Birth rate on the decline while deaths average five per week in AS
American Samoa’s population has a slight increase of 100 persons since July last year, according to the “2017 Mid-Year Population estimate” released early this week by the ASG Commerce Department.
The estimated population for American Samoa is 60,300 according to DOC data - which shows that the territory has more females - totaling 30,643 - compared to the male population of 29,657
Data further shows that the 25 to 64 age group has the highest population count at 26,759 with 14,079 females and only 12,680 males.
The next highest age group, 6 to 13 years old, totaled 10,564 with more males (5,424) compared to females (5,140).
The age group of less than 1 year old, has the smallest population count, totaling 1,178 - 592 males and 586 females. For the 1-2 age group, the total count is 2,457 - with 1,367 males and 1,090 females.
For the much older generation - 65 years old and over - the total estimated count totaled 3,582 with 1,982 females and 1,600 males.
According to DOC, the population estimate is derived from the Balancing Equation Method, taking into account the net migration of residents, births, and deaths. “These are the only three forces that can change a population count,” DOC noted, adding that recent fertility trends continue to decline as the number of births dropped from about 1,800 ten years ago to a little over 1,000 last year.
On the other hand, the number of deaths has gone up, averaging about 280 deaths a year - 23 deaths a month - or 5 deaths a week.
Net migration is the most difficult to assess due to the lack of quality data, DOC notes.
“However, tracking net migration using Immigration arrival/departure statistics suggests that we may have lost about 6,000 residents in the past 10 years.
“This is a big loss in the indigenous population but at the same time we might have gained about 7,000 from those visiting families and relatives in the same period.”
DOC revealed that residents seeking authorization to reside in American Samoa are not captured as a primary reason of travel but are, if not all, arriving as VRFs (visiting relatives and friends).
“Between July 2016 and June 2017, the population growth, births minus deaths, amounted to plus 707,” DOC explained. “Net migration using the two categories of residents and visiting relatives/ families amounted to minus 600.”
DOC announced last summer that as of July 1, 2016 the territory’s mid-year population estimate was at 60,200 with 30,603 females and 29,597 males.
The US Census Bureau announced in August 2011 that American Samoa’s total population in 2010 — during the 2010 Census count — was 55,519 and this is a decline of 3.1% or 1,772 people between 2000 and 2010.
The next national census for all states and territories will be in 2020.