INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA
Area: 1,093 sq. mi. (2,860 sq. km)
Population (1999 est.): 229,979 (average annual growth rate: 2.34%); birth rate: 28.8/1000; infant mortality rate:
30.5/1 000; density per sq. ml.: 210
Capital and largest city (1991): Apia, 32,859. Monetary unit: Tala. Languages: Samoan and English. Ethnicity/race: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians 7% (persons of European and Polynesian blood), Europeans 0.4%. Religions: Christian, 99.7%. Literacy rate: 98.3%
Economic summary: GOP: (1996 eat.): $450 million; $2,100 per capita. Real growth rate: 5.9%. Inflation: 7.5% (1996 est.). ArabIc land: 19%. Agriculture: coconuts, bananas, taro, yams. Labor force: 82,500 (1991 eat.); 65% employed in agriculture, 30% in services, 5% in industry. (1995 eat.) Industry: timber, tourism, processed food, fish. Natural resource: timber. Exports: $10 million (fob., 1996): copra, fish, beer, coconut oil and cream. imports: $100 million (c.i.f., 1996): food, manufactured goods, machinery. Major trading partners: New Zealand, EU, Australia, American Samoa, U.S., Fiji, Japan. Member of Commonwealth of Nations.
Geography Samoa, formerly Western Samoa, is in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,200 miles (3,540 km) south of Hawaii. The larger islands in the Samoan chain, Upolu and Savai’i, are mountainous and of volcanic origin. There is little level land except in the coastal areas, where most cultivation takes place.
Government Constitutional monarchy.
History Polynesians, possibly from Tonga, first settled in the Samoan islands about 1000 B.C.E. Samoa was explored by Dutch and French traders in the 18th century. Toward the end of the 19th century, conflicting interests of the U.S., Britain, and Germany resulted in an 1899 treaty that recognized the paramount interests of the United States in those islands west of 1710 W (American Samoa) and Germany’s interests in the other islands (Western Samoa).
New Zealand seized Western Samoa from Germany in 1914, and in 1946 it became a U.N. trust territory administered by New Zealand.
A resistance movement to New Zealand rule, known as the Mau movement (“strongly held view”), helped to edge the islands toward independence on Jan. 1, 1962. A constitutional monarchy, Samoa has legislative assemblies whose members are from the marai, or titled class.
Barraged regularly by cyclones that have wreaked havoc on the country’s primarily agrarian economy, Samoa has begun stepping up its tourism industry— not such a difficult undertaking in this archetypical South Pacific paradise.
A referendum in 1990 gave most women the right to vote for the first time. In 1997, a new constitutional amendment changed the country’s name to Samoa.
Article Source: http://www.informationbible.com/article-samoa-199643.html
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