- Area: 1,097 sq miles
- Population: 195,843
- Infant mortality: 18.6 per 1000 live births
- Life expectancy: 86
- Urbanisation: 18.2%
- Literacy: 99
The Samoan Islands were first settled some 3,500 years ago as part of the Austronesian expansion. Samoa's early and more current history is strongly connected with the histories of Tonga and Fiji, which are in the same region, and with whom it shares historical, genealogical, and cultural traditions. European exploration first reached the islands in the early 18th century. Louis-Antoine de Bougainville named them Navigator Islands in 1768. The United States Exploring Expedition (1838–42) under Charles Wilkes reached Samoa in 1839. In 1855 J.C. Godeffroy & Sohn expanded its trading business into the archipelago. The Samoan Civil War of 1886–1894 devolved into the Samoan crisis between colonial powers, followed by the Second Samoan Civil War of 1898/9, which was resolved by partition of the islands in the Tripartite Convention, between the United States, Great Britain and Germany After World War I, German Samoa became a Trust Territory and eventually became independent as Samoa in 1962. American Samoa remains an unincorporated territory of the United States.
Map of Samoa Topography of Samoa. South east coast of Savai'i island. The independent country of Samoa consists of the two large islands of Upolu and Savai'i and 8 smaller islands located about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the South Pacific. The island of Upolu is home to nearly three-quarters of Samoa's population and its capital city of Apia. The climate is tropical, with a rainy season from November to April. To the East is the smaller American Samoa
The economy of Samoa is dependent on agricultural exports, development aid and private financing from overseas. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labor force, and furnishes 9% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil and copra. Outside a large automotive wire harness factory, the manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. Tourism is an expanding sector; more than 70,000 tourists visited the islands in 1996 and 120,000 in 2014. The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline. Observers point to the flexibility of the labor market as a basic strength factor for future economic advances.