19 Sep 2011

More support for American Samoa census

5:12 am on 19 September 2011

The Department of Commerce in American Samoa says there's no adequate basis for people to question the 2010 population count of 55,519.

The statement was made in response to a report by a former chief statistician, Meleisea Vaitoelau Filiga, who disputed the preliminary count.

The 2010 Census showed a 3.1 percent drop in the population since 2000.

Meleisea, who's now the deputy Chief Election Officer, contends there could have been an undercount of up to 14,000 people.

The deputy director of the Department of Commerce, Lelei Peau, says the census population count has more credibility than the migration estimates used by Meleisea to arrive at his analysis.

He says employment is one enduring and tested indicator of population migration and American Samoa has lost nearly 6,000 jobs in recent years.