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Pacific Islands Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pacific Islands Americans
Oceanian Americans
Total population
540,013 alone
0.2% of the total U.S. population (2010 Census)[1]
1,225,195 alone or in combination
0.4% of the total U.S. population (2010 Census)
Regions with significant populations
 American Samoa,  Guam,
 Northern Mariana Islands,
 California,  Hawaii,  Washington,  Oregon,  Nevada,  Alaska,
American English, Polynesian languages, Micronesian languages
Christianity, Polytheism, Bahá'í, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism
Related ethnic groups
Pacific Islanders, Austronesians

Pacific Islands Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans or Native Hawaiian and/or other Pacific Islander Americans, are Americans who have ethnic ancestry among the indigenous peoples of Oceania (viz. Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians). For its purposes, the U.S. Census also counts Indigenous Australians as part of this group.[2][3]

Pacific Islander Americans make up 0.5% of the U.S. population including those with partial Pacific Islander ancestry, enumerating about 1.4 million people. The largest ethnic subgroups of Pacific Islander Americans are Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Chamorros, Fijians, Marshallese and Tongans. Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Tongans, and Chamorros have large communities in Hawaii, California, Utah, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, with sizable communities in Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Alaska. Fijians are predominantly based in California.

American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are insular areas (U.S. territories), while Hawaii is a state.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    7 666
    32 914
    234 865
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  • ✪ Are Pacific Islanders IGNORED?
  • ✪ DNA "Says" Black Americans and Southeast Asians/Pacific islanders
  • ✪ The 55 States of America: U.S. Territories Explained
  • ✪ What are the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands?
  • ✪ Battle of Savo Island 1942: America's Worst Naval Defeat


Picture in your mind, Pacific Islanders. Picture where they live, how they live, and how they look? If you're like most people, chances are you pictured the men as being big and tanned, covered in tattoos, with the women as being friendly, with flowers in their hair, doing hula. Now these are obvious stereotypes of Pacific Islanders that can take a whole video all to itself, but the key point I’m making, is that Pacific Islanders are being ignored. And what I mean by that, is that our ideas, our images, and even our stereotypes of the Pacific and of Pacific Islanders is based on Polynesia, more specifically, specific communities of specific parts of Polynesia. I’m sure you have heard about Hawaii, Tahiti, and Samoa, but have you heard about Kiribati, Nauru, and Vanautu. Or did you know that Hula is not the traditional dance of the Pacific, but is uniquely Hawaiian. Yeup, that’s right, Hula originated in Hawaii, while the traditional dances of other Pacific islands each have their own unique identities and names. Or did you know that some Pacific Islanders even have dark skin with naturally occurring blonde hair. You see, the Pacific can be divided into three regions: Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Each region consists of different islands with different cultures and people that can be each individually explored and studied for decades upon decades. And by far Polynesia is the most studied, and unsurprisingly the most well-known out of the three and the go to image of the Pacific. For that reason, this channel focuses on the lesser known Pacific region of Micronesia. As H.E. Maude expressed, “[Micronesia’s] varied and often exciting history has been ignored as if by some tacit agreement…”. The message I want to impart unto you is that we should be more aware on how media influences our perception of Pacific Islanders and recognize that Pacific Islanders like any vast group are incredibly diverse and that no specific community of any specific part of the Pacific should stand for the whole Pacific.



In the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census, the term "Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander" refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, the Marshalls or other Pacific Islands.

In the 2010 census 1,225,195 Americans claimed "'Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander'" as their race alone or in combination.

Pacific Islands Americans in the 2000[4]2010 U.S. Census[5] (From over 1,000 people)

Ancestry 2000 2000 % of Pacific Islands American population 2010 2010 % of Pacific Islands American population
Flag of Hawaii.svg
Native Hawaiians
401,162 45.9% 527,077 43.0%
Flag of American Samoa.svg
Flag of Samoa.svg
133,281 15.2% 184,440 15.1%
Flag of the Northern Mariana Islands.svg
Flag of Guam.svg
93,237 (Guamanian or Chamorro: 92,611; Saipanese: 475; Mariana Islander: 141) 10.7% 148,220 (Guamanian or Chamorro: 147,798; Saipanese: 1,031; Mariana Islander: 391) 12.2%
Flag of Tonga.svg
36,840 4.2% 57,183 4.7%
Flag of Fiji.svg
13,581 1.6% 32,304 2.6%
Flag of the Marshall Islands.svg
6,650 0.8% 22,434 1.8%
Flag of Palau.svg
3,469 0.4% 7,450 0.6%
Flag of French Polynesia.svg
French Polynesian
3,313 0.4% 5,062 0.4%
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Polynesians with New Zealand citizenship (Māori, Tokelauans, Niueans, Cook Islanders)
2,422 (Māori: 1,994; Tokelauans: 574) 0.3% 925 (Tokelauans only) 0.1%
Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia.svg
Micronesian (FSM)
1,948 0.2% 8,185 0.7%
"Micronesian" (not specified) 9,940 1.1% 29,112 2.4%
"Polynesian" (not specified) 8,796 1.0% 9,153 0.7%
Others 188,389 % 241,952 %
TOTAL 874,414 100.0% 1,225,195 100.0%


