- Apia; 40,000
- 2,831 square kilometers (1,093 square miles)
- Samoan, English
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $5,600
- Literacy Percent:
Samoa Facts Flag
Western political institutions and Polynesian social structure combine in Samoa, whose location at the crossroads of South Pacific shipping lanes attracted European powers. Germany took over the western part of the Samoan archipelago in 1900. After World War I, New Zealand administered the islands until they became independent in 1962. Membership in the Commonwealth came in 1970. An enlarged airport brings growing numbers of tourists.
- Industry: Food processing, building materials, auto parts
- Agriculture: Coconuts, bananas, taro, yams
- Exports: Fish, coconut oil and cream, copra, taro
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
Get a glimpse of paradise with this gallery of photographs taken on assignment for the National Geographic magazine article "French Polynesia: Charting a New Course."
How could a Neolithic people with simple canoes and no navigation gear colonize hundreds of far-flung islands scattered across the Pacific?
Scattered about the world's largest ocean, the legendary islands of the South Pacific are a wonder to travelers, full of beautiful sights and fascinating cultures.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
Browse Stunning Images of These Natural Marvels
Shop National Geographic
Special Ad Section
Watch as Nat Geo photographers reveal what drives them to create iconic images.