About Samoa

  • Our Nation
  • Capital City
  • Apia is the capital and the largest city of Samoa. The city is located on the central-north coast of Upolu, Samoa's second-largest island. It has been the official capital of Samoa since 1959.
  • Area Code
  • 685
  • National Anthem
  • The Banner of Freedom (Vii o le Saolotoga)
  • National Anthem
  • The Banner of Freedom (Vii o le Saolotoga)
  • Languages
  • Samoan & English
  • Population
  • 183,874 as of 2011
  • Religion
  • More than 95% of the population are Christians.
  • Life expectancy
  • 72 years (2011). Only 5% of the population is over the age of 65 (2013)
  • Geography
  • Location
  • Samoa is located approximately midway between the islands of Hawaii and New Zealand. Located between longitudes 171 and 172 degrees west and latitudes 13 and 14 degrees south of the Equator, Samoa is about 2890km from Auckland, 1200km from Suva, 4400km from Sydney and 8400km from the west coast of the USA. Two large islands, Upolu and Savaii account for around 96 per cent of the total land area and eight smaller islands make up the remainder. The capital Apia and Faleolo International Airport are on the island of Upolu. The volcanic islands are dominated by rugged mountain ranges surrounded by a fringe of coral reefs and lagoons.
  • Land Area
  • The value for Land area in Samoa is 2,830 sq km as of 2011.
  • Climate
  • It averages at 30 degrees Celcius throughout the year. Dry Season is From April to October while the Wet season is from November to March every year.
  • Islands of Samoa
  • Samoa makes up of 10 islands and with only 5 inhabited islands. It is an archipelago covering 3,030 km2 (1,170 sq miles) in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and the wider region of Oceania.
  • Flora & Fauna
  • With a tropical climate and fertile soils, Samoa's flora ranges from tropical rainforests to scrublands, marshes and swamps. Terrestrial animals include flying foxes, land and sea birds, skinks and geckos, while the surrounding seas are home to a wealth of marine life including dolphins, whales and porpoises. Green turtles are regular visitors to the islands. On the surrounding coral reefs can be found over 900 fish species and over 200 varieties of coral.
  • Economy
  • Currency
  • The currency of Samoa is the Samoan tālā, issued and regulated by the Central Bank of Samoa.
  • GDP
  • 640.9 million (USD) 2011 with annual grow rate of 2% (2011).
  • GDP Per Capita
  • $3,481 (USD) per capita (2011)
  • Main Export
  • Fish and Re-Export Products
  • Samoa’s Economy
  • Dependent on tourism, agricultural exports, re-export products, development aid and family remittances.
  • Employment
  • 28,300 in paid employment (2013)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Estimated at 30%
  • Retirement Age
  • 55 years
  • Politics
  • Head of State
  • Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi
  • Prime Minister
  • Fatialofa Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
  • Political History
  • Samoa was the first Pacific island country to attain independence. New Zealand ruled the country prior its independence. Samoa still retains very close ties with New Zealand, and there are many Samoans living in New Zealand, especially in Auckland's southern suburbs. Since 1899, Samoa had been a German colony, but on 29 August 1914, New Zealand troops landed and seized the islands unopposed, having been asked to perform this "great and urgent imperial service" by Britain. Referred to as the Navigators' Islands up until the 20th century, in acknowledgement of the Samoans' fine seafaring skills, the islands were called German Samoa from 1900 to 1914 and Western Samoa from 1914 to 1997. It is now simply called ‘Samoa’.
  • Political System
  • Samoa is made up of 49 political districts known as Itumalo. Each district has its own constitutional foundation (faavae) based on the traditional order of title precedence found in each district's faalupega (traditional salutations).

    It is a Parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislative assembly consisting of 49 members, elected by citizens aged 21 years who are all matai (chiefly titleholders). The Prime Minister selects 12 parliamentarians to form a Cabinet. General elections are held every five years. The Human Rights Protection Party has been in power for an uninterrupted 28 years. The 1990 Village Fono Act gives village councils authority over village law and order, health and social issues.

  • Legal system
  • Samoa has a Westminster legal system based on the English legal system as adopted by many of the Commonwealth countries. It is also a Parliamentary democracy where its Parliament is elected through universal suffrage every five years and a Prime Minister and Cabinet manage the day to day affairs of the country. Samoa’s court system consists of two District courts and a Supreme Court manned by six local judges, and an Appeal Court that sits once or twice a year and is overseen by overseas judges. There is a separate Land and Titles Court that deals with matters relating to customary land ownership and ‘matai’ (chief) titles.
  • Main Attractions
  • Famous Resident of Samoa
  • The great Scottish author of such books as Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson settled with his family in Samoa in the early 1890s. He was given the name 'Tusitala' - meaning 'teller of tales' – and his plantation home, now a museum, is now one of the Island’s top historical attractions. He is buried atop Mt Vaea overlooking Apia harbour. A track up the mountain to his grave is linked to his former home. A must activity when in Samoa, taking a hike up the mountain to see the grave of Robert Louis Stevenson, a site which has magnificent views of the Apia town and harbour.
  • Top 10 Events to Do While in Samoa
  • 1. Lalomanu Beach http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x70/Lalomanu-Beach and Namu’a Island http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x71/Namua-Island
    2. Swimming with the Turtles. http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x51/Swimming-with-Turtles
    3. Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. Take a hike up Mount Vaea adjacent to the Museum to see his grave while enjoying the natural beauty of our trees, gardens and environment. It has breath taking views of Apia at the grave site (1 hour long way or 40 minutes short route). A natural stream and pool is at the foot of the mountain where RLS simply enjoyed nature. http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x57/Vailima-Botanical-Gardens
    4. Apia market to experience local fruits & Flea Market for all locally made souvenirs (Apia Town)
    5. Manono Island - Take a step back in time. Manono Island is one of the best places to sample the simple pleasures of Samoan life, mingle with the locals and learn how they plant, fish, weave and spend their free time (5 minutes boat ride from Upolu Island)
    6. To Sua Ocean Trench http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x40/To-Sua-Ocean-Trench
    7. Alofaaga Blow Holes http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x19/Alofaaga-Blowholes
    8. Rainforest http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x23/Canopy-Walkway
    9. Falealupo Village – To witness the sunset
    10. Matareva Beach, was the location of the movie ‘Return to Paradise’ starring Gary Cooper in the 1950s http://www.samoa.travel/sightseeing/x72/Matareva-Beach