American Samoa

 

American Samoa; formerly East Samoa, an unincorporated, unorganized territory not included in the United States, in the South Pacific. The main island (at the same time the largest in area and population) is Tutuila, which is part of the Samoa archipelago. As of July 2017, the population of American Samoa was 51,504. Area - 199 km².

The borders of the territory are maritime: with the Independent State of Samoa in the west, the kingdom of Tonga in the southwest, the territories of New Zealand - Tokelau in the north, Cook Islands in the east, Niue in the south. Land area - 199 km². Population 55 519 (2010).

The capital is Pago Pago (approx. 15 thousand inhabitants, 2001), located on the largest island - Tutuila, administratively subdivided into western and eastern (with Aunuu island) areas. The third district is a group of Manua islands (Tau, Olosega and Ofu islands). Of particular note are the island of Rose (uninhabited) and the island of Swains (private ownership). The official languages ​​are English and Samoan. Official holidays - April 17, Flag Day (the first raising of the US flag on the islands) and traditional US holidays. Currency is the US dollar.

 

History

The islands were first inhabited around 1000 BC., presumably during the migration from Southeast Asia, the next wave of immigrants crowded out the previous inhabitants who settled on the islands east of Samoa. Apparently, Samoan legends about islands as the cradle of Polynesians and the special role of the island empire of Manua in Polynesia before the arrival of Europeans are connected with this.

In 1722, the Samoa archipelago was discovered by the Dutchman Jacob Roggeven. In 1830, British missionaries settled on the islands. In 1878, the United States entered into an agreement with the Kingdom of Samoa on trade privileges and the right to use one of the most convenient in the South Pacific Pago Pago Bay as a parking lot for the fleet. In 1899, during the conflict between the USA, Germany and Great Britain, Samoa was divided into western and eastern parts, respectively, the German and American areas of interest.

In 1900, the islands of Tutuila and Aunuu went to the USA, in 1904 - the Manua group. In 1925, the island of Swains was annexed to American Samoa, which until then was privately owned, although remaining at the same time the territory of the United States. German Samoa was transferred under the control of New Zealand in 1920, from 1962 it turned into an independent state of Western Samoa, in 1997 it was renamed Samoa). Until 1951, East Samoa was controlled by the US Navy. In 1948, elements of self-government were introduced. With the closure of the naval base in Pago Pago, the territory was transferred under the control of the Ministry of the Interior, who appointed governors for American Samoa.

In 1960, the first constitution of the territory was adopted. In 1977, the first election of the governor took place. The main political parties are Democratic and Republican.

Tsunami September 29, 2009
September 29, 2009 at 17:48:11 UTC, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 occurred 190 km off the coast of American Samoa. The earthquake produced a tsunami. According to reports, 4 waves with a height of 4.6 m to 6.1 m traveled 1.6 km to the coast of Tutuila Island. At least 150 people died in American Samoa and an unknown number in Western Samoa.

 

Territory

Territory extending its jurisdiction over the 7 eastern islands of the Samoa archipelago, stretching along 14 ° south latitude, about 170 ° west longitude, in the South Pacific Ocean, in southern Polynesia, east of Australia and northeast of New Zealand. Unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States (English unincorporated and unorganized territory).

 

Nature

The island of Tutuila and the islands of the Manua group are of volcanic origin, mountainous in relief, with lava fields, covered with dense variable-humid evergreen tropical forests, surrounded by coral reefs. Rosé and Swains Islands are coral atolls. Of the minerals, there are reserves of pumice.

The climate is tropical maritime, moderated by the southeast trade wind. The average annual temperature is +26 °C, July temperature is +24 °C, December temperature is +32 °C. Precipitation - 3000-4000 mm per year. The rainy season is from November to March, during which, especially in November, hurricane winds are most frequent (the islands are located in the tropical cyclone belt). Dry ("winter") season - in April-October.

There is a shortage of fresh water on the islands. The soils are predominantly volcanic, rocky in the central parts of the islands, and suitable for cultivation along the coast. The National Park of American Samoa was created to protect the animals and vegetation of the paleotropic variable rainforests, as well as coastal coral reefs.

