Samoa Country Profile Additional Information

Geography

Samoa is located south of the equator, about halfway between Hawai‘i and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean. The total land area is 2,934 km² (1,133 sq mi), slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Rhode Island). As the larger and western part of the Samoan Archipelago, Samoa lies in the south-west Pacific between 13º 25’ and 14º 05’ south of the equator, and between 171º 23’ and 172º 48’ west longitudes. It comprises two main islands, seven smaller islands, and islets and rocks. Its total land area is about 2,820 sq km, with the two main islands of Upolu and Savaii containing 1,115 and 1,700 sq km respectively. The capital Apia is located about midway on the north coast of Upolu, and lies about 130 km from Pago Pago, American Samoa, 3,000 km from Auckland, New Zealand, and 4,500 km from Sydney, Australia.

The topography of Samoa is rugged and mountainous, with about 40 per cent of Upolu and 50 per cent of Savaii characterised by steep slopes and descending from volcanic crests. The interior of both main islands is still covered with montane forests and, in the case of the highest altitudes on Savaii, cloud forest. These areas also contain volcanic peaks with the Upolu crestal ridge rising to 1,100 m. Savaii has more and younger volcanic cones with the highest peak reaching 1,848 m at Mt Silisili. West Savaii and north-west Upolu are almost devoid of surface streams, corresponding to the rain shadow areas as mentioned below.

The two main islands are well served by ring and cross-island roads. The completion of the current roads improvement programme should see all the main roads upgraded and tar-sealed. The main international port is Apia with an inter-island ferry service operating between Mulifanua at north-west Upolu, and Salelologa at south-east Savaii. The islands are also linked by air service between Faleolo near Mulifanua on Upolu, and Maota near Salelologa on Savaii. Another airport is located in northwest Savaii at Asau, which currently caters mainly for chartered flights. The main international airport is Faleolo. The international airport terminal received a facelift in the late 1990s, an extended runway and new automated landing system. Improvements are continuing with a computerized asset management system.

Source: MNRE – State of the Environment Report

Foreign relations

The Samoan Government has a strong interest in regional political and economic issues. Samoa participated in a first round of negotiations with its Pacific Island neighbours for a regional trade agreement in August 2000. In January 2009, Samoa opened embassies in China, Kosovo and Japan.

Diplomatic Missions

There are currently 4 embassies in Apia,(not including honorary consulates):

-                   Australia

-                   People's Republic of China

-                   New Zealand

-                   United States

And one Mission

-                   European Union (Head Office)

Membership of international groups/organisations:

ACP, ADB, ASOIS, Commonwealth, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (non-signatory user), Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, PTCCC, RAMSI, SPARTECA, SPC, SPREP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WB, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer).

Population

Samoa has a population of 182,265 of which 92.6% are Samoans, 7% Euronesians (people of mixed, European and Polynesian ancestors) and 0.4% are Europeans, per the CIA World Factbook. About three-quarters of the population live on the main island of Upolu. Only the Māori of New Zealand outnumber Samoans among Polynesian groups.

General Information  

Source/Year 

Country size

2,831 km2 (174th); 1,093 sq mi

 

Population

194,320 (July 2012 est.) - comparison to the world: 184

World Fact Book 2010 - 2011

Population Growth Rate

0.596% (2012 est.)

World Fact Book 2010 - 2011

GDP per capita

$6,000 (2011 est.) - comparison to the world: 138 (note:data are in 2011 US dollars)

World Fact Book 2010 - 2011

Population under poverty line

%

 

HIV prevalence

People living with HIV/AIDS: 12 - HIV/AIDS deaths: 3

World Fact Book 2010 - 2011

Other Comments

Samoa is made up of eleven   itūmālō   (political districts). These are the traditional eleven districts that were established well before European arrival. Each district has its own constitutional foundation (faavae) based on the traditional order of title precedence found in each district's faalupega (traditional salutations).

The capital village of each district administers and coordinates the affairs of the district and confers each districts' paramount title, amongst other responsibilities. For example, the District of A'ana has its capital at Leulumoega. The paramount title of A'ana is the TuiA'ana. The orator group which confers this title - the Faleiva (House of Nine) - is based at Leulumoega. This is also the same for the other districts. In the district of Tuamasaga, the paramount title of the district - The Malietoa title - is conferred by the FaleTuamasaga based in Afega.

Political Districts of Samoa

Nr.

District

Capital

Area
(km²)

Population
(Census 2001)

Upolu   (including minor islands)

1

Tuamasaga

Afega

479

83,191

2

A'ana

Leulumoega

193

20,167

3

Aiga-i-le-Tai 1)

Mulifanua

27

4,508

4

Atua 2)

Lufilufi

413

21,168

5

Va'a-o-Fonoti

Samamea

38

1,666

Savai'i

6

Fa'asaleleaga

Safotulafai

266

12,949

7

Gaga'emauga 3)

Saleaula

223

7,108

8

Gaga'ifomauga

Aopo

365

4,770

9

Vaisigano

Asau

178

6,643

10

Satupa'itea

Satupa'itea

127

5,556

11

Palauli

Vailoa

523

8,984

 

Samoa

Apia

2,831

176,848

1)   including islands Manono, Apolima and Nu'ulopa

2)   including the Aleipata Islands and Nu'usafe'e Island

3)   smaller parts also on Upolu (Salamumu (incl. Salamumu-Utu) and Leauvaa villages)

http://dlca.logcluster.org/backoffice/WSM/country-profile/introduction/edit_inline.png

Useful Information

Source/Year 

Time Zone (GMT +/-)

UTC+13, since 31 December 2011 - Summer (DST) UTC+14

 

Climate Description

The climate is equatorial / monsoonal, with an average annual temperature of 26.5°C (79.7°F), and a rainy season from November to April.

www.weather2travel.com"Apia climate guide". http://www.weather2travel.com/climate-guides/index.php?destination=apia

Currency & Three letter code

Samoan Tala (or Samoan dollar) - WST

 

Telephone Dialing Code

685

 

Driving

Left, since 7 September 2009

 

Visa Requirements & Cost

For the majority of Western people, a 60 days permit is delivered at arrival - For American Samoan, 31 days - For others, visa must be required at the nearest diplomatic mission (http://www.samoaimmigration.gov.ws/) – Fees: http://www.samoaimmigration.gov.ws/Fees/tabid/6837/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Samoa Immigration Division

http://dlca.logcluster.org/backoffice/WSM/country-profile/introduction/edit_inline.png

Money Parity and Inflation

Year 

Exchange Rate (USD = Local Currency) 

Rate of Inflation 

2012

1 USD = 2.29095 WST

 

2011

1 USD = 2.38493 WST (April)

4.3% (2011 est.)

2010

1 USD = 2.55754 WST (April)

1% (2010 est.)