Samoa - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It has a nominal GDP of $844 million. Agriculture, including fishing, furnishes 90% of exports, featuring fish, coconut oil, nonu products, and taro. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. Industry accounts for nearly 22% of GDP while employing less than 6% of the work force. The service sector accounts for nearly two-thirds of GDP and employs approximately 50% of the labor force. Tourism is an expanding sector...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2016 2,055,299,138 1,948,940,183 WST Annual
Real Gross Domestic Product 2004 109.83 106.42 Index 2000=100 Annual
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Feb 2018 114.29 114.73 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 2,294 1,990 # Annual
Labor Force 2016 38,951 38,887 # Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods 2018 Q2 -72,704,631 -65,388,011 USD, NSA Quarterly
Current Account Balance 2018 Q2 12,649,815 -892,871 USD, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods 2018 Q2 81,999,625 72,351,617 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods 2018 Q2 9,294,993 6,963,605 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2016 602,952,900 535,293,700 NCU Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2016 1,024,586,900 948,845,300 NCU Annual
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2005 564,706,200 490,741,900 NCU Annual
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2005 324,787,800 309,679,600 NCU Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Lending Rate 2017 8.76 9.09 % Annual
Average Long-term Government Bond Oct 2007 13.5 13.5 % Monthly
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Net Migration 2017 -12,500 # Annual
Population 2017 196,440 195,125 # Annual
Death Rate 2016 4.97 4.98 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Birth Rate 2016 24.69 25.12 # per Ths. pop. Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.

Geography

Location:
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
13 35 S, 172 20 W
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 2,831 sq km
land: 2,821 sq km
water: 10 sq km
country comparison to the world: 178
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
403 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)
Terrain:
two main islands (Savaii, Upolu) and several smaller islands and uninhabited islets; narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rugged mountains in interior
Elevation:
mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Silisili 1,857 m
Natural resources:
hardwood forests, fish, hydropower
Land use:
agricultural land: 12.4%
arable land 2.8%; permanent crops 7.8%; permanent pasture 1.8%
forest: 60.4%
other: 27.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
about three-quarters of the population lives on the island of Upolu
Natural hazards:
occasional cyclones; active volcanism
volcanism: Savai'I Island (1,858 m), which last erupted in 1911, is historically active
Environment - current issues:
soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
occupies an almost central position within Polynesia

