7 Sep 2009

Rapid increase in American Samoa's population

5:52 am on 7 September 2009

The total general population of American Samoa more than doubled between the years 1980 and 2008 with the immigration population alone growing at a significantly faster rate.

Statistics released by the Department of Commerce shows in that ten year period, the number of immigrants from Samoa more than tripled, while the number of Asian immigrants had a nearly eight fold increase.

In the year 2000, foreign born immigrants represented made up over 40 percent of American Samoa's population.

As of December 2008, foreign born immigrations may have represented as much as 55.2 percent of the territory's population, while American Samoans born in either American Samoa or the United States made up less than 45 percent of the population.

Samoa was the number one source of immigrants, followed by Tonga, Philippines, New Zealand, China, Fiji and Korea.

The Director of Commerce, Faleseu Eliu Paopao, says the fast growing population must be addressed or the territory will face serious consequences in the future.

The DOC report called for reforms in immigration law to impose strict limits on the number of new immigrants allowed into the territory.