Administrative division
Administratively, American Samoa is divided into three districts (English district) and two "unorganized" atolls. Districts, in turn, are divided into 14 counties (English county). The provinces are divided into 74 districts (English village).

 

Population

Ethnic composition: Pacific Islanders - 92.6% (including Samoans (Polynesian group) - 88.9%, Tongans - 2.9%, others - 3.8%), Asians - 3.6% (including Filipinos - 2, 2%, others - 1.4%), mixed - 2.7%, others - 1.2% (as of 2010).

As of July 2017, the population of American Samoa was 55,504.

The total fertility rate is 2.68 children per 1 woman.

Age structure, as of 2005: up to 14 years old - 37.5% (men - 10,705; women - 17,125); from 15 to 64 years old - 61.3% (men - 18,351; women - 17,125); over 65 years old - 3% (male - 664; female - 1080.

The official languages ​​are English and Samoan (one of the Polynesian languages ​​of the Austronesian family). The majority of the population is bilingual. Samoan 88.6%, English 3.9%, Tongan 2.7%; other languages: Pacific languages ​​- 3%, other - 1.8%.

The structure of reproduction characteristic of developing countries, with a significant migration outflow: natural increase - 13.7 ‰ (birth rate - 19.6 ‰, mortality - 5.9 ‰), migration loss - 26.7 ‰, total increase - 13 ‰ ( 2017). About 85,000 Samoans live in the contiguous US states and Hawaii. The age structure is also typical for developing countries - a high proportion of children (0-14 years old) - 33.4%, a low proportion of able-bodied people (15-64 years old) - 62.7%, a very low proportion of the elderly (65 years old and over) - 3, 9% (2009). The average age of the population is 23.1 years. Men predominate - 104.4 per 100 women. The average life expectancy is 73.7 years (men - 71, women - 77). The population density is 286 people per sq. km. (year 2000). The most densely populated island is Tutuila, especially its southwestern flat part (440 people per km²).

EAN - 30.8%, unemployment - 5.2% (2000). The population is employed in industry (mainly fish processing and fish canning, concentrating about 1/3 of EAN) and the service sector (where a significant number of state employees are allocated - also about 1/3 of EAN). In 1995, the following employment structure was observed: agriculture, fishing and forestry - 2.3%, industry and construction - 36.1%, services - 61.6%, including social services - 21.3%, state management - 17.2% (total public sector - 38.5%).

 

Religion

More than 50% of believers are Congregational Protestants, 30% are other Protestant denominations (Methodists, Pentecostals from the Assembly of God, etc.), 20% are Catholics. Separate ritual practices of pagan origin are preserved. The islands have Catholic and Anglican church-administrative structures. There is a Council of Christian Churches of the Seventh Day Adventists.

 

State structure

American Samoa is an unorganized and unincorporated territory administered by the Department of Insular Affairs of the United States. The President of the United States has the right of sovereignty over the territory, and is also the guarantor of the local constitution. The US government has custody of American Samoa. Residents of American Samoa participate in the primaries of the Republican and Democratic parties, but do not participate in the election of the President of the United States. Executive power on the islands is exercised by a governor elected for 4 years (since 2003 Togiola T. A. Tulafono), legislative power is exercised by a bicameral legislature (Fono). In the upper house there are 18 people elected from among the leaders (matai) of the clans, in the lower house there are 20 elected deputies and one representative of Swains Island without the right to vote. A non-voting delegate from American Samoa goes to the US House of Representatives. Residents of American Samoa are considered Americans by nationality, but are not US citizens. Diplomatic relations are administered by the American government.

 

Notable congressmen

Faleomavaega, Yeni is a non-voting U.S. Congressional delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from the American Samoa High Power Congressional District (1988 to 2015).

 

Armed forces

The defense of American Samoa is the task of the US Armed Forces.