State/territory Pacific Islands
Americans alone
(2010 US Census)[6]
Pacific Islands Americans
alone or in combination
(2010 US Census)[7]
(Pacific Islands
Americans alone)[note 1]
 Alabama 5,208 7,984 0.1%
 Alaska 7,662 11,360 1.0%
 American Samoa 51,403[8] 52,790[9] 92.6%[10]
 Arizona 16,112 28,431 0.2%
 Arkansas 6,685 8,597 0.2%
 California 181,431 320,036 0.8%
 Colorado 8,420 16,823 0.1%
 Connecticut 3,491 6,864 0.0%
 Delaware 690 1,423 0.0%
 District of Columbia 770 1,514 -
 Florida 18,790 43,416 -
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 10,454 18,587 0.1%
 Guam 78,582 [11] 90,238 [12] 49.3%[13]
 Hawaii 138,292 358,951 10.0%
 Idaho 2,786 5,508 0.1%
 Illinois 7,436 15,873 -
 Indiana 3,532 7,392 0.1%
 Iowa 2,419 4,173 0.1%
 Kansas 2,864 5,445 0.1%
 Kentucky 3,199 5,698 0.1%
 Louisiana 2,588 5,333 -
 Maine 377 1,008 -
 Maryland 5,391 11,553 -
 Massachusetts 5,971 12,369 -
 Michigan 3,442 10,010 <0.1%
 Minnesota 2,958 6,819 0.0%
 Mississippi 1,700 3,228 -
 Missouri 7,178 12,136 0.1%
 Montana 734 1,794 0.1%
 Nebraska 2,061 3,551 0.1%
 Nevada 19,307 35,435 0.6%
 New Hampshire 532 1,236 -
 New Jersey 7,731 15,777 -
 New Mexico 3,132 5,750 0.1%
 New York 24,000 45,801 0.1%
 North Carolina 10,309 17,891 0.1%
  North Dakota 334 801 0.1%
 Northern Mariana Islands 18,800 [14] 24,891 [15] 34.9%[16]
 Ohio 5,336 11,380 0.03%
 Oklahoma 5,354 9,052 0.1%
 Oregon 14,649 26,936 0.4%
 Pennsylvania 7,115 14,662 -
 Puerto Rico 370 [17][18] No data 0.0%
 Rhode Island 1,602 2,803 0.1%
 South Carolina 3,957 6,988 0.1%
 South Dakota 517 1,040 0.1%
 Tennessee 5,426 9,359 0.1%
 Texas 31,242 54,801 0.1%
 Utah 26,049 37,994 1.3%
 Vermont 175 476 -
United States Virgin Islands Virgin Islands (U.S.) 16 [19] No data 0.0%
 Virginia 8,201 17,233 0.1%
 Washington 43,505 73,213 0.6%
 West Virginia 485 1,295 -
 Wisconsin 2,505 5,558 -
 Wyoming 521 1,137 0.1%
 United States 674,625 1,332,494 0.2%

Micronesian Americans

Micronesian Americans are Americans of Micronesian descent.

According to the 2010 census, the largest Chamoru populations were located in California, Washington and Texas, but their combined number from these three states totaled less than half the number living throughout the U.S. It also revealed that the Chamoru people are the most geographically dispersed Oceanic ethnicity in the country.[20]

Marshallese Americans or Marshallese come from the Marshall Islands. In the 2010 census 22,434 Americans identified as being of Marshallese descent.

Because of the Marshall Islands entering the Compact of Free Association in 1986, Marshallese have been allowed to migrate and work in the United States. There are many reasons why Marshallese came to the United States. Some Marshallese came for educational opportunities, particularly for their children. Others sought work or better health care than what’s available in the islands. Massive layoffs by the Marshallese government in 2000 led to a second big wave of immigration.

Arkansas has the largest Marshallese population with over 6,000 residents. Many live in Springdale, and the Marshallese comprise over 5% of the city's population. Other significant Marshallese populations include Spokane and Costa Mesa.