People & Society

Population:
200,108 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
Nationality:
noun: Samoan(s)
adjective: Samoan
Ethnic groups:
Samoan 97.4%, other 2.6%
note: data represent the population by nationality (2006 est.)
Languages:
Samoan (Polynesian) (official) 91.1%, Somoan/English 6.7%, English (official) 0.5%, other 0.2%, unspecified 1.6% (2006 est.)
Religions:
Protestant 52.6% (Congregationalist 29%, Methodist 12.4%, Assembly of God 6.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4.4%), Roman Catholic 18.8%, Mormon 16.9%, Worship Centre 2.8%, other Christian 6.3%, other Protestant 2.4%, other 2.4% (includes Baha'i, Muslim), none 0.2% (2016 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.35% (male 32,372/female 30,359)
15-24 years: 19.82% (male 20,358/female 19,306)
25-54 years: 36.33% (male 37,423/female 35,273)
55-64 years: 6.78% (male 6,912/female 6,663)
65 years and over: 5.72% (male 4,976/female 6,466) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 74.2
youth dependency ratio: 64.9
elderly dependency ratio: 9.3
potential support ratio: 10.8 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 24.4 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 24.6 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Population growth rate:
0.6% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
Birth rate:
20.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
Death rate:
5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Net migration rate:
-9.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
Population distribution:
about three-quarters of the population lives on the island of Upolu
Urbanization:
urban population: 18.8% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.06% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
APIA (capital) 37,000 (2014)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth:
23.6 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2009 est.)
Maternal mortality ratio:
51 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
Infant mortality rate:
total: 18.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74 years
male: 71.1 years
female: 77 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
Total fertility rate:
2.7 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
26.9% (2014)
Health expenditures:
7.2% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 75
Physicians density:
0.34 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 99.3% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 0.7% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 93.3% of population
rural: 91.1% of population
total: 91.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 6.7% of population
rural: 8.9% of population
total: 8.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
47.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 8
Education expenditures:
4.1% of GDP (2016)
country comparison to the world: 48
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.8% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 19.1%
male: 15.6%
female: 25.3% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Independent State of Samoa
conventional short form: Samoa
local long form: Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa
local short form: Samoa
former: Western Samoa
etymology: the name "Samoa" is composed of two parts, "sa" meaning sacred and "moa" meaning center, so the name can mean Holy Center; alternatively, it can mean "place of the sacred moa bird" of Polynesian mythology
Government type:
parliamentary republic
Capital:
name: Apia
geographic coordinates: 13 49 S, 171 46 W
time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
+1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
Administrative divisions:
11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano
Independence:
1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Independence Day Celebration, 1 June (1962); note - 1 January 1962 is the date of independence from the New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship, but it is observed in June
Constitution:
history: several previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962
amendments: proposed as an “act” by the Legislative Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly membership in the third reading - provided at least 90 days have elapsed since the second reading, and assent to by the chief of state; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles on customary land or constitution amendment procedures also requires at least two-thirds majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2015 (2017)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Samoa
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage:
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi II (since 21 July 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister TUILA'EPA Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi (since 23 November 1998); Deputy Prime Minister FIAME Naomi Mata’afa (since 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the chief of state on the prime minister's advice
elections/appointments: chief of state indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 4 July 2017 (next to be held in 2022); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the chief of state, approved by the Legislative Assembly
election results: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi unanimously elected by the Legislative Assembly on 5 July 2017
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats; based on geographic districts and 1 woman member - added following the 2016 election - directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: election last held on 4 March 2016 (next election to be held no later than March 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - HRPP 89.8%, Tautua Samoa 4.1%, independent 6.1%; seats by party – initial election results - HRPP 44, Tautua Samoa 2, independents 3; post-election party affiliation – HRPP 47, (informal) opposition 3
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 2 Supreme Court judges and meets once or twice a year); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and several judges)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the head of state upon the advice of the prime minister; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a 3-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes the attorney general and an appointee of the Minister of Justice; judges normally appointed until retirement at age 68
subordinate courts: District Court; Magistrates' Courts; Land and Titles Courts; village fono or village chief councils
Political parties and leaders:
Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP [TUILA'EPA Sailele Malielegaoi]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Samoa Workers Congress or SWC [Gatoloa'i AFAMASAGA]
International organization participation:
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi ELISAIA (since 4 December 2003)
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400J, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196 through 6197
FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797
consulate(s) general: Pago Pago (American Samoa)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: the US Ambassador to New Zealand is accredited to Samoa; Ambassador Scott BROWN (since 27 June 2017)
embassy: Accident Corporation Building, 5th Floor, Matafele, Apia
mailing address: P. O. Box 3430, Matafele, Apia
telephone: [685] 21436/21631/21452/22696
FAX: [685] 22030
Flag description:
red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation; red stands for courage, blue represents freedom, and white signifies purity
note: similar to the flag of Taiwan
National symbol(s):
Southern Cross constellation (five, five-pointed stars); national colors: red, white, blue
National anthem:
name: "O le Fu'a o le Sa'olotoga o Samoa" (The Banner of Freedom)
lyrics/music: Sauni Liga KURESA
note: adopted 1962; also known as "Samoa Tula'i" (Samoa Arise)

