American Samoa -


Pago Pago (pronounced "Pango Pango") - capital city

Ports and harbor
Aunu'u (new construction), Auasi, Faleosao, Ofu, Ta'u
National holiday
Flag Day, 17 April (1900)
noun: American Samoan(s)
adjective: American Samoan
Ethnic groups
Samoan (Polynesian) 89%, Caucasian 2%, Tongan 4%, other 5%
Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%
Country name
conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
conventional short form: American Samoa
abbreviation: AS
Dependency status
unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior


4 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)

 total: 350 km
 paved: 150 km
 unpaved: 200 km


The native language is Samoan, a Polynesian language related to Hawaiian and other Pacific island languages.

English is widely spoken, and most people can at least understand it. Most people are bilingual to some degree.


Geographic coordinates
14 20 S, 170 00 W
total land: 199 sq km
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island
116 km
Maritime claims
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
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)
Highest point
Lata 966 m
Natural resources
pumice, pumicite
Land use
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 10%
other: 85% (1998 est.)
Natural hazards
Tropical cyclones (typhoons/hurricanes) common from December to March
Environment - current issues
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
Geography - note
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


American Samoa (pop 68,688) is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean that lie about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and about 100km east of the island country of Samoa, which is part of the same archipelago.

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. In practical terms, this means very little. The citizens of American Samoa are US "nationals" and not US "citizens," but they are allowed to travel freely between the American Samoa and the US Mainland. They are not required to obtain green cards or visas to stay or work in the United States, and they are allowed to serve in the US armed forces (and often do). There are some ways that American Samoa's special status as an unincorporated territory have interesting legal consequences. The US Constitution is not necessarily the supreme law of the land in American Samoa, and Samoan cultural norms -- in particular, those related to the ownership of property and public displays of religion -- actually trump certain well-settled US constitutional rights in American Samoa.

  Tutuila - The main island.
  Rose Island
  Swains Island

The islands are frequently referred to as Samoa, which is the name of a separate island, and independent country, that used to be known as Western Samoa, that lies about 100km west of American Samoa. Also the whole island group, including Samoa, are often identified as the Samoan islands.

Settled as early as 1000 B. C. by Polynesian navigators, 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.

US occupation of the islands came in 1900, following an agreement with Germany, which kept control of what is now Samoa. (Samoa subsequently fell under New Zealand control after WWI before becoming independent.)

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, Western


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 most 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. 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, a developing sector, has been held back by the recurring financial difficulties in East Asia.
purchasing power parity - $500 million (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $8,000 (2000 est.)
Labor force
14,000 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation
government 33%, tuna canneries 34%, other 33% (1990) (1990)
Unemployment rate
6% (2000)
revenues: $121 million (37% in local revenue and 63% in US grants)
expenditures: $127 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY96/97)
tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts
Electricity - production
130 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 100% (2000)
Electricity - consumption
120.9 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products
bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock
$345 million (1999)
Exports - commodities
canned tuna 93%
Exports - partners
US 99.6%
$452 million (1999)
Imports - commodities
materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%, machinery and parts 6%
Imports - partners
US 62%, Australia 11%, Japan 9%, NZ 7%, Fiji 4%, other 7%
Economic aid - recipient
important financial support from the US, more than $40 million in 1994
US dollar (USD)
Currency code
Exchange rates
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year
1 October - 30 September


Telephones - main lines in use
13,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular
2,550 (1997)
Telephone system
general assessment: NA
domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile and cellular telephone services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
57,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations
1 (1997)
14,000 (1997)
Internet country code
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
1 (2000)


Officially 120V 60Hz, which is identical to the U.S. and Canadian standard. Outlets are North American NEMA 5-15 grounded outlets, identical to standard U.S. and Canadian wall outlets. Occasionally non-grounded NEMA 1-15 outlets may be found. Non-grounded outlets do not accept the third, round pin present on grounded plugs. Adapters are available to allow equipment with grounded (three-pin) plugs to plug into non-grounded outlets while avoiding the otherwise necessary step of cutting the grounding pin off of the plug.

Additionally, U.S. and Canadian outlets are polarized. Polarized means that one of the two vertical blades is taller/wider than the other. This is a safety feature which restricts a non-grounded plug from being inserted into an outlet "upside down". Older North American outlets found in much of Central and South America, the Caribbean and other areas may not be polarized. As such, polarized plugs may not fit into non-polarized outlets. To remedy this, the wider vertical blade on a polarized plug may be filed down to match the width of the other. Otherwise, adapters are available which accept a polarized plug and adapt it for use with a non-polarized outlet.

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License

Home | Add/Modify Listing | Photo Gallery | Maps | Contact | About Us | Canada Privacy Statement

This site is operated by 2021 Cedar Lake Software

LastModified: Apr-12-10