8 Jun 2009

American Samoa chief statistician says census data will help funding lobby

4:50 am on 8 June 2009

American Samoa's chief statistician says information from next year's census will help the government lobby for more development funding from the United States.

Three officials of the US Census Bureau have been in the territory to finalise a contract with the American Samoa Government for the federal census next April.

Meleisea Vai Filiga says the census is expected to confirm last year's population estimate of 69,000.

He says the biggest change he's seen in his 29 years as chief statistician is from the US census's condensed content to the more comprehensive full questionnaire used in the US's Pacific territories.

"The most important use of the census it's for federal programmes that will give American Samoa an opportunity for applying for federal grants and you know the information that we get from the census is going to be used for the justification of programmes and applying for new funding including housing characteristics, those informations are valid and are important also for local economic development programmes."

Meleisea Vai Filiga of American Samoa.