The World Factbook (1982)/Western Samoa

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Western Samoa


World Factbook (1982) Western Samoa.jpg
(See reference map X)


2,849 km2; comprised of 2 large islands of Savai'i and Upolu and several smaller islands, including Manono and Apolima; 65% forested, 24% cultivated, 11% industry, waste, or urban


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm

Coastline: 403 km


Population: 158,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 0.7%

Nationality: noun—Western Samoan(s); adjective—Western Samoa

Ethnic divisions: Polynesians, about 12,000 Euronesians (persons of European and Polynesian blood), 700 Europeans

Religion: 99.7% Christian (about half of population associated with the London Missionary Society)

Language: Samoan (Polynesian), English

Literacy: 85%-90% (education compulsory for all children from 7-15 years)

Labor force: 38,200 (1976), 90% in agriculture

Organized labor: unorganized


Official name: Independent State of Western Samoa

Type: constitutional monarchy under native chief; special treaty relationship with New Zealand

Capital: Apia

Legal system: based on English common law and local customs; constitution came into effect upon independence in 1962; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 1 January

Branches: Head of State and Executive Council; Legislative Assembly; Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Land and Titles Court, village courts

Government leaders: Head of State, MALIETOA Tanumafili II; Prime Minister Taisi Tupuola EFI

Suffrage: 45 Samoan members of Legislative Assembly are elected by holders of matai (heads of family) titles (about 12,000 persons); two members who do not have traditional family ties are elected by universal adult suffrage

Elections: held triennially, last in February 1982

Political parties and leaders: no clearly defined political party structure

Communists: unknown

Member of: ADB, Commonwealth, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, South Pacific Forum, South Pacific Commission, UN, UPU, WHO


GNP: $70 million (1978), $450 per capita

Agriculture: cocoa, bananas, copra; staple foods include coconut, bananas, taro, and yams

Major industries: timber, tourism

Electric power: 16,900 kW capacity (1981); 41 million kWh produced (1981), 263 kWh per capita

Exports: $11.1 million (f.o.b., 1978); copra 43.3%, cocoa 32.3%, timber 2.0%, mineral fuel, bananas

Imports: $52.5 million (c.i.f., 1978); food 30%, manufactured goods 25%, machinery

Major trade partners: exports—37% New Zealand, 7% Netherlands, 36% West Germany, 8% US; imports—28% New Zealand, 20% Australia, 15% Japan, 13% US

Aid: economic commitments—US (FY70-80), $8 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF (1970-79), $72 million

Budget: (1977) $53.3 million

Monetary conversion rate: WS Tala=US$1.22 (1979)


Railroads: none

Highways: 784 km total; 375 km bituminous, remainder mostly gravel, crushed stone, or earth

Inland waterways: none

Ports: 1 principal (Apia), 1 minor

Civil air: 2 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 4 total, 4 usable; 1 with permanent-surface runways, 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: 3,800 telephones (2.5 per 100 popl.); 20,000 radio receivers; 1 AM station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 35,000; 18,000 fit for military service