Samoa, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, agriculture, and fishing. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labor force and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products."
Economic growth rate
2010: minus 0.2%
2009: minus 5.1%
2010:Samoa has more jobs than people to fill them.
Tourism accounts for about 25 percent of Samoa's GDP.
Fish, coconut oil and cream, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer
2010: American Samoa 45.4%, Australia 30.1%
2010: exports $35.07 million, imports $280 million
2009: 7% of GDP
2005: Samoa has three airports with paved runways and one airport with an unpaved runway.
Living in an urban area
Net migration rate
2012: net loss of 10.81 persons per 1,000 population per year
2011: net loss of 11.16 persons per 1,000 population. New Zealand is where Samoans have been going for higher education. There is less rain and some young Samoans believe a better life.
2001 census: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians (persons of European and Polynesian blood) 7%, Europeans 0.4%
2001 census: Congregationalist 34.8%, Roman Catholic 19.6%, Methodist 15%, Latter-Day Saints 12.7%, Assembly of God 6.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.5%, Worship Centre 1.3%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.1%
Many Samoans are devoted Christians. Church is a provider of recreation of social life. The BBC reports that "many Samoan villages hold up to 20 minutes of prayer curfews in the evenings."
English is common.
Nine islands, volcanic in origin, four of them inhabited. West of America Samoa. Half way between Hawaii and New Zealand. Much rain, especially between November and April. Humidity is high and there is little seasonal temperature variation. Equivalent in size to 54 by 54 kilometers or roughly 34 by 34 miles.
Chief of state: Tufuga Efi (chieftian) since 11 May 2007, Samoan National Development Party. Head of government: Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi (prime minister) since 23 November 1998, Roman Catholic, Human Rights Protection Party
Samoa is a constitutional monarchy with a unicameral legislative Assembly (Fono), with representatives elected from traditional village-based districts. Only village chiefs (matai) can stand for election in the districts. They serve five-years terms. The chiefs have divided into two political parties, the Human Rights Protection Party, HRPP, (30 members) and the Christian Democratic Party, SNDP, (13 members), and six are independent.
From 1914 to 1962 Samoa was administered by New Zealand as a "trust territory" mandated by the League of Nations, taken from the Germans during World War I. In 1962, Samoa was the first Polynesian nation to re-establish its independence.
A Personal Note: In visiting Samoa in 1975 I found Samoans hardworking, diligent, as bright as any people and amazingly hospitable.
Until 1997 it changed its name from Western Samoa to The Independent State of Samoa.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.