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Mid-year 2018 population trend: “More and more residents are moving off-island”

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — American Samoa’s mid-year 2018 population, is estimated at 59,600 — a loss of 700 persons compared to July 1, 2017, according to data release yesterday by the Commerce Department’s Statistical Division.

Based on DOC data, Samoa News reported last year that the 2017 mid-year American Samoa population was estimate at 60, 300 as of July 1, 2017 — an increase of 100 persons since July of 2016. Mid-year population in 2016 was 60, 200.

According to DOC, the population estimate is derived from the Balancing Equation Method by adding the natural growth — births minus deaths — and net migration of residents and immigrants.

“Recent trends of local population declined, due to few births and higher mortality,” said DOC yesterday in releasing mid-year 2018 population estimate, noting that the “number of births dropped... to 977 versus an increase in deaths to 311.”

“The natural growth of population added only 666 persons to the estimate. Fertility continued to drop while more and more residents are moving off-island,” said DOC.

It also points out that net migration is the most difficult to assess “due to the lack of quality data.”

“However, tracking net migration using Immigration arrival/ departure statistics suggested that we may have lost another 2,000 plus residents the past year,” according to DOC, which also provided a break-down data on males and females, as well as age groups of the population.

Of the total mid-year population, there are slightly more females — 30,288 — compared to males at 29,312.

The age group of between 25-64 years old have the highest number at 26,448; followed by age group 6-13 years old with 10,441; and topping off the top three is the age group of 14-18 with 6,662.

The age group with the smallest estimated population are infants — less than one-year old at 1,164, while the age group of 65 and over —  totals 3,542.


Data release in August 2011 by the US Census Bureau gives American Samoa’s population of 55,519 following the 2010 Census. This is a decline of 3.1% or 1,772 people between 2000 and 2010.

The national census for entire US and its territories is carried out every ten years, with the next one in 2020. DOC Statistics Division continues to work with the US Census Bureau to prepare for the 2020 census for American Samoa.

It should be noted that the American Samoa government/ DOC has maintained that the  2010 US Census count for American Samoa is flawed — with an undercount of more than 5,000.