 

Economy

The volume of GDP of American Samoa is 0.5 billion dollars (according to PPP, 2000). The monetary unit is the US dollar. In the service sector - a significant share of public administration and social services, tourism is not well developed. Three banks and 3 non-banking financial institutions. The main industry is fish (processing and canning of tuna, supplied mainly by American, South Korean and Taiwanese fishermen; usually combined in large companies). Crafts developed. Pumice is mined on a small scale. Pineapples, bananas, coconut palm (raw material for the production of copra), vegetables, papaya, breadfruit are grown. More than 90% of the land is in communal use. Cultivated land - 5%, under temporary crops - 10%. Highway - 150 km, 200 km - secondary roads. Sea communication with the ports of the USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Tafuna International Airport (11 km from Pago Pago). 15,000 telephone lines (2001), satellite communication station. Tesla Motors announced via Twitter that American Samoa is nearly 100% solar powered with over 5,300 solar panels in operation.

Exports of American Samoa - $ 346.3 million (export quota - 69.3%), 96% - canned tuna, imports - $ 505.9 million, 44% (2000) - raw fish products (tuna), oil and oil products, food, clothing, vehicles. Negative trade balance. Foreign trade is focused on the United States (80% of trade, 56% of imports and almost all exports), other important trading partners (in terms of imports) are Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, South Korea, Japan, China.

Standards of living
Average GDP per capita is $8,000 (PPP, 2000). 56% of families have an income below the official cost of living in the United States.

 

Education

97% of adults are literate. Compulsory 12 years of education. 59 preparatory, 32 elementary and 9 secondary schools (as of 1996). One college is American Samoa Community College.

 

Culture

In accordance with the traditional culture of the Samoans, the social structure is regulated by the faamatai system, in which the basis of the social structure is the aiga - clan, extended family, headed by the ormatai or matai - the leader responsible for maintaining the continuity of generations, mythological conceptualization, the relevance of customary law, the preservation of traditions. The tourism industry exploits a number of Samoan ritual vocal and dance practices.

Newspapers: Government daily News bulletin (English, 1800 copies), Samoa news (English and Samoan, 4500 copies, 5 times a week), Samoa Journal and Advertiser (English and Samoan) languages, 3000 copies, daily). Two radio stations and one TV company (18 hours daily in English and Samoan, on two channels).

 

Government and politics

Government
The Government of American Samoa is defined under the Constitution of American Samoa as an unincorporated territory. The Ratification Act of 1929 gives the President of the United States of America judicial and military powers. In 1951, under Executive Order 10264, President Harry Truman delegated these powers to the Secretary of the Interior. On June 21, 1963, High Chief Fagaitua Tuli Le'iato was sworn in and appointed First Secretary for Samoan Affairs by Governor H. Rex Lee. On June 2, 1967, Secretary of the Interior Fred Andrew Seaton promulgated the Constitution of American Samoa, which came into effect on July 1, 1967. The Governor of American Samoa is the head of government and, along with the lieutenant governor, is elected by popular vote for a four-year term. Since American Samoa is a self-governing territory, the President of the United States serves as head of state. The president does not play an active role in government, but he can dissolve the fono (representative body) and no act of parliament becomes law without his approval.

Legislative power is vested in the Fono (representative body), which has two chambers. The House of Representatives consists of 21 members elected for two-year terms in 20 single-member districts. The Senate consists of 18 members elected for a term of four years.

The judiciary of American Samoa is independent of the executive and legislature, and the Supreme Court of American Samoa is the highest court below the Supreme Court of the United States and the district courts. The High Court is located in the capital of Pago Pago. It consists of a Chief Justice and judges appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior.

 

Politics

American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior. In 1966, the United Nations gave American Samoa the opportunity to join the independent country of Samoa, but American Samoa chose to remain in the United States. The American Samoa Constitution was ratified in 1966 and entered into force in 1967. Executive power is exercised by the governor. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the legislature. In American Samoa, there is an analogue of American political parties (Republicans and Democrats). The judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches.

In 2010, voters rejected a package of amendments to the territory's constitution that, among other things, would only allow U.S. citizens to be legislators if they were of Samoan descent.