American Samoa

Region:Oceania

Capital: Pago Pago

Population: 54,517 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 199 sq km

Currency: US dollar (USD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $8,000 (2007 est.)

Background:
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.

Economy – overview:
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. The two tuna canneries account for 80% of employment. In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami devastated American Samoa and nearby Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency is overseeing a relief program of nearly $25 million. 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. (CIA, 2014)

Major Export Commodities: canned tuna 93% (2004 est.)

Remittances inflows: Not available

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: Not ranked

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
important financial support from the US, more than $40 million in 1994.

Total External Debt: Not available

Life Expectancy at Birth: 71.96 years (CIA 2014)

Sources:
CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov
World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated January 2015