Districts of Samoa

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Samoa has decided to move across the International Date Line. What that means in practice is simply that it will skip a day. The date to be skipped is 2011-12-30. This changes its standard time from UTC-11 to UTC+13. Samoa is expected to continue to observe daylight saving time.

Samoa originally announced that it would adopt daylight saving time on a trial basis from 2009-10-04 to 2010-03-28. The country was struck by an earthquake and tsunami shortly before the implementation date, and apparently remained on standard time. It proceeded to adopt DST from 2010-09-26 to 2011-04-03.

ISO 3166-1 Newsletter V-1 was issued on 1998-02-05. The official name of Samoa had been "Independent State of Western Samoa"; this newsletter dropped the word "Western" from that phrase. The short name was left unchanged, "Samoa".

Country overview: 

Short nameSAMOA
ISO codeWS
LanguageSamoan (sm), English (en)
Time zone+13~


By 1900, the islands of Samoa had recently been divided between Germany and the United States. The line between them fell at about 171° W., with Germany getting the islands to the west. German Samoa was occupied by New Zealand and Britain on 1914-08-29, and mandated to New Zealand by the League of Nations in 1920. The mandate was converted to a United Nations trusteeship in 1946. It voted for independence, which was granted on 1962-01-01. Although the ISO standard gives Samoa as the short name, the country is still generally called Western Samoa to distinguish it from American Samoa.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Samoa, Den uafhængige stat Samoa (formal), Vest-Samoa (obsolete)
  2. Dutch: Samoa, Onafhankelijke Staat Samoa (formal), West Samoa (obsolete)
  3. English: Independent State of Samoa (formal), Western Samoa (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Samoa, Länsi-Samoa
  5. French: Samoa, Samoa fp occidentales (obsolete)
  6. German: Samoa, Westsamoa n (obsolete)
  7. Icelandic: Samóa, Vestur-Samóa (obsolete)
  8. Italian: Samoa, Samoa fp Occidentali (formal)
  9. Norwegian: Samoa, Vest-Samoa (obsolete)
  10. Portuguese: Samoa, Estado m Independente da Samoa f (formal), Samoa f Ocidental (obsolete)
  11. Samoan: Malotuto'atasi o Samoa i Sisifo (formal)
  12. Russian: Западное Самоа (obsolete), Независимое Государство Самоа (formal)
  13. Spanish: Samoa, Estado m Independiente de Samoa (formal), Samoa Occidental (obsolete)
  14. Swedish: Samoa, Västsamoa (obsolete)
  15. Turkish: Batı Samoa (obsolete), Samoa Bağımsız Devleti (formal)

Origin of name: 

may be from a chief's name, or may mean "place of the moa"

Primary subdivisions: 

Samoa is divided into eleven districts.

Gaga`emaugaWS.GEWS057,4876,00022386Sale'aulaSavai`i, Upolu
PalauliWS.PAWS089,0828,000523202Vailoa i PalauliSavai`i
11 districts180,741132,0002,8321,094
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced by hyphens,
    these are the same as the district codes from ISO standard 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-2006: 2006-11-06 census.
  • Pop-1966: 1966-11-21 census (rounded).
  • Capitals: Main village.
  • Island: Which of the main islands contains each district.

Further subdivisions:

The districts are subdivided into 43 faipule districts.

Territorial extent: 

  1. A`ana district has an exclave on the coast of Upolu, surrounded on three sides by Aiga-i-le-Tai.
  2. Aiga-i-le-Tai district contains the small islands of Apolima and Manono.
  3. Atua district contains the uninhabited islands of Namu`a, Nu`utele, and Nu`ulua.
  4. Gaga`emauga district, which lies primarily on Savai`i island, has two exclaves on Upolu. One is on the north shore and is surrounded by Tuamasaga; the other on the south shore, between Tuamasaga and A`ana.
  5. Palauli and Satupa`itea each consist of two separate sections with part of the other in between.
  6. The country's capital, Apia, is in Tuamasaga district.

The UN LOCODE page  for Samoa lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.


  1. [1] Samoa Bureau of Statistics  (retrieved 2009-04-22).

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