American Samoa

american samoa flag.aq-lgflag

 

Country

American Samoa

(Territory of the United States, and not Samoa)

Link to the map of American Samoa

Continent South Pacific Ocean
Capital Pago Pago (seat of government is Fagatogo)
Population 54,343
Language English and Samoan (most American Samoans are bilingual)
Religion Christian Congregationalist (50%), roman Catholic (20%), other Protestant and others (30%)
Terrain 5 volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, and 2 coral atolls
Sports Soccer is a very popular sport
Animals Flying fox (fruit bat), and 800 native fish and 200 coral species; many of these can be seen at the National Park of American Samoa (Part of the US National Park Service)
Facts of Interest
  • Pago Pago has one of the best natural deep water harbors in the South Pacific Ocean
  • American Samoa has the highest rate of US military enlistment of any state or US territory.
  • The name “Samoa” is composed of two parts: “sa” means sacred and “moa” means center. The name can mean Holy Center, or “place of the sacred moa bird” of Polynesian mythology.
  • 90% of the land is communally owned
  • Tuna fishing and tuna canning is the largest private industry
  • American Samoa is highly dependent on the US armed forces, which is their major source of income.
  • The governor of American Samoa, Lolo Moliga, wants to wean American Samoa from depending on the tuna industry and promote its small but growing tourism industry.
  • People born in American Samoa are American national but are not American citizens unless one of their parents is a US citizen.
  • While American Samoa has a delegate to the US Congress who can vote in committee, this delegate cannot vote on the floor.
Concerns
  • Income: the US House of Representatives voted to delay the minimum wage increase for American Samoans
  • Dengue Fever: There is currently an outbreak of Dengue Fever in American Samoa. Dengue fever is a virus transmitted by mosquito. The Dengue virus is leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. No vaccines exist. This virus is also endemic in Puerto Rico, Latin American, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Hawaii, and many others.
  • Water: Limited natural fresh water resources. Fresh water access has been greatly improved over the last ten years.
Mission Presbyterian disaster Assistance (PDA) assisted American Samoa when it was greatly affected by the 2009 tsunami.
Sources Pcusa.org, CIA.gov, radionz.co.nz, www.cdc.gov