American Samoa

Political Status

American Samoa became a U.S. territory by deed of cession, starting in 1900. The matai (local chiefs) of Tutuila, the largest island in American Samoa, ceded the island to the United States in 1900. Manu'a followed in 1904. Swain Island joined the territory in 1925 by an act of the Congress. Authority over American Samoa was initially placed with the U.S. Navy which oversaw the territory until 1951.

Authority was transferred to the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1956, where it resides.

Even without an organic act or other explicit Congressional directive on governance, the people of American Samoa adopted their own constitution in 1967 and first constitutional elections were in 1977. Unlike citizens of other U.S. territories who are U.S. citizens, American Samoans are U.S. nationals. However, neither citizens nor nationals of U.S. territories vote in Federal elections and pay Federal taxes. American Samoa came under Federal minimum wage rules in 2007 and controls its own immigration and border matters.

Distances from places

Washington DC: 7,050 miles
Los Angeles: 4,815 mils
Tokyo: 4,650 miles
Honolulu: 2,500

Population & Demography

Total population: 57,400 (2015)
Native Pacific islander: 92.6% (2010 census)
Asian: 3.6%
White: 0.9%
Other ethnic origins: 0.1%
Median age: 22.4 years
U.S. median age: 36.7 years


GDP: $641 million (BEA, 2015)
Per capita GDP: $11,167
U.S. per capita GDP: $56,276

Industries (Income Sources)

Fish Processing
*Tuna processing business since the 1954
*Employed 2,579 workers in 2015
*Pays a large part of corporate taxes
*Enjoys Federal tax credit for creating jobs

American Samoa Government
*Employs 38.1 percent of labor force
*Manages public education, health & utilities

Beginning to grow but potential is limited.

Shipping and stevedoring
Wholesale and retail trade
Hotels and restaurants
Tourist and recreational services

Labor Force & Employment

Total payroll employment: 17,853 (2015)
Private sector employment: 11,049
Total government employment: 6,804
Autonomous agencies: 1,587 (included in total government)
Private sector employment as a % of total: 61.9
Total government employment as a % of total: 38.1
Autonomous agencies as a % of total: 8.9
Unemployment rate: unknown

Government Finances

Total government revenues: $253.7 million (FY 2015)
Total government spending: $268.6 million (FY 2015)
Total Federal grants: $157.1 million (FY 2015)
Federal grants as a share of total revenues: 61.9%

Land Ownership

About 90 percent of the land is communally owned by aiga. The existing tenure law on communal lands prohibits alienation of any real property except freehold land to any person whose blood is less that one-half Samoan. Unless the Governor approves the transfer in writing, it is unlawful for any matai of a Samoan family to alienate any family lands to any person or lease it for any term more than 55 years. ASG estimates that 1.5625 square miles of American Samoa's total area of 76.1 square miles are freehold land.

Travel Requirements

The Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. Department of Justice does not exercise jurisdiction in American Samoa. No one may enter American Samoa unless he or she complies with certain entry requirements of the American Samoa Government. To enter the territory, a U.S. citizen or national must have in his or her possession: (1) a valid U.S. passport or certified birth certificate demonstrating his or her U.S. nationality and (2) a ticket for onward passage out of American Samoa or proof of employment in American Samoa.The requirements for an alien's entry into American Samoa mirror those for a U.S. citizen or national. In addition to a ticket for onward passage out of American Samoa, an alien must have in his or her possession a valid passport containing a photograph or fingerprint of the holder and authorizing him or her (1) to return to the country from where he or she came or (2) to enter some other country.Whether a U.S. citizen or national or an alien, once lawfully admitted, a tourist or business person may stay in American Samoa for up to thirty days. With the approval of the Attorney General of American Samoa, a tourist or business person may stay in American Samoa for thirty days beyond the initial thirty-day period. At the present time, the American Samoa Government does not require any vaccinations for entry into the territory.

OIA Contacts

Lydia Faleafine-Nomura
OIA Field Representative
Department of the Interior
P.O. Box 1725
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799
Phone: 1 (684) 633-2800
Fax : 1 (684) 633-2415
Cellular Phone: 01 (684) 733-5085
EST -6 hours; DST -7 hours

Krystina Borja
OIA Desk Officer for American Samoa
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 219-8536

American Samoa Leadership

Lolo Moliga
Governor of American Samoa

Office of the Governor
Executive Office Building
Third Floor, Utulei
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

1 (684) 633-4116
1 (684) 633-2269 Fax

Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen
U.S. Representative

US. House of Representatives
1339 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

Fagatogo Office
Fagatogo Square
Fagatogo, AS 96799

(202) 225-8577
(202) 225-8757 Fax


Former House Representatives

Former Governors