11 Fun Facts About Samoa

Fact #1: In 2020, the estimated population living in Samoa is approximately 198, 414 people and 55, 212 in American Samoa.

Fact #2: Primary countries that Samoans have migrated to are New Zealand, USA, and Australia.

Fact #3: The Pulemelei Mound (also known as Tia Seu Ancient Mound) is a large ancient structure located in Samoa and the Pacific Islands. The ancient pyramid is located in the Palauli district on the island of Savai’i. Til this day, no one really knows what it’s use was when erected between 1100 – 1400 AD and abandoned between 1700 – 1800 AD.

Fact #4: On December 29, 2011, Samoa jumped the International Dateline, skipping December 30, 2011, to fall in line with the same day as New Zealand and Australia in the 2012 New Year.

Fact #5: In July 1997 the Constitution was amended to change the country’s name from Western Samoa to Samoa.

Fact #6: Samoa only has one city – Apia – which is also the capital of Samoa.

Photo credit: Eveni – ‘ie faitaga

Fact #7: The famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson lived and died in Samoa. He was affectionately known as ‘Tusitala’, the storyteller, and he is buried on the crest of Mt Vaea. His home and tomb within the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Reserve can still be seen today.

Fact #8: A Samoan traditional fale is built with no walls. However, more and more Western homes with walls and windows are being built in Samoa.

Fact #9: It’s normal for men to wear kilt-like skirts. There are two different types: an ‘ie faitaga which is with pockets and normally worn by men in formal settings, and the ‘ie lavalava, which is for everyday use where it can be worn by all genders.

Fact #10: Samoa has had 7 flags since the history of its nation. The current Samoan flag (red field, blue rectangle top left with 5 white stars: the Southern Cross constellation), was introduced in 1949 while under New Zealand rule. Samoa kept the same flag design at the time of Samoa’s Independence in 1962, and also during the Constitutional name change in 1997 from Western Samoa to Samoa.

Photo credit: Samoa Government website

Fact #11: In 2021, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, Leader of the FAST (Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi) party, became Samoa’s first female Prime Minister.