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Village census count released with some adjustments; total count remains the same

The U.S. Census Bureau released yesterday the supplemental population count information for American Samoa in 2010 which does not change the total census count released last year, but the new data provides specific population counts for each village in American Samoa with Tafuna the most populous village — no surprise.

Data released by the federal agency states that “geocoding error” placed populations incorrectly in Sua county on the Eastern District and this population “correctly belongs” in Tualauta county. Initial population count for Tualauta was 20,249 while Sua County was 3,932. The corrected count has Tualauta at 20,858 and Sua county at 3,323. Tualauta remains the most populated county.

Geocoding errors can occur when a living quarter such as a house, apartment, or military vessel is placed in an incorrect location, the Census Bureau says.

“The total population count of 55,519 released on Aug. 25, 2011 remains the same for American Samoa,” according to the census bureau, who last year announced that the territory’s population declined by 3.1% or 1,772 people between 2000 and 2010.

Some lawmakers questioned the accuracy of the 2010 census count following concerns raised in a September report by former ASG chief statistician Meleisea V. Filiga, who said that he found it hard to believe, and difficult to accept, that the territory’s population declined by 3.1% in the past decade, when the local population is “young and vibrant” and the number of births are above a thousand every year.

The Commerce Department has defended the count saying that DOC does not see an adequate or convincing basis for serious questions raised on the outcome of the census count.

Also released yesterday was the census count for each village in the territory, with Tafuna the most populous village at 7,945; followed by Nu’uuli with 3,955; Pago Pago at 3,656; Ili’ili at 3,195; Pavaiai at 2,450 and Aua at 2,077.

Villages with population over 1,000 (but below 2,000) are Fagatogo, Faleniu, Leone, Malaeimi, Mapusagafou, Vaitogi and Vatia. Villages with a population count below 10 are Maloata (8), Sili (5) and Rose Atoll (zero). And for those curious about Swains, the Census Bureau says there are 17 residents of the privately owned atoll.

A Samoa News review of the census data, shows some other interesting information.

For example, Ta’u village in Manu’a is counted differently with two villages — Luma and Siufaga (which were referred to in past years as sub-divions of Ta’u village). Also listed are the names of villages that Samoa News is trying to locate or identify: Anua (18); Leusoali’i (117); and Maia (153).

Download attachment for the pdf spreadsheet distributed by the Census Bureau.

According to the Census Bureau, the demographic profiles for American Samoa and other U.S. territories are scheduled for release this summer, and the summary files are scheduled for release in the fall.