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Countries > Western Samoa Western Samoa Flag

Languages   2 languages are spoken in Western Samoa. We have 3346 products available for those languages.

Capital: Apia
Population: 166,000
Western Samoa Map


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

Geographic coordinates: 13 35 S, 172 20 W

Map references: Oceania

total: 2,860 sq km
land: 2,850 sq km
water: 10 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 403 km

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

Climate: tropical; rainy season (October to March), dry season (May to October)

Terrain: narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mauga Silisili 1,857 m

Natural resources: hardwood forests, fish

Land use:
arable land : 19%
permanent crops: 24%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 47%
other: 10%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons; active volcanism

Environment - current issues: soil erosion

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified : none of the selected agreements


Population: 219,509 (July 1997 est.)
note: other estimates range as low as 162,000

Age structure:
0-14 years: 40% (male 44,281; female 42,876)
15-64 years: 56% (male 64,433; female 59,006)
65 years and over : 4% (male 4,225; female 4,688) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.34% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 30.4 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 5.63 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 33 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 69.09 years
male: 66.7 years
female : 71.6 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.82 children born/woman (1997 est.)

noun: Western Samoan(s)
adjective: Western Samoan

Ethnic groups: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians 7% (persons of European and Polynesian blood), Europeans 0.4%

Religions: Christian 99.7% (about one-half of population associated with the London Missionary Society; includes Congregational, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Latter-Day Saints, Seventh-Day Adventist)

Languages: Samoan (Polynesian), English

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population : 97%
male: 97%
female: 97% (1971 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Independent State of Western Samoa
conventional short form: Western Samoa

Data code: WS

Government type: constitutional monarchy under native chief

National capital: Apia

Administrative divisions: 11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano

Independence: 1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday: National Day, 1 June (1962)

Constitution: 1 January 1962

Legal system: based on English common law and local customs; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state : Chief Susuga MALIETOA Tanumafili II (cochief of state from 1 January 1962 until becoming sole chief of state 5 April 1963)
head of government: Prime Minister TOFILAU Eti Alesana (since 7 April 1988); Deputy Prime Minister TUILA'EPA Sailele Malielegaoi (since NA 1992)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the chief of state with the prime minister's advice
elections : upon the death of Chief Susuga MALIETOA Tanumafili II, a new chief of state will be elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a five-year term; prime minister appointed by the chief of state with the approval of the Legislative Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 26 April 1996 (next to be held 26 April 2001)
election results : percent of vote by party - HRPP 45.17%, SNDP 27.1%, independents 23.7%; seats by party - HRPP 25, SNDP 13, independents 11

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), TOFILAU Eti Alesana, chairman; Samoan National Development Party (SNDP), TAPUA Tamasese Efi, chairman; Samoan Progressive Conservative Party, LEOTA Ituau Ale; Samoa All People's Party (SAPP), Matatumua MAIMOAGA

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Tuiloma Neroni SLADE
chancery: 820 Second Avenue, Suite 800D, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196, 6197
FAX : [1] (212) 599-0797

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Josiah Horton BEEMAN (Ambassador to New Zealand and Western Samoa, resides in Wellington, New Zealand)
embassy: 5th floor, Beach Road, Apia
mailing address: P.O. Box 3430, Apia
telephone : [685] 21631
FAX: [685] 22030

Flag description: red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation


Economy - overview: The economy of Western Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, private family remittances from overseas, and agricultural exports. Increasingly, tourism is becoming a significant source of revenue, earning approximately $34 million in 1995. While registering an overall economic improvement in 1995, however, the country continues to struggle with a series of natural disasters from the early 1990s which wiped out the nation's infrastructure as well as its then-major export crop, taro root. Agriculture continues to be a key source of wealth for Apia, employing more than one-half of the labor force, and furnishing 90% of exports. The bulk of these export earnings comes from the sale of coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. Family remittances also play a key role in economic viability for the island nation - in 1995, remittances totaled $34.9 million, four times export earnings. The economy did well in 1996, supported by a steady flow of foreign aid and remittances.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $415 million (1995 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 6.7% (1995 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,900 (1995 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 50%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 1% (1995)

Labor force:
total: 45,635 (1986 est.)
by occupation : agriculture 65%, services 30%, industry 5% (1995 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $118 million
expenditures : $128 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY96/97)

Industries: timber, tourism, food processing, fishing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 29,000 kW (1990)

Electricity - production: 60 million kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 287 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: coconuts, bananas, taro, yams

total value: $8.7 million (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities : coconut oil and cream, taro, copra, cocoa
partners: New Zealand 44%, Australia 22%, American Samoa, Germany

total value: $91 million (c.i.f., 1995)
commodities: intermediate goods 58%, food 17%, capital goods 12%
partners : New Zealand 37%, Australia 21%, US/American Samoa 13%

Debt - external: $178.3 million (1995 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA; $8.7 million bilateral aid from Australia (FY96/97 est.); $5 million bilateral aid from NZ (FY95/96)

Currency: 1 tala (WS$) = 100 sene

Exchange rates: tala (WS$) per US$1 - 2.4570 (January 1997), 2.4618 (1996), 2.4722 (1995), 2.5349 (1994), 2.5681 (1993), 2.4655 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 7,500 (1988 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 76,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 0

Televisions: 6,000 (1992 est.)


Railways: 0 km

total : 2,030 km
paved: 373 km
unpaved: 1,657 km (1988 est.)

Ports and harbors: Apia, Asau, Mulifanua, Salelologa

Merchant marine:
total : 1 roll-on/roll-off cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,838 GRT/5,536 DWT (1996 est.)

Airports: 3 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total : 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (1996 est.)


Military branches: no regular armed services; Western Samoa Police Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: NA

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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