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The Independent State of Samoa is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean comprising two islands, were most of the country’s nearly 195,000 people live, Upolu and Savai’i, and 8 islets. The country’s largest city and capital, Apia, is located on Upolu. Other large cities include, in order, Asau, Mulifanua, and Faleula.

For nearly 5 decades after obtaining its independence from New Zealand, Samoa has been a constitutional monarchy. However, since 2007, the nation is a parliamentary republic with the head of state being elected for a term of 5 years. The local government is called the “Malo”. For administrative purposes, there are 11 political districts in Samoa, each one with its very own constitutional foundation.

Samoa has an equatorial climate with a monsoon season lasting from November until April. The entire country has a volcanic origin, but Savai’i, which is one of the largest islands in the Polynesian region, is the only one still volcanically active.

The Samoan economy is largely sustained by the industrial sector, followed by the services industry, tourism, and agriculture. The country’s major exports are represented by coconut oil and cream, copra, and noni (the juice of a tree fruit). The local currency is the Samoan Tala (WST).

For the most part, Samoans prefer to keep their historical customs alike, a factor which is evident in every facet of life: community, politics, and language. There are two official languages in Samoa: Samoan, spoken by most of the population, and English. The national sport is rugby union, but Samoan cricket, volleyball, and netball are also quite popular.


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