A Map of American Samoa

American Samoa

Background: Settled as early as 1000 B. C., Samoa was "discovered" by European explorers in the 18th century. An 1899 treaty in which Germany settled international rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century 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.
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Area: Total: 199 sq km, note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island. Area - comparative: Slightly larger than Washington, DC. Coastline: 116 km.
Climate and Terrain: Tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages about 3 m; rainy season from November to April, dry season from May to October; little seasonal temperature variation. Five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island). Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m, highest point: Lata 966 m. Natural resources: Pumice, pumicite. Land use: Arable land: 5%, permanent crops: 10%, forests and woodland: 70%.
People: Population: 67,084. Ethnic groups: Samoan (Polynesian) 89%, Caucasian 2%, Tongan 4%, other 5%. Religions: Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%. Languages: Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English note: most people are bilingual.
Government: Dependency status: Unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior. Capital: Pago Pago.
Economy overview: This is 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 the great bulk of its foreign trade. 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. Labor force: 14,000. Labor force - by occupation: Government 33%, tuna canneries 34%, other 33%. Unemployment rate: 16%. Agriculture - products: Bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock.
Statistics: Telephones - main lines in use: 13,000. Telephones - mobile cellular: 2,550. Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1. Radios: 57,000. Television broadcast stations: 1. Televisions: 14,000. Highways: Paved: 150 km, unpaved: 200 km. Airports: with paved runways: 2, with unpaved runways: 2.

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