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Census Bureau releases latest data for American Samoa

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reporters@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S. Census Bureau released 2020 Island Areas Censuses Detailed Cross Tabulations for American Samoa on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. The data collected during the 2020 census-taking counted American Samoa’s population as 49,719 — a number the local administration continues to cite as incorrect.

From the cross tabulations, interesting data comes to light concerning American Samoa’s characteristics.

Data such as males continue to out earn females, despite having the same qualifications, i.e. degrees; the median income of households with a Samoan householder was $27,680, a Tongan householder was $14,345, and a Filipino householder was $32,024; and, the Samoan language continues to be the dominant language in American Samoa households.

The U.S. Census release includes 95 demographic, social, economic and housing characteristics tables. These characteristics are cross-tabulated by race, age, sex, place of birth, educational attainment, labor force status, occupation, industry, and income and earnings.

Housing characteristics are cross- tabulated by age of householder, household income in 2019, household size, tenure, units in structure, and year built.

This final release of 2020 Island Areas Censuses data include the Island Area and county-equivalent levels of geography.

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS IN 2020

The median age was 27.7 years; males (50.8% of the population) and females (49.2% of the population) were about the same age (with median ages of 27.6 and 27.8, respectively).

  • The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone population accounted for 88.7% of the total population and was slightly younger than American Samoa as a whole, with a median age of 26.5 years.
  • The Asian alone population represented 5.8% of the population and was much older (median age 38.4). The Multiracial population, also referred to as the Two or More Races population, comprised 4.4% of the total population and was much younger (median age of 21.8).
  • Among the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone population, males (median age 25.7) were younger than females (median age 27.2), while in the Asian alone population, males (median age 39.0) were older than females (median age 37.5).

SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN 2020

Note: The group quarters population is not included in the table universe.

  • Over half (58.1% of the population) of grandparents living with grandchildren under age 18 were female.
  • A higher share of younger co-resident grandparents in households were female: 72.9% of those ages 30 to 44 compared to 55.5% of those age 65 and over.
  • Among adults ages 25 to 29 in households, women (47.9%) were more likely than men (41.2%) to be married. This pattern reversed at age 75 and over in households, where 65.1% of men and 24.0% of women were currently married.
  • More than 13.0% (13.3%) of people age 25 and over in households had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Educational attainment varied by sex and age: 15.0% of women and 11.4% of men had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Those ages 25 to 44 (13.5%) were the most likely to have a bachelor’s and those ages 55 to 64 (12.7%) the least likely.
  • Among people age 18 and over in households, the median earnings in 2019 dollars of those with a bachelor’s degree earned more than twice as much ($27,308) as those with less than a high school degree ($10,575).
    • The median earnings for males with a bachelor’s degree or higher was $31,166, compared to $27,059 for females with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
    • Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 14.3% of men and 25.9% of women were enrolled in college or graduate school.
    • Of the population age 5 and over in households, 96.7% spoke a language other than English at home. Of that group, 54.6% spoke English less than “very well” and 90.9% spoke Samoan.
    • 95.5% of those ages 5 to 17 in households spoke a language other than English. Of this group, 62.8% spoke English less than “very well” and 94.1% spoke Samoan.
    • Among those age 65 and older in households, 95.8% spoke a language other than English, 55.3% spoke English less than “very well,” and 93.4% spoke Samoan. 

ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN 2019

Note: The Island Areas Censuses asked households about their income the previous year (in 2019). The group quarters population is not included in the table universe.

  • The poverty rate for all people in households for whom poverty status is determined was 54.6%.
  • The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone population in households had a poverty rate of 56.0%.
  • The median income of all households was $28,352.
  • The median income of households with a Samoan householder was $27,680, a Tongan householder was $14,345, and a Filipino householder was $32,024. 
  • Households with a householder age 65 and older had the highest median income ($38,293) of all other age groups. 
  • The median income of households with a householder born in American Samoa was $37,490.
  • 48.8% of households with a householder age 65 and over received Nutrition Assistance Plan (NAP) benefits, compared to 14.3% of those with a householder 15 to 24 years old.
  • Among people age 16 and over in the civilian labor force, 86.8% were employed and 13.2% were unemployed.
  • The unemployment rate of women was 15.0% and of men was 11.7%.
  • Among workers age 16 and over, 82.7% worked full-time, year-round (35 hours or more a week, 50 to 52 weeks).
  • Among workers age 16 and over, 61.4% were born outside of American Samoa and 38.6% were born in American Samoa.

HOUSING CHARACTERISTICS IN 2020

  • More than 80% (83.3%) of all housing units were occupied; of those units, 71.1% were occupied by owners and 28.9% by renters.
  • In owner-occupied households with only one person, comparing across age groups, those householders ages 15 to 24 made up the smallest share (2.6%), and householders 65 years or older represented the largest share (28.2%).
  • median monthly owner cost for households with a mortgage whose housing was built in 2019 or 2020 was $767, and $213 for households that did not have a mortgage. The median gross rent for households living in units built in 2019 or 2020 was $658.
  • Nearly 72% (71.7%) of children ages 5 to 17 lived in households with a computer and broadband internet subscription.
  • Median household income was higher for households with a computer and internet subscription ($37,572) than those without a computer ($15,443).
  • The U.S. Census is tabulated every decade, with the next one set for 2030.

BACKGROUND

While the 2020 Island Areas Censuses operation was successful, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the quality of the collected data on detailed social, economic and housing characteristics for American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To ensure the Census Bureau’s high data quality standards are met, adjustments were made to data products reporting population and housing characteristics.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting data collection efforts for group quarters facilities, American Samoa data tables reporting social and economic characteristics do not include the group quarters population in the table universe. As a result, impacted 2020 data tables should not be compared to 2010 and other past census data tables reporting the same characteristics.