Polynesian Americans

Polynesian Americans are Americans of Polynesian descent.

Large subcategories of Polynesian Americans include Native Hawaiians and Samoan Americans. In addition there are smaller communities of Tongan Americans (see Culture and diaspora of Tonga), French Polynesian Americans, and Māori Americans.

A Samoan American is an American who is of ethnic Samoan descent either from the independent nation Samoa or the American territory of American Samoa. Samoan American is a subcategory of Polynesian American. About 55,000 people live on American Samoa, while the US census in 2000 and 2008 has found 4 times the number of Samoan Americans live in the mainland USA.

California has the most Samoans; concentrations live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County. San Francisco has approximately 2,000 people of Samoan ancestry, and other Bay Area cities such as East Palo Alto and Daly City have Samoan communities. In Los Angeles County, Long Beach and Carson have abundant Samoan communities, as well as in Oceanside in San Diego County.[21][22][23] Other West Coast metropolitan areas such as Seattle have strong Samoan communities, mainly in King County and in Tacoma. Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii both have thousands of Samoan Americans residing in each city.

Persons born in American Samoa are United States nationals, but not United States citizens.[24] (This is the only circumstance under which an individual would be one and not the other.) For this reason, Samoans can move to Hawaii or the mainland United States and obtain citizenship comparatively easily. Like Hawaiian Americans, the Samoans arrived in the mainland in the 20th century as agricultural laborers and factory workers.

Elsewhere in the United States, Samoan Americans are plentiful throughout the state of Utah, as well as in Killeen, Texas, Norfolk, Virginia and Independence, Missouri.

A Tongan American is an American who is of ethnic Tongan descent. Utah has the largest Tongan American population and Hawaii has the second largest. Many of the first Tongan Americans came to the United States in connection to the LDS Church.


Based on 2003 recruiting data, Pacific Islander Americans were 249% over-represented in the military.[25]

American Samoans are distinguished among the wider Pacific Islander group for enthusiasm for enlistment. In 2007, a Chicago Tribune reporter covering the island's military service noted, "American Samoa is one of the few places in the nation where military recruiters not only meet their enlistment quotas but soundly exceed them."[26] As of 23 March 2009 there have been 10 American Samoans who have died in Iraq, and 2 who have died in Afghanistan.[27]

Pacific Islander Americans are also represented in the Navy SEALS, making up .6% of the enlisted and .1% of the officers.[28]

See also


  1. ^ Percentage of the state population that identifies itself as Pacific Islanders relative to the state/territory population as a whole — the percentage is of Pacific Islands Americans alone.


  1. ^ "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010" (PDF). US Census Bureau.
  2. ^ University of Virginia. Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. "1990 PUMS Ancestry Codes." 2003. August 30, 2007."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-08-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Clark Library - U-M Library".
  4. ^ The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population, Census 2000
  5. ^ The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population: 2010 Census, 2010 Census Briefs, United States Bureau of the Census, May 2012
  6. ^ US Census Bureau: " Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States, States, and Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" retrieved September 05, 2016 - select state from drop-down menu
  7. ^ US Census Bureau: " Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States, States, and Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" retrieved September 05, 2016 - select state from drop-down menu
  8. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  9. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  10. ^ American Samoa. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  12. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  13. ^ Guam. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  15. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  16. ^ Northern Mariana Islands. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  17. ^ American FactFinder. Race and Hispanic or Latino Origin: 2010. 2010 Census Summary File 1. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Pacific Islanders in Puerto Rico. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  19. ^ American FactFinder. Race (Total Population). 2010 U.S. Virgin Islands Summary File. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  20. ^ "2010 Census Shows More than Half of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders Report Multiple Races". United States Census 2010. United States government. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Sahagun, Louis (October 1, 2009). "Samoans in Carson hold church services for tsunami, earthquake victims". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  23. ^ Garrison, Jessica. "Samoan Americans at a Crossroads", Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2000. Retrieved 2010-10-3.
  24. ^ American Samoa and the Citizenship Clause: A Study in Insular Cases Revisionism. Chapter 3. Harvard Law Review. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  25. ^ "Who Bears the Burden?". Heritage Foundation.
  26. ^ Scharnberg, Kirsten (March 21, 2007). "Young Samoans have little choice but to enlist". Chicago Tribune.
  27. ^ Congressman Faleomavaega (23 March 2009). "WASHINGTON, D.C.—AMERICAN SAMOA DEATH RATE IN THE IRAQ WAR IS HIGHEST AMONG ALL STATES AND U.S. TERRITORIES". Press Release. United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  28. ^ "Navy SEALS to Diversify". Time. March 12, 2012.

External links

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