Economy

Economy - overview:
The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It has a nominal GDP of $844 million. Agriculture, including fishing, furnishes 90% of exports, featuring fish, coconut oil, nonu products, and taro. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. Industry accounts for nearly 22% of GDP while employing less than 6% of the work force. The service sector accounts for nearly two-thirds of GDP and employs approximately 50% of the labor force. Tourism is an expanding sector accounting for 25% of GDP; 132,000 tourists visited the islands in 2013.
The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. In September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami severely damaged Samoa and nearby American Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. In December 2012, extensive flooding and wind damage from Tropical Cyclone Evan killed four people, displaced over 6,000, and damaged or destroyed an estimated 1,500 homes on Samoa's Upolu Island.
The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the country's financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline, while at the same time protecting the environment. Foreign reserves are relatively healthy and inflation is low, but external debt is approximately 45% of GDP. Samoa became the 155th member of the WTO in May 2012, and graduated from least developed country status in January 2014.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.13 billion (2017 est.)
$1.106 billion (2016 est.)
$1.033 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 203
GDP (official exchange rate):
$844 million (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.1% (2017 est.)
7.1% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,700 (2017 est.)
$5,700 (2016 est.)
$5,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 167
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 10.4%
industry: 23.6%
services: 66% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coconuts, nonu, bananas, taro, yams, coffee, cocoa
Industries:
food processing, building materials, auto parts
Industrial production growth rate:
1.1% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
Labor force:
50,700 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 65%
industry: 6%
services: 29% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate:
NA%
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget:
revenues: $233.8 million
expenditures: $272.8 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
27.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-4.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
Public debt:
52.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
57.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Fiscal year:
June 1 - May 31
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.8% (2017 est.)
0.1% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.12% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
Stock of narrow money:
$137.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$131.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
Stock of broad money:
$381.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$367 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
Stock of domestic credit:
$383.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$380.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Current account balance:
$-48 million (2017 est.)
$-48 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Exports:
$27.5 million (2014 est.)
$33.8 million (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
Exports - commodities:
fish, coconut oil and cream, nonu, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer
Exports - partners:
Australia 30.2%, American Samoa 21.7%, Afghanistan 11.2%, NZ 10.1%, US 5.6% (2016)
Imports:
$341.3 million (2014 est.)
$297.7 million (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
NZ 23%, Singapore 14%, China 13.5%, US 10.2%, Australia 9.9%, Fiji 6.3%, Japan 5% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$99.31 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$122.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
Debt - external:
$447.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$437.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Exchange rates:
tala (SAT) per US dollar -
2.57 (2017 est.)
2.57 (2016 est.)
2.57 (2015 est.)
2.56 (2014 est.)
2.33 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 10,942
electrification - total population: 94%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2012)
Electricity - production:
127 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
Electricity - consumption:
118.1 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
45,000 kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
66.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
26.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
15.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 213
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 213
Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
1,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
Refined petroleum products - imports:
1,688 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
200,000 Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 9,679
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 151,008
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 75 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
Telephone system:
general assessment: most households have at least one mobile phone; all businesses in the greater Apia area have access to broadband and Wi-Fi, which is reasonably reliable and fast, but relatively expensive; in rural Upolu and on Savaii Island there is limited availability of high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi; Samoa recently completed the installation of a National Broadband Highway that will provide fiber optic data services and 4G LTE cellular data speeds to the entire country; 4G LTE data speeds are operative and commercially available to limited areas; 4G Internet accessibility from cellular devices is currently available nationwide (2017)
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 70 telephones per 100 persons (2016)
international: country code - 685; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media:
state-owned TV station privatized in 2008; 4 privately owned television broadcast stations; about a half-dozen privately owned radio stations and one state-owned radio station; TV and radio broadcasts of several stations from American Samoa are available (2009)
Internet country code:
.ws
Internet users:
total: 58,508
percent of population: 29.4% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 270,908
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
5W (2016)
Airports:
4 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 188
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
Roadways:
total: 1,200 km
paved: 1,105 km
unpaved: 95 km (2017)
country comparison to the world: 172
Merchant marine:
total: 10
by type: general cargo 4, other 6 (2017)
country comparison to the world: 149
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Apia

Military & Security

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Samoa Police Force
Military - note:
Samoa has no formal defense structure or regular armed forces; informal defense ties exist with NZ, which is required to consider any Samoan request for assistance under the 1962 Treaty of Friendship

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none

Economic Indicators for Samoa including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Samoa economy.