Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific
Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates: 13 35 S, 172 20 W
Map references: Oceania
total: 2,860 sq km
land: 2,850 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 403 km
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; rainy season (October to March), dry
season (May to October)
Terrain: narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged
mountains in interior
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mauga Silisili 1,857 m
Natural resources: hardwood forests, fish, hydropower
arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 24%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 47%
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: occasional typhoons; active volcanism
Environment - current issues: soil erosion
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification,
Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Samoa, an independent island nation in the southern Pacific Ocean,
located about 2,900 km northeast of New Zealand, occupies the large
western portion of the Samoan archipelago. Western Samoa consists
of nine islands.
The largest of these is Savai'i, which covers 1610 sq km, Upolu,
the second-largest (1120 sq km/433 sq miles), lies 8 miles to the
southeast across the Apolima Strait. The islands are quiescent volcanoes
and reach heights of up to 6097ft on Savai'i and 1100m 3608ft on
Upolu. The main city, Apia, is located in the north of Upolu.
Samoa has a warm tropical climate tempered by trade winds between
May and September. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout
the year, becoming cooler at night.
There are more than 2500 hours of sunshine annually. Rainfall is
heaviest between December and April. Sea temperatures rarely fall
Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This group
of islands was once called the Navigators Islands because of the
fine canoes built by the Samoans.
Samoa covers 3,039 square kilometres and has a population of about
193,000. Almost all of the people are Polynesians. The Samoan island
chain is divided into two political units.
The western islands of the chain--which consist of Savai'i, Upolu,
and several smaller islands--make up Western Samoa. Western Samoa
has been an independent nation since 1962.
The eastern islands of the chain, which include Tutuila and several
smaller islands, are part of American Samoa, a possession of the
The United States acquired the islands of American Samoa in stages
between 1900 and 1925.
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.