US External Territory (Unincorporated). Gained a measure of self-government in 1977.
Head of state:
President Barack Obama since 2009.
Head of government:
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga since 2013.
110V AC, 60Hz. US-style two-pin plugs are in use.
American Samoa is a tropical island paradise at the heart of Polynesia: seven freckles of land featuring volcanic backdrops, tropical forests and wildlife-rich woodlands.American Samoa's islands include Ta'u, Olosega and Ofu, known as the Manu'a group, which are volcanic in origin and dominated by high peaks. The islands' volcanoes, inactive since 1911, have left an intriguing land formation, including cavernous lava tubes.
Most people live in villages along the narrow coastal plains, living off the fruits of the sea, and cultivating agriculture on the plains and nearby hills. Traditional Samoan society is based on a chieftain system of hereditary rank, and is known as the Samoan way or fa'a Samoa. Despite the inroads of modern, Western civilisation, local cultural institutions remain the strongest single influence in American Samoan life.
Samoa regularly experiences seismic and volcanic activity. A magnitude 8.3 earthquake occurred on 29 September 2009 south of Apia, triggering tsunami waves which impacted Samoa, American Samoa and the small northern island of Niauatoputapu in Tonga. The tsunami waves caused fatalities, casualties and serious damage to the affected Pacific Island countries.
Most visits to American Samoa are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
The tropical cyclone season in American Samoa normally runs from November to April.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: