American Samoa

Description of American Samoa

American Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean and consists of a group of islands. The country is about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. It is located about 100 km east of the country of Samoa, which shares its archipelago. 

American Samoa is a territory of the United States that is unincorporated. The people who live on the islands are considered United States nationals, but not citizens. This allows the people to travel freely to the mainland of America. They are not required to obtain a green card or a visa in order to work or to stay anywhere in the United States. American Samoans can also serve in the armed forces for the United States. However, there are some interesting legal consequences that arise from the country’s special status as a territory of the United States. For example, the constitution of the United States is not necessarily the highest law of the land. The cultural norms of the area, particularly those relating to owning property and publicly displaying religion will actually trump some of the more well settled constitutional rights from the United States in the American Samoa. 

The main city of American Samoa is Pago Pago. The seat of the government that has been constitutionally designated is Fagatogo. The officer for the governor is in the Utulei village, which is on the opposite side of the island from Pago Pago and Fagatogo.

About American Samoa 

The population for American Samoa was around 57,496 in the year 2008. The islands are often called Samoa, which is actually the name of a different island and an independent country, which used to be called Western Samoa. The island is about 100 kilometers west of the island of American Samoa. The entire island group, including the country of Samoa is often referred to as Samoan Islands. 

The area was settled by Polynesian navigators as early as 1000 BC. European explorers reached the area during the 18th century. During the late part of the 19th century there were international rivalries over the area. These rivalries were settled by a treaty in the year 1899. The treaty divided the islands between Germany, later the United Kingdom, and the United States. The United States formally took over its portion of the islands in 1900. This was a small group of the eastern islands that included Pago Pago. 

The country is humid, warm, and rainy throughout the year. During the summer months there is a wet season that lasts from October through May. June through September is a bit drier and cooler. The total rainfall annually is about 125 inches at the airport and more than 200 inches in the more mountainous areas. The rainfall of the area was the basis of a short story called “rain” by Somerset Maugham. This story was based in the city of Pago Pago and was eventually turned into both a play and then a movie. 

About 90% of the island is communally owned. The economic activity of the islands is connected to the United States. Most of the foreign trade is done with the United States. Tuna fishing along with the tuna processing plants make up most of the private sector. The primary export is canned tuna. Transfers of money from the United States government add a great amount to the economics of the country. Influence from the United States has put up a bit of resistance for the emergence of any type of local independence movements. During the early part of the 20th century, the United States navy actively suppressed the American Samoa Mau movement.


The main island of American Samoa is Tutuila. Ofu is regarded as being one of the most stunning beaches in all of the South Pacific. The high peaks of the area drop into sparkling sandy white beaches. The best part about this region is that the only other footsteps on the sand besides yours are those of the crabs. Ofu is connected by a narrow bridge to the Olosega region. Other regions of the country include Swains Island, Rose Island, and Ta’u.  The capital city of American Samoa is Pago Pago. 

Some of the other destinations in the area include the Fagatele Bay Marine Sanctuary. This is a tropical reef that is filled with tons of brightly colored fish. This includes damselfish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, as well as many other creatures from the sea including crabs, lobsters, octopus, and sharks. 

The National Park for American Samoa is an area of land that has been set aside by the United States congress and the village leaders of the Samoans. This area shows some of the best samples of the islands seascapes and land.

Visiting American Samoa 

When visiting American Samoa there are a number of places to visit. Make sure that you go to see the Fatu ma Futi, which is also called the Flower Pot. This is located about 900 feet out in the ocean and is a mini island that is home to many fruit bats and exotic birds. The marine sanctuary is another must see, but it requires you to take a steep and somewhat difficult hike to get to. 

Make sure that you visit Toaga Beach, which is located on the south side of the island in the Ofu region. You can snorkel in crystal clear waters in the area and get a great view of the gorgeous coral reef that is on the fringes of the shore. 

The northern part of the island is home to Tisa’s Barefoot Bar and Grill. This bar offers access to the beach, but there is not a shower available. There are also many great local shops and kiosks that offer products that range from traditional wood weapons to handmade clothes. 

The food on the island is great, with a number of places to eat. This includes some fast food places that every American is familiar with as well as several fine restaurants. You will find a variety of cuisines including Japanese, Polynesian, Italian, Chinese, and American.

Some facts about American Samoa

Population of country 57,881 people
Area of American Samoa 199 sq. kilometers
Located on the continent Oceania (OC)
Capital of American Samoa Pago Pago
Currency at American Samoa Dollar (USD)
Domain Zone .as
Phone country code -683
FIPS code of American Samoa AQ

Gallery of American Samoa

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American Samoa video guide

More information about American Samoa

Climate of American Samoa:
  • tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds
  • annual rainfall averages about 3 m
  • rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)
  • little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain of American Samoa:
  • five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)
American Samoa also has such useful resources as: pumice, pumicite.

Top cities of American Samoa

City Name Population State Coordinates
1 Tafuna 11,017 people Western District -14.33583 x -170.72
2 Pago Pago 4,196 people Eastern District -14.27806 x -170.7025
3 Leone 4,050 people Western District -14.34389 x -170.785
4 Faleniu 3,200 people Western District -14.3325 x -170.74444
5 Aua 2,124 people Eastern District -14.27611 x -170.66389
6 Mapusagafou 2,052 people Western District -14.33056 x -170.75278
7 Fagatogo 1,868 people Eastern District -14.2825 x -170.69
8 Vaitogi 1,436 people Western District -14.35889 x -170.73472
9 Malaeimi 1,261 people Western District -14.32278 x -170.73389
10 Vailoatai 1,144 people -14.3552 x -170.78329

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