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Samoan Americans

Samoan Americans
Total population
109,637 alone, 0.04% of U.S. population
184,440 including partial ancestry, 0.06%
(2010 Census)
Regions with significant populations
California, Hawaii, Washington, Utah, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada
American English, Samoan
Christianity, and Mormon.Polytheism
Related ethnic groups
Other Polynesians

Samoan Americans are Americans of Samoan origin, including those who emigrated from the Independent State of Samoa or American Samoa to the United States. However they are not American Citizens. Samoan Americans are Pacific Islanders in the United States Census, and are the second largest Pacific Islander group in the U.S., after Native Hawaiians.

American Samoa has been an unincorporated territory of the United States since 1900, and Samoa, formally known as the Independent State of Samoa and known as Western Samoa until 1997, is an independent nation that gained its independence from New Zealand in 1962. American Samoa( which is under the jurisdiction of the United States of America) and Samoa together make up the Samoan Islands, an archipelago that covers 1,170 sq mi (3,030 km2). Like Hawaiian Americans, the Samoans arrived in the mainland in the 19th century as fishermen and later worked as agricultural laborers and factory workers.

There are more than 180,000 people of Samoan descent living stateside,[1] which is roughly the population of the Independent State of Samoa, which had an estimated population of 179,000 in 2009. Honolulu, Hawaii has the largest Samoan population, while Long Beach, California has the largest Samoan population in the mainland United States: one percent of the city's population, or 4,513 people, as of 2010. There are also Samoan communities throughout the state of California. Other states with significant Samoan communities are Washington, Utah, Alaska, Nevada, and Oregon.


American Samoa officially became a U.S. territory in 1900 with the Treaty of Cession of Tutuila and in 1904 with the Treaty of Cession of Manu'a. Since the end of World War II, persons born in American Samoa are United States nationals, but not United States citizens. This has allowed Samoans from American Samoa to move to Hawaii, Alaska, or the contiguous United States to seek better opportunities.


In the 2010 U.S Census, there were 184,440 Samoan people in the United States stateside population, including those who have partial Samoan ancestry.[2] 60,876 people of Samoan origin reside in California, meaning one-third of the Samoan population lives in California. Carson, Long Beach, Compton, in Los Angeles County, and Oceanside in San Diego County have the highest concentration of Samoans in Southern California. Also in San Diego, the very first Samoan church in the entire United States, which was founded in 1955 by Rev. Suitonu Galea'i. In 1972 First Samoan Congregational Church of San-Jose, Ca Santa Clara county Rev Felix T & Molly T AvaMolifua affiliated with Northern Cali UCC. From there many of the Samoan churches branched from the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church of San Diego.[3][4][5] Garden Grove in Orange County has a Samoan community, as well as a church located off Century Boulevard. In Northern California, the housing projects Bayview-Hunters Point and Potrero Hill neighborhoods in San Francisco and San Leandro in the East Bay are home to sizable Samoan communities, as well as in Daly City, East Palo Alto, and Hayward, which all are at least 0.5% Samoan.[6] In Daly City, Samoan restaurants and businesses are located off Geneva Avenue. Smaller communities of Samoans can be found in Sacramento, Modesto and Stockton.

The SeattleTacoma, Washington area is also home to a sizable Samoan community, especially in the cities of SeaTac and Federal Way.[7] The First Samoan Christian Congregational Church in the Washington State was established in 1964 in southeast Seattle, where Samoans settled in the Pacific Northwest.[8] Nearly 6,000 people of Samoan ancestry reside in Pierce County, Washington making up 0.7% of the county's population.[9] The Dalles, Oregon has a Samoan community as well. In Salt Lake City, Utah and surrounding cities, there is a large Samoan population of 13,086.[10] There is a Samoan community in Colorado Springs, Colorado,

In the Midwest, the largest Samoan community is in Independence, Missouri, where around 900 Samoan people reside (0.8% of the city).[9]

In the Eastern United States and Southeastern United States, Samoan communities exist in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Clarksville, Tennessee, and Norfolk, Virginia.[11]

In Texas, there is a Samoan community prominent at the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Euless, and a Samoan church in the city of Killeen.

Outside the mainland U.S., many Samoan Americans have settled in Hawaii and Alaska. 1.8% of people in the city of Anchorage, Alaska are of Samoan descent. Alaska has a relatively high proportion of Samoan Americans, comprising about 0.8% of the state's population.[9]

Samoan Americans serve in significant numbers in the U.S. Military.

Notable people



Politics, law and government


American football


See also


  1. ^ "Honolulu Mayor honors National Samoan Language Week". Samoa News. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  2. ^ Division, US Census Bureau Administration and Customer Services. "US Census Bureau Publications - Population". Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  3. ^ Sahagun, Louis (October 1, 2009). "Samoans in Carson hold church services for tsunami, earthquake victims". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  4. ^ Mydans, Seth (June 4, 1992). "Police Officer in California Cleared in Shooting Deaths". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  5. ^ Fuestch, Michelle (March 13, 1991). "Samoans Protest Killing of 2 Brothers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  6. ^ Knight, Heather (March 1, 2006). "A YEAR AT MALCOLM X: Second Chance at Success Samoan families learn American culture". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  7. ^ Brown, Charles E. (September 30, 2009). "Puget Sound's Samoan community awaits news". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  8. ^ a b c "Census AmericanFactfinder". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  9. ^ "One of every four Tongans in U.S. calls Utah home". September 12, 2011. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015.
  10. ^ "Amata's Journal: Many Samoans in Norfolk area". Samoa News. May 25, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.

External links