In America, students from American Samoa are regarded as exchange students. You can’t make that stuff up, but I suppose it’s a lot better than many other countries that don’t even let their own domestic minorities get into college. Anyway …
One of these exchange students asked me if GDP (or GSP) is calculated for American Samoa. So I looked it up.
According to the BEA and the Department of the Interior (!!!), their real GDP was $648M per year in 2015.* Further, they appear to have only come out of the 2007-9 recession over the last couple of years (which is a good example of how recessions are geographically uneven).
With a population of about 55K, this amounts to a per capita real GDP of about $12,000 per year. That’s a bit less than a fourth of the rest of the U.S. But, internationally, it’s comparable to say Peru, Egypt, South Africa, Serbia or Indonesia.
That GDP figure is far smaller than any of the 50 states, or even most of the major metropolitan areas of the U.S. We’re in Utah, so using the Salt Lake City metropolitan area as an example, its GMP is just over $60,000m per year. That’s about 90 times as big as American Samoa, which isn’t surprising given that it has about 20 times the population. For curiousity’s sake, Vermont has the smallest GSP, which is about half of Salt Lake’s.
But, American Samoa actually looks pretty good compared to independent countries in the Pacific Islands. American Samoa would be about halfway down that list by GDP (if it were independent), and it beats almost all of those in terms of real GDP per capita.
* In chained 2009 dollars.