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Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Savai'i, one of the biggest islands in Polynesia. The capital city, Apia, and Faleolo International Airport are situated on the island of Upolu.
The Samoan islands have been produced by vulcanism, the source of which is the Samoa hotspot which is probably the result of a mantle plume. While all of the islands have volcanic origins, only Savai'i, the western most island in Samoa, is volcanically active with the most recent eruptions in Mt Matavanu, Mata o le Afi and Mauga Afi. The highest point in Samoa is Mt Silisili, at 1858 m. The Saleaula lava fields situated on the central north coast of Savai'i are the result of the Mt Matavanu eruptions which left 50 km² of solidified lava.
The climate is equatorial/monsoonal, with an average annual temperature of 26.5 °C, and a rainy season from November to April. Savai'i is the largest of the Samoan islands and the sixth largest Polynesian island after New Zealand's North, South and Stewart Islands and the Hawaiian islands of Hawaiʻi and Maui. The population of Savai'i is 42,000 people.
Samoa has a population of 194,320 of which 92.6% are Samoans, 7% Euronesians and 0.4% are Europeans, per the CIA World Factbook. About three-quarters of the population live on the main island of Upolu. Only the Māori of New Zealand outnumber Samoans among Polynesian groups.
Samoan and English are official languages. Samoan Sign Language is used by at least some of the deaf population.