[Country map of American Samoa]

American Samoa

(territory of the US)


Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Map references: Oceania

total area: 199 sq km
land area: 199 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Washington, DC
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 116 km

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

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages 124 inches; rainy season from November to April, dry season from 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)

Natural resources: pumice, pumicite

Land use:
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 5%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 75%
other: 10%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; in many areas of the island water supplies come from roof catchments
natural hazards: typhoons common from December to March
international agreements: NA

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


Population: 57,366 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 3.82% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 36.21 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 4.01 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 18.78 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.91 years
male: 71.03 years
female: 74.85 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.3 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: American Samoan(s)
adjective: American Samoan

Ethnic divisions: Samoan (Polynesian) 89%, Caucasian 2%, Tongan 4%, other 5%

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

Languages: Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English; most people are bilingual

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

Labor force: 14,400 (1990)
by occupation: government 33%, tuna canneries 34%, other 33% (1990)


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

Abbreviation: AS

Digraph: AQ

Type: unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the US Department of Interior, Office of Territorial and International Affairs

Capital: Pago Pago

Administrative divisions: none (territory of the US)

Independence: none (territory of the US)

National holiday: Territorial Flag Day, 17 April (1900)

Constitution: ratified 1966, in effect 1967

Legal system: NA

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President William Jefferson CLINTON (since 20 January 1993); Vice President Albert GORE, Jr. (since 20 January 1993)
head of government: Governor A. P. LUTALI (since 3 January 1993); Lieutenant Governor Tauese P. SUNIA (since 3 January 1993); election last held 3 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1996); results - A. P. LUTALI (Democrat) 53%, Peter Tali COLEMAN (Republican) 36%

Legislative branch: bicameral Legislative Assembly (Fono)
House of Representatives: elections last held 3 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1994); results - representatives popularly elected from 17 house districts; seats - (21 total, 20 elected, and 1 nonvoting delegate from Swains Island)
Senate: elections last held 3 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1996); results - senators elected by village chiefs from 12 senate districts; seats - (18 total) number of seats by party NA
US House of Representatives: elections last held 3 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1994); results - Eni R. F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA reelected as delegate

Judicial branch: High Court

Political parties and leaders: NA

Member of: ESCAP (associate), INTERPOL (subbureau), IOC, SPC

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

US diplomatic representation: none (territory of the US)

Flag: 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 staff and a war club


Overview: Economic activity is strongly linked to the US, with which American Samoa conducts 80%-90% of its foreign trade. Tuna fishing and tuna processing plants are the backbone of the private sector, with canned tuna the primary export. The tuna canneries and the government are by far the two largest employers. Other economic activities include a slowly developing tourist industry. Transfers from the US Government add substantially to American Samoa's economic well-being.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $128 million (1991 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $2,600 (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 12% (1991)

revenues: $97 million (includes $43,000,000 in local revenue and $54,000,000 in grant revenue);
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY90/91)

Exports: $306 million (f.o.b., 1989)
commodities: canned tuna 93%
partners: US 99.6%

Imports: $360.3 million (c.i.f., 1989)
commodities: materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%, machinery and parts 6%
partners: US 62%, Japan 9%, NZ 7%, Australia 11%, Fiji 4%, other 7%

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 30,000 kW
production: 90 million kWh
consumption per capita: 1,505 kWh (1993)

Industries: tuna canneries (largely dependent on foreign fishing vessels), meat canning, handicrafts

Agriculture: bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas, dairy farming

Economic aid:
recipient: $21,042,650 in operational funds and $1,227,000 in construction funds for capital improvement projects from the US Department of Interior (1991)

Currency: 1 United States dollar = 100 cents

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September


Railroads: 0 km

total: 350 km
paved: 150 km
unpaved: 200 km

Ports: Aanu'u (new construction), Auasi, Faleosao, Ofu, Pago Pago, Ta'u

Merchant marine: none

total: 4
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 3
note: small airstrips on Fituita and Ofu


Telephone system: 8,399 telephones; good telex, telegraph, and facsimile services
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) and 1 COMSAT earth station

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the US