American Samoa


American Samoa; formerly East Samoa, an unincorporated, unorganized territory not included in the United States, in the South Pacific. The main island (at the same time the largest in area and population) is Tutuila, which is part of the Samoa archipelago. As of July 2017, the population of American Samoa was 51,504. Area - 199 km².

The borders of the territory are maritime: with the Independent State of Samoa in the west, the kingdom of Tonga in the southwest, the territories of New Zealand - Tokelau in the north, Cook Islands in the east, Niue in the south. Land area - 199 km². Population 55 519 (2010).

The capital is Pago Pago (approx. 15 thousand inhabitants, 2001), located on the largest island - Tutuila, administratively subdivided into western and eastern (with Aunuu island) areas. The third district is a group of Manua islands (Tau, Olosega and Ofu islands). Of particular note are the island of Rose (uninhabited) and the island of Swains (private ownership). The official languages ​​are English and Samoan. Official holidays - April 17, Flag Day (the first raising of the US flag on the islands) and traditional US holidays. Currency is the US dollar.


The islands were first inhabited around 1000 BC., presumably during the migration from Southeast Asia, the next wave of immigrants crowded out the previous inhabitants who settled on the islands east of Samoa. Apparently, Samoan legends about islands as the cradle of Polynesians and the special role of the island empire of Manua in Polynesia before the arrival of Europeans are connected with this.

In 1722, the Samoa archipelago was discovered by the Dutchman Jacob Roggeven. In 1830, British missionaries settled on the islands. In 1878, the United States entered into an agreement with the Kingdom of Samoa on trade privileges and the right to use one of the most convenient in the South Pacific Pago Pago Bay as a parking lot for the fleet. In 1899, during the conflict between the USA, Germany and Great Britain, Samoa was divided into western and eastern parts, respectively, the German and American areas of interest.

In 1900, the islands of Tutuila and Aunuu went to the USA, in 1904 - the Manua group. In 1925, the island of Swains was annexed to American Samoa, which until then was privately owned, although remaining at the same time the territory of the United States. German Samoa was transferred under the control of New Zealand in 1920, from 1962 it turned into an independent state of Western Samoa, in 1997 it was renamed Samoa). Until 1951, East Samoa was controlled by the US Navy. In 1948, elements of self-government were introduced. With the closure of the naval base in Pago Pago, the territory was transferred under the control of the Ministry of the Interior, who appointed governors for American Samoa.

In 1960, the first constitution of the territory was adopted. In 1977, the first election of the governor took place. The main political parties are Democratic and Republican.

Tsunami September 29, 2009
September 29, 2009 at 17:48:11 UTC, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 occurred 190 km off the coast of American Samoa. The earthquake produced a tsunami. According to reports, 4 waves with a height of 4.6 m to 6.1 m traveled 1.6 km to the coast of Tutuila Island. At least 150 people died in American Samoa and an unknown number in Western Samoa.