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Australia-Oceania :: American Samoa
(territory of the US)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of American Samoa
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of American Samoa
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Map of American Samoa
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of American Samoa
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Introduction ::American Samoa
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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.
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Geography ::American Samoa
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Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
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14 20 S, 170 00 W
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total: 199 sq km
country comparison to the world: 215
land: 199 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island
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slightly larger than Washington, DC
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0 km
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116 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
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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
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five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m
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pumice, pumicite
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arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 15%
other: 75% (2005)
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NA
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typhoons common from December to March
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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
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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
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People ::American Samoa
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65,628 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
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0-14 years: 33.4% (male 11,159/female 10,768)
15-64 years: 62.7% (male 20,848/female 20,271)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,211/female 1,371) (2009 est.)
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total: 23.1 years
male: 23 years
female: 23.3 years (2009 est.)
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1.222% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
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23.31 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
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4.1 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
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-6.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
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urban population: 92% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.06 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 (2009 est.)
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total: 10.18 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 153
male: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 73.72 years
country comparison to the world: 98
male: 70.8 years
female: 76.82 years (2009 est.)
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3.29 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
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NA
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NA
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NA
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noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)
adjective: American Samoan
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native Pacific islander 91.6%, Asian 2.8%, white 1.1%, mixed 4.2%, other 0.3% (2000 census)
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Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%
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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)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 98%
female: 97% (1980 est.)
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NA
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Government ::American Samoa
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conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
conventional short form: American Samoa
abbreviation: AS
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unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
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NA
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name: Pago Pago
geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W
time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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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
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none (territory of the US)
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Flag Day, 17 April (1900)
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ratified 2 June 1966; effective 1 July 1967
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NA
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
head of government: Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 7 April 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors
elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as American Samoa, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 and 18 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: Togiola TULAFONO reelected governor; percent of vote - Togiola TULAFONO 56.5%, Afoa Moega LUTU 43.5%
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bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (18 seats; members are elected from local chiefs to serve four-year terms)and the House of Representatives (21 seats; 20 members are elected by popular vote and 1 is an appointed, nonvoting delegate from Swains Island; members serve two-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010); Senate - last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 18
note: American Samoa elects one nonvoting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010); results - Eni F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA reelected as delegate
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High Court (chief justice and associate justices are appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior)
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Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]; Republican Party [Tautai A. F. FAALEVAO]
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Population Pressure LAS (addresses the growing population pressures)
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Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC, UPU
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none (territory of the US)
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none (territory of the US)
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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 war club known as a "Fa'alaufa'i" (upper; left talon), and a coconut fiber fly whisk known as a "Fue" (lower; right talon); the combination of symbols broadly mimics that seen on the US Great Seal and reflects the relationship between the United States and American Samoa
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Economy ::American Samoa
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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. 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.
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$575.3 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
$510.1 million (2003 est.)
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$462.2 million (2005)
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3% (2003)
country comparison to the world: 125
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$8,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
$5,800 (2005 est.)
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agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
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17,630 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 203
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agriculture: 34%
industry: 33%
services: 33% (1990)
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29.8% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 175
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NA%
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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revenues: $155.4 million (37% in local revenue and 63% in US grants)
expenditures: $183.6 million (FY07)
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NA%
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bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock
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tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts
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NA%
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185 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
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172.1 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
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4,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
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4,140 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 203
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
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$445.6 million (FY04 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
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canned tuna 93% (2004 est.)
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$308.8 million (FY04 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
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materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%, machinery and parts 6% (2004 est.)
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$NA
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the US dollar is used
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Communications ::American Samoa
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10,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 202
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2,200 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 215
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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)
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AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)
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1 (2006)
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.as
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1,606 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 153
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NA
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Transportation ::American Samoa
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3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 194
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total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 221 km (2007)
country comparison to the world: 205
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Pago Pago
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Military ::American Samoa
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males age 16-49: 13,875
females age 16-49: 13,517 (2009 est.)
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male: 820
female: 802 (2009 est.)
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defense is the responsibility of the US
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Transnational Issues ::American Samoa
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Tokelau periodically asserts claims to American Samoa's Swains Island (Olohega), such as in its 2006 draft independence constitution
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