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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 harbour of Pago Pago – the following year.
15-64 years: 63.9% (male 21,764/female 21,228)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 1,322/female 1,500) (2011 est.)
male: 23.9 years
female: 24.1 years (2012 est.)
conventional short form: American Samoa
domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
international: country code – 1-684; satellite earth station – 1 (Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2012)
Military – note:
Defence is the responsibility of the US
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.
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 it’s devastating hurricanes. Tourism is a promising developing sector.
Disputes – international:
Tokelau included American Samoa’s Swains Island (Olohega) in its 2006 draft constitution
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