American Samoa Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

American Samoa s a traditional Polynesian economy in which more than 90% of the land is communally owned. Economic activity is strongly linked to the US with which American Samoa conducts most of its commerce. Tuna fishing and processing are the backbone of the private sector with processed fish products as the primary exports. The fish processing business accounted for 15.5% of employment in 2015.

In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami devastated American Samoa and nearby Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency oversaw a relief program of nearly $25 million. Transfers from the US Government add substantially to American Samoa's economic well-being.

Attempts by the government to develop a larger and broader economy are restrained by Samoa's remote location, its limited transportation, and its devastating hurricanes. Tourism has some potential as a source of income and jobs.

Real GDP growth rate

-2.5% (2016 est.)

1.2% (2015 est.)

1% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 208

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.5% (2015 est.)

1.4% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$658 million (2016 est.)

$674.9 million (2015 est.)

$666.9 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 US dollars

country comparison to the world: 212

GDP (official exchange rate)

$658 million (2016 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$11,200 (2016 est.)

$11,300 (2015 est.)

$11,200 (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 141

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 27.4% (2012)

industry: 12.4% (2012)

services: 60.2% (2012)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.4% (2016 est.)

government consumption: 49.7% (2016 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 7.3% (2016 est.)

investment in inventories: 5.1% (2016 est.)

exports of goods and services: 65% (2016 est.)

imports of goods and services: -93.5% (2016 est.)

Agricultural products

bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock


tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate


Labor force

17,850 (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 212

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: NA

industry: 15.5%

services: 46.4% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

29.8% (2005)

country comparison to the world: 206

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA


revenues: 249 million (2016 est.)

expenditures: 262.5 million (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

37.8% (of GDP) (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Public debt

12.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 197

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September


$428 million (2016 est.)

$427 million (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 178

Exports - partners

Australia 25%, Ghana 19%, Indonesia 15.6%, Burma 10.4%, Portugal 5.1% (2017)

Exports - commodities

canned tuna


$615 million (2016 est.)

$657 million (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Imports - partners

Fiji 10.7%, Singapore 10.4%, NZ 10.4%, South Korea 9.3%, Samoa 8.2%, Kenya 6.4%, Australia 5.2% (2017)

Imports - commodities

raw materials for canneries, food, petroleum products, machinery and parts

Debt - external


Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

NOTE: The information regarding American Samoa on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of American Samoa 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about American Samoa 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.