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Samoan Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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
American Samoa
California (San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, San Diego County), Hawaii, Washington (Tacoma), Utah (Salt Lake County), Alaska (Anchorage), Nevada (Las Vegas), Missouri (Independence)
American English, Samoan
Various (Mainly Christianity, including Mormonism)
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. 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.


Migration from Samoan Islands to the USA began in the 19th century. The Samoans were part of the first mormon polynesian colony in the USA, which was founded in Utah in 1889 and consisted of Samoans, Hawaiian natives, Tahitians, and Maori people.[2]

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.[3]

In the 1920s a small group of mormons from American Samoa emigrated to the modern United States. They were brought by American mormons to Laie, Hawaii to assist in building the Mormon Temple of this place.[4][5] The community grew over the decade and in 1929 there were already 125 American Samoans living in Laie, but the Samoan migration to Hawaii fell in the following years. It was probably due to the crash of 29, the loss of an important rice field for the community, and the Second World War. In the second half of the 1940s another many American Samoans emigrated in the USA. Over 330 of them, mostly mormons, moved to Hawaii.[6] In 1951, nearly 1,000 American Samoans linked with the army (i.e. military personnel and their relatives[7]) migrated to the Honolulu's American bases by accepting an invitation from the US Navy (which had left its bases in the Pago Pago city, as American Samoa began to be administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior[4]) so that the Marines could continue working for the Navy. However, many of them later migrated to California (in 1952).[8][7] In 1952 the natives of American Samoan become U.S. nationals, although not American citizens, through the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.[9] This encouraged Samoan emigration to the United States and during the rest of the decade nearly four thousand Samoan mormons migrated to the USA, mostly to California[10] and Hawaii. Many more Samoans migrated to the USA in the 1960s, surpassing those who emigrated in the previous decade. In fact, the largest Samoan migration to the US occurred at this time (mainly at the beginning of the decade).[11][7] After 1965 increased migration from Samoa republic.[5] At this time, many Samoans emigrated to Hawaii attracted by the presence of the Polynesian Cultural Center in this state.[6] In 1970s over 7,540 Western Samoans emigrated to the United States, although the number of people from American Samoa who emigrated to the USA is unknown.[12] In 1972 the number of American Samoans living in the USA exceeded the Samoan population in American Samoa, and California took the place of Tutuila as the main Samoan-populated region.[13] In 1980 over 22,000 Samoa-born lived in the USA, mostly of Western Samoa (more than 13,200), while 9,300 were from American Samoa.[12]


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.[14] The Samoan American community consists in Americans of both American Samoan and Samoan descent. According to Unicef, 12,354 people from independent Samoa lived in the USA in 2013.[15]

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, 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.[16][17][18] 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.[19] 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.[20] The First Samoan Christian Congregational Church in the Washington state was established in 1964 in southeast Seattle, where Samoans settled in the Pacific Northwest.[21] Nearly 6,000 people of Samoan ancestry reside in Pierce County, Washington making up 0.7% of the county's population.[22] 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.[23] 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).[22]

In the Eastern United States and Southeastern United States, Samoan communities exist in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Clarksville, Tennessee, and Norfolk, Virginia.[24]

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. About 2.8% of Hawaiian residents are of Samoan descent, with 1.3% having full Samoan ancestry. Many live on the island of Oahu. Linapuni Street, especially the Kuhio Park Terrace apartments in Honolulu, has the highest concentration of Samoans of any residential area in Hawaii, at 37% of residents. Central Palolo has the highest percentage of any Hawaiian tract, with 4% having a Samoan background.[25]

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.[22]

Significant numbers of Samoan Americans serve 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. ^ Brij V. Lal; Kate Fortune (2000). The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia, Volumen 1. University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9780824822651. Page 116.
  3. ^ Schaefer, Richard T. (2008). Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, Volumen 1. SAGE Publications. p. 1189. ISBN 9781412926942.
  4. ^ a b Pettey, Janice Gow (2002). Cultivating Diversity in Fundraising. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. ISBN 9780471226017.. Page 22.
  5. ^ a b Elliott Robert Barkan, ed. (2013). Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration. Part 3. ABC-Clio. ISBN 9781598842197. Chapter: Pacific Islander and Pacific Islander Americans, 1940-present, written by Matthew Kester. Page 1177.
  6. ^ a b Stantom, Max (1973). SAMOAN SAINTS SETTLERS AND SOJOURNERS. University of Oregon. pp. 21, 23. From work Samoan Saints: the Samoans in the mormon village of Laie, Hawaii.
  7. ^ a b c Paul R. Spickard; Joanne L. Rondilla; Debbie Hippolite Wrigh, eds. (2002). Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9780824826192.. Chapter 7. From Village to City: Samoan migration to California, written by Graig R. James. Pages 120-121.
  8. ^ Garrison, Jessica (April 14, 2000). "Samoan Americans at a Crossroads". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  9. ^ American Samoa and the Citizenship Clause: A Study in Insular Cases Revisionism. Chapter 3. Harvard Law Review. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Embry, Jessie L. (2001). Mormon Wards as Community. Global Publications, Binghamton University, New York. p. 124. ISBN 9781586841126.
  11. ^ Gershon, Ilana (2001). No Family Is an Island: Cultural Expertise among Samoans in Diaspora. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London. p. 10. ISBN 0801464021.
  12. ^ a b John Connell, ed. (1990). Migration and Development in the South Pacific. National Centre for Development Studies, The Australian National University. pp. 172–173. ISBN 9780731506682.
  13. ^ Gordon R. Lewthwaite, Christiane Mainzer, and Patrick J. Holland (1973). "From Polynesia to California: Samoan Migration and Its Sequel". The Journal of Pacific History. The Journal of Pacific History. Vol. 8. 8: 133–157. doi:10.1080/00223347308572228. JSTOR 25168141.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) Page 25.
  14. ^ Division, US Census Bureau Administration and Customer Services. "US Census Bureau Publications - Population". Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  15. ^ Unicef: Samoa's Migration profiles.
  16. ^ Sahagun, Louis (October 1, 2009). "Samoans in Carson hold church services for tsunami, earthquake victims". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  17. ^ Mydans, Seth (June 4, 1992). "Police Officer in California Cleared in Shooting Deaths". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  18. ^ Fuestch, Michelle (March 13, 1991). "Samoans Protest Killing of 2 Brothers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Brown, Charles E. (September 30, 2009). "Puget Sound's Samoan community awaits news". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  21. ^ a b c "Census AmericanFactfinder". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-04-04.[dead link]
  22. ^ "One of every four Tongans in U.S. calls Utah home". September 12, 2011. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015.
  23. ^ "Amata's Journal: Many Samoans in Norfolk area". Samoa News. May 25, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  24. ^ "Samoan Population by County, Island and Census Tract in the State of Hawaii: 2010" (PDF). line feed character in |title= at position 18 (help)

External links

This page was last edited on 24 September 2020, at 14:51
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