American Samoa may be as close as we ever get to paradise on Earth. This curious little corner of the planet is more than just a pretty face, however – there’s tons to learn about this territory, and we’re here to help with some fun facts about American Samoa that may just surprise you.
1. What is American Samoa, anyway?
Technically speaking, American Samoa is officially known as an unincorporated territory belonging to the US. It is a group of five islands and two coral atolls easy to find in the South Pacific Ocean.
2. Here’s where you’ll find it.
If “South Pacific Ocean” wasn’t specific enough for you, then here’s a better idea of where American Samoa is! Its neighboring countries include Samoa to the northwest, Fiji to the southwest, Niue Island to the south, and Wallis and Futuna to the west.
3. It’s around the same size as some US states.
American Samoa covers an area of about 200 square km, or 77 square miles. This makes the entire area slightly bigger than Washington DC!
4. Not many people live out here!
As of 2021, 45,035 people live in American Samoa. At least they have plenty of room spread out over five islands!
5. Pogo pogo to Pago Pago!
Pago Pago is the capital city of American Samoa – and, as of 2022, there are over 11,000 people living here! That’s around 25% of the whole population.
6. There’s trekking in store!
If you plan on visiting American Samoa, remember to bring your walking boots! The terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous. This also means that there are plenty of spots to get great views!
7. How’s the weather out there?
American Samoa has a tropical marine climate. This means that from about November to April, you’ll need your umbrella during the rainy season. However, other than that, there is little temperature variation throughout the year, which makes every day feel like a vacation!
8. The good news about money here is…
Thankfully, if you travel to American Samoa, you won’t have to change your money! As a US territory, the currency in American Samoa is the US dollar.
9. What do people speak in American Samoa?
You won’t even have to hit the DuoLingo before you arrive! American Samoa has two official languages, English and Samoan. Certain other Pacific languages, such as Tongan, are spoken in the area, too.
10. It’s bats!
Believe it or not, American Samoa is home to only three land mammals – three species of bat! But, it more than makes up on the animal front in the beautiful waters surrounding the islands.
FAQs about American Samoa
Can US citizens live in American Samoa?
Given just how beautiful American Samoa is, it’s no wonder that so many of us would love to live there! Thankfully, if you are a citizen of the United States of America, then you are allowed indefinite access to American Samoa. While you need a passport to get in, you do not need a visa! And, as an American citizen, you can both live and work in American Samoa.
Is American Samoa part of the United States?
Technically speaking, yes, American Samoa is part of the United States. Officially, it is an unincorporated (otherwise known as unorganized) territory of the US. It became part of the US in 1900 by deed of cession.
Why are Samoa and American Samoa different?
This is due to the fact that, at the start of the 20th century, the Samoan Islands were divided into two parts. The eastern islands became known as American Samoa and officially became United States territories.
On the other hand, the western islands, which are now simply known as Samoa, fell originally under German control before being passed onto New Zealand. However, Samoa is now completely independent and has been so since 1962.
Do you know any fun facts about American Samoa? Share them in the comments below!