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Samoa

  • Capital Apia (13°50´S 171°45´W)
  • International airport(s) Faleolo International Airport, Faleolo
  • Official language(s) Samoan, English
  • Currency Samoan Tala (WST)
  • Time UTC +13, Summer (DST) +14
  • Region Pacific
GeographyClimateEconomyCulture
Samoa lies south of the equator, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, and consists of two main islands, Savai'i and Upolu, and eight smaller islands. All islands have volcanic origins. Samoa's highest peak, Mount Silisili (1 853 m), is located in Savai'i and is the only remaining active volcano. Besides the mountainous interior areas of Sava'i and Upolu, Samoa consists mainly of coastal plains.
The tropical climate of Samoa is humid and rainy with warm temperatures year‐round. Monthly average temperatures vary only between 27 and 28 °C, while night‐time temperatures remain above 20 °C. From November to April, Samoa has a rainy and warm season, while a dry and cooler season takes place from May to October. The average annual rainfall is just below 3 100 mm, and in the capital area at 2 800 mm, but can reach up to five meters in the region of Mount Silisili. The Samoa Islands can be exposed to severe tropical cyclones from December to February, especially. -—
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Samoa has a relatively small economy that is dependent on trade. Agriculture employs two‐thirds of the labour force -—
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. The main agricultural products are coconuts, bananas, taro, yams, coffee and cocoa. Other industries mainly include the processing of agricultural products, petroleum and tourism. Remittances are important for the economy, contributing 17 per cent to GDP -—
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. The tourism sector has been expanding rapidly in recent decades. Samoa received 181 thousand tourist arrivals in 2019 with an inbound tourism expenditure almost reaching 25 per cent over GDP -—
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. The service sector makes up three fourths of the country's GDP. The most common destination for exports are American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. -—
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More than half of Samoa's electricity comes from renewable sources and the country aspires towards total renewable energy by 2021.
Fa'a Samoa, or the Samoan Way, describes the communal way of life of Samoans. Faith, family and music are the basic pillars of Samoan culture. Most activities are done together and sometimes the extended family lives together in the oval or circular shaped traditional house (fale) with wooden posts holding up a domed roof. Traditional buildings also do not have walls. Family elders are greatly respected, and they hold the highest status.

The Ava Ceremony is an important ritual performed on different occasions. It includes speeches and the formal drinking of 'Ava, a beverage made of pepper root. ?Ava is considered non‐alcoholic but has a relaxing, euphoric effect.

Dancing has a special place in Samoan culture. Traditional Samoan dance has managed to avoid western impact.

The main sports played in Samoa are rugby union and rugby league, and it has done well in the rugby world cup. Samoa has participated in the Summer Olympic Games since 1984 and won silver medal in women's weightlifting at the 2008 Games.
Land areakm2
Arable land%
Forest area%
Coastline
lengthkm
Exclusive economic zonekm2
Nearest
neighbourkm
Economic trendsMaritime transportPopulationInternational tradeEnvironmentInformation and communications technology
Gross domestic product
US dollars at constant prices (2015) in millions
GDP per capita

2019

US$

Productive Capacity Index

2018

Economic and environmental vulnerability index

2019

Consumer Price Index growth

2019

%

Unemployment
rate

Total %
Female %, Male %
Main economic sectors, 2019
Percentage of GDP
Tourist arrivals
Thousands of tourists, percentage of GDP
External financial resources
Percentage of GDP
Public debt as % of GDP

2018

%

Fleet size
Number of ships
Ship type20112019
Total fleet1 4071 407
Oil tankers264266
Bulk carriers311333
General cargo16177
Container ships5249
Other types of ships619682
Port performance
Ranked by 2019 data within SIDS group
Indicators2019SIDS Ranking
Number of port calls15130
Median time in port (days)18
Average age of vessels1425
Average size (GT) of vessels11 50223
Container port throuput

2019

TEU

Bilateral connectivity index, 2019
Top 5 partners
Liner shipping connectivity index
Maximum China Q1 2006=100
Total population
Thousands of people, share of urban population
Population development indicators
IndicatorsPeriodValue
Poverty headcount (% of population)20131.1
Human development index20180.7
Human assets index202097
Adult literacy rate (15+ years, both sexes %)....
Gender inequality index20190.4
Life expectancy at birth

years

Population density

2019

persons per km2
Dependency
ratio

2019

Child:
Old-age:
Age structure by gender, 2019
Percentage of total population
Merchandise and services trade
US dollars in millions
Indicators20052010201520192019 (% of GDP)
Merchandise exports877059495.8
Merchandise imports23931037139146.3
Services exports13017219829434.8
Services imports69827411213.3
Trade openness
Goods and services

% of GDP

Export concentration index

2019

Food import
dependency
Average 2015-2019

Top 5 partners in merchandise trade, 2019
Exports in millions US dollars
Merchandise exports by product group, 2019
Services exports by category, 2019
CO2 emissions per capita
Kg per capita
CO2 emissions per GDP
Kg per 2010 US$ of GDP
Renewable energy share in total energy consumption, 2017
Percentage of total energy consumption
Material
footprint
per capita

2016

kg

Terrestrial
protected
area

2018

%

Marine
protected
area

2018

%

Disasters indicators
Data not available
Trade in ICT goods

Exports: %
Imports: %
Trade in ICT services

Exports: %
Imports: %
Share of
internet users

%

Fixed broadband vs Mobile broadband subscriptions
Number of subscriptions per 100 people
Sources
Source of data: -—
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except indicators listed below.
References
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