Tafuna – the city in American Samoa, on the island of Tutuila; 12 100 inhabitants (2006). The largest city of the country. South of the airport is Pago Pago.


The economy

The economy of the islands is based on fishing and processing of fish, particularly tuna and canned fish are a major export article. It is important to agriculture, although crops occupy only 15% of the area of the islands, of which 1 / 3 accounted for plantations, and the remainder is mostly owned by tribal communities. Mainly for its own growing: jams, taro, chlebowiec, vegetables, coconut palm, pineapples and papayas.

Almost 1 / 3 employed sector employs government. Develops tourism and light industry (including textile factories in Tafuna). Engine for the economy is the influx of U.S. capital in the form of investments and subsidies. Islands, of which 50 years and 60 Twentieth century emigration to Hawaii and to California, now attract immigrants from Western Samoa and Tonga.


About 30 ethnic Samoans, many from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League. A 2002 article from ESPN estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan, or a Samoan living in the 50 United States) is 40 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, though born and raised in the mainland U.S., is perhaps the most famous Samoan in the NFL, having not gotten his haircut since 2000 (and only because a former USC coach told him he had to) and wearing it down during games in honor of his heritage.

A number have also ventured into professional wrestling (see especially Anoa’i family). World Wrestling Entertainment has employed many members from the Anoa’i family, most famously The Rock. The company currently employs Anoa’i member Eddie Fatu, better known to wrestling fans as Umaga, who has a traditional Samoan gimmick and is also known at times as the Samoan Bulldozer.

American Samoa’s national soccer team is considered one of the newest teams in the world. It also has the distinction of suffering the worst loss in international soccer history: they lost to Australia 31 – 0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match on April 11, 2001.


Persons born in American Samoa are American nationals, but not United States citizens. Such status is only conferred on people born in the districts of American Samoa and Swains Island, but not to people born in unorganized atolls. [Note: Swains Island is claimed by supporters of independence for Tokelau as part of that country.

Samoans are entitled to elect one non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives. Their delegate since 1989 has been Democrat Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr. They also receive delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.


Early Western contact included a battle in the eighteenth century between French explorers and islanders in Tutuila, for which the Samoans were blamed in the West, giving them a reputation for ferocity. Early nineteenth century Rarotongan missionaries to the Samoa islands were followed by a group of Western missionaries led by John Williams of the Congregationalist London Missionary Society in the 1830s, officially bringing Christianity to Samoa. Less than a hundred years later, the Samoan Congregationalist Church became the first independent indigenous church of the South Pacific.

In March of 1889, a German naval force invaded a village in Samoa, and by doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships then entered the Samoan harbor and were prepared to fire on the three German warships found there. Before guns were fired, a typhoon sank both the American and German ships. A compulsory armistice was called because of the lack of warships.

When to Go

The best time to enjoy American Samoa – and especially the island’s capital – is during the dry season (May-October). The risk of tropical cyclones (hurricanes) is reduced at this time and, not surprisingly, it is also when most of the major festivals are held. This is considered to be the region’s high season, though there isn’t much difference in pricing. If you plan to come during the December-January holiday period, when huge numbers of Samoans return for the holidays (mostly from New Zealand, Australia and the USA), it’s wise to book flights well in advance.

American Samoa

American Samoa (Samoan: Amerika Sāmoa or Sāmoa Amelika) is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa. The main (largest and most populous) island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island also included in the territory. American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands chain, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group. The 2000 census showed a total population of 57,291.[2] The total land area is 200.22 km² (77.305 sq mi).