Statistical information Western Samoa 1996Western%20Samoa

Map of Western Samoa | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Western Samoa in the World
Western Samoa in the World


Western Samoa - Introduction 1996
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Background: New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962 when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century.

Western Samoa - Geography 1996
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: total:2,860 km²; land:2,850 km²
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

Extremes: lowest point:Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point:Mauga Silisili 1,857 m

Natural resources: Hardwood forests; Fish
Land use

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

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Western Samoa - People 1996
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Population: 214,384 (July 1996 est.); 209,360 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 2.37% (1996 est.); 2.37% (1995 est.)

Nationality: noun:Western Samoan(s); adjective:Western Samoan

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

Languages: Samoan (Polynesian), English

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)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure: 0-14 years:40% (male 43,540; female 42,185) (July 1996 est.); 40% (male 42,844; female 41,503) (July 1995 est.); 15-64 years:56% (male 62,742; female 57,323) (July 1996 est.); 56% (male 61,065; female 55,683) (July 1995 est.); 65 years and over:4% (male 4,089; female 4,505) (July 1996 est.); 4% (male 3,942; female 4,323) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.37% (1996 est.); 2.37% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 31.12 births/1000 population (1996 est.); 31.74 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.75 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.); 5.88 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.67 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.); -2.14 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: soil erosion; Natural hazards:occasional typhoons; active volcanism
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio: at birth:1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years:1.03 male(s)/female; 15-64 years:1.1 male(s)/female; 65 years and over:0.91 male(s)/female; all ages:1.06 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:34.3 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.); 35.5 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth: total population:68.73 years (1996 est.), 68.38 years (1995 est.); male:66.35 (1996 est.), 65.99 years (1995 est.); female:71.24 years (1996 est.), 70.88 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.93 children born/woman (1996 est.); 4.04 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: definition:age 15 and over that can read and write (1971); total population:97%; male:97%; female:97%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Western Samoa - Government 1996
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Country name: conventional long form: Independent State of Western Samoa; conventional short form: Western Samoa

Government type: Constitutional monarchy under native chief

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

Dependent areas

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

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state:Chief Susuga Malietoa TANUMAFILI II (Co-Chief of State from 1 January 1962 until becoming sole Chief of State on 5 April 1963); upon his death, a new chief of state will be elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a five-year term; head of government:Prime Minister TOFILAU Eti Alesana (since 7 April 1988); cabinet:Cabinet; appointed by the head of state with the prime minister's advice

Legislative branch: Unicameral Legislative Assembly (Fono):Elections last held 5 April 1991 (next to be held by NA 1996); results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(47 total) HRPP 28, SNDP 18, independents 1; note:Only matai (head of family) are able to run for the Legislative Assembly

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders

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

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Western%20Samoa: Red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Western Samoa - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Agriculture employs more than one-half of the labor force, contributes 50% to GDP, and furnishes 90% of exports. The bulk of export earnings comes from the sale of coconut oil and copra. The economy depends on emigrant remittances and foreign aid to supplement GDP and to support a level of imports much greater than export earnings. Tourism has become the most important growth industry. The economy continued to falter in 1994, as remittances and tourist earnings remained low. Production of taro, the primary food export crop, dropped 97% in 1993/94 when a fungal disease threatened the country's basic food crops. Nevertheless, the government is relying on recovery and further expansion in agricultural production to sustain economic growth of around 5% over the next several years.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5% (1995 est.); -4.3% (1992 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for about 50% of GDP; coconuts, fruit (including bananas, taro, yams)

Industries: Timber; Tourism; Food processing; Fishing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate -0.3% (1992 est.); accounts for 16% of GDP

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

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues:$78.6 million (1995 est.), $95.3 million (1994 est.); expenditures:$81.9 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1995 est.), $76.7 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1994 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $6.4 million (f.o.b., 1993)
Commodities: Coconut oil and cream; Taro; Copra; Cocoa
Partners: New Zealand 34%; American Samoa 21%; Germany 18%; Australia 11%

Imports: total value:$11.5 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.)
Commodities: Intermediate goods 58%; Food 17%; Capital goods 12%
Partners: New Zealand 37%; Australia 25%; Japan 11%; Fiji 9%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $141 million (June 1993)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Tala (WS$) per US$1_2.5195 (January 1996), 2.4722 (1995), 2.5349 (1994), 2.5681 (1993), 2.4655 (1992), 2.3975 (1991), 2.3095 (1990)

Western Samoa - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 50 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 200 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Western Samoa - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 7,500 telephones (1988 est.); Local:NA; Intercity:NA; international:1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Western Samoa - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Western Samoa - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 3; 2,438 to 3,047 m:1; under 914 m:2

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






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

Ports and terminals

Western Samoa - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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