Ethnic groups:
Samoan (Polynesian) 89%, Caucasian 2%, Tongan 4%, other 5%
Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%
Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English
note: most people are bilingual
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 98%
female: 97% (1980 est.)
Government American Samoa
Country name:
conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
conventional short form: American Samoa
abbreviation: AS
Dependency status:
unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
Government type:
Pago Pago
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
none (territory of the US)
National holiday:
Flag Day, 17 April (1900)
ratified 1966, in effect 1967
Legal system:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001) and Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
election results: Tauese P. SUNIA reelected governor; percent of vote - Tauese P. SUNIA (Democrat) 50.7%, Lealaifuaneva Peter REID (independent) 47.8%
elections: US president and vice president elected on the same ticket for four-year terms; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2004)
head of government: Governor Tauese P. SUNIA (since 3 January 1997) and Lieutenant Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 3 January 1997)
cabinet: NA
Legislative branch:
bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the House of Representatives (21 seats - 20 of which 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 and serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2002); Senate - last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2004)
note: American Samoa elects one nonvoting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2002); results - Eni F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA (Democrat) reelected as delegate for a sixth term
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
Judicial branch:
High Court (chief justice and associate justices are appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior)
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [leader NA]; Republican Party [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
ESCAP (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of the US)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of the US)
Flag description:
blue, with a white triangle edged in red that is based on the outer 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 staff and a war club
Economy American Samoa
Economy - overview:
This is 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 foreign trade. 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, a developing sector, has been held back by the recurring financial difficulties in East Asia.
purchasing power parity - $500 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $8,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Labor force:
14,000 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
government 33%, tuna canneries 34%, other 33% (1990) (1990)
Unemployment rate:
6% (2000)
revenues: $121 million (37% in local revenue and 63% in US grants)
expenditures: $127 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY96/97)
tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
130 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
120.9 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock
$345 million (1999)
Exports - commodities:
canned tuna 93%
Exports - partners:
US 99.6%
$452 million (1999)
Imports - commodities:
materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%, machinery and parts 6%
Imports - partners:
US 62%, Australia 11%, Japan 9%, NZ 7%, Fiji 4%, other 7%
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
important financial support from the US, more than $40 million in 1994
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Communications American Samoa
Telephones - main lines in use:
13,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
2,550 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile and cellular telephone services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
57,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (1997)
14,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Transportation American Samoa
0 km
total: 350 km
paved: 150 km
unpaved: 200 km
Ports and harbors:
Aunu'u (new construction), Auasi, Faleosao, Ofu, Pago Pago, Ta'u
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
4 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military American Samoa
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues American Samoa
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003