About American Samoa [ Territory ]

Here we've distilled information and facts from various sources about the location, size, population, geography, transport, climate, economy, history, government, law, and so on, of American Samoa; into a view that makes sense for a traveller to, or within, this territory.

Location

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

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

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

Geo Notes

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

Approved Official Names

conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
conventional short form: American Samoa
abbreviation: AS

Capital City

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 three districts and two islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a, Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western

Natuaral Hazards

Typhoons common from December to March
volcanism: American Samoa experiences limited volcanic activity on the Ofu and Olosega Islands, neither has erupted since the 19th century

Environmental 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

Life Expectancy

total population: 73.97 years
male: 71.04 years
female: 77.08 years (2010 est.)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.061 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: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Languages Spoken

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)

Religions Practiced

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

Legal System

NA

National Holiday

Flag Day, 17 April (1900)

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)

Broadcast Media

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

Background

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.

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 account for 80% of employment. 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 is overseeing 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.

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)

American Samoa location map
Size

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

American Samoa flag
Population

66,432 (July 2010 est.)

Nationality

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

Ethnic Groups

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

HIV/AIDS Rate

NA

Dependency Of

Unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior

Independence Date

none (territory of the US)

Government Type

NA

Voting Rights

18 years of age; universal

Internet Users

NA

Internet Hosts

1,676 (2010)

Internet Country Code

.as

Number Airports

3 (2010)

Number Paved Airports

total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways

total: 241 km (2008)

Ports & Terminals

Pago Pago

National Budget

revenues: $155.4 million (FY07)
expenditures: $183.6 million (FY07)

Exchange Rates

the US dollar is used

Inflation Rate

NA%

Main Industries

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

Agricultural Products

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

Labor Force

17,630 (2005)

Main Occupations

agriculture: 34%
industry: 33%
services: 33% (1990)

Unemployment Rate

29.8% (2005)

GDP (USD Parity)

$575.3 million (2007 est.)
$510.1 million (2003 est.)

GDP Per Capita

$8,000 (2007 est.)
$5,800 (2005 est.)

Family Income Percent

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Below Poverty

NA%