When we talk about American Samoa, we mean the part of the Samoa Islands in Polynesia that is considered an American territory. According to the UN, this is a non-autonomous area and in practical terms, American Samoa does not count as one of the US states, but the inhabitants have American passports and American nationality without being American citizens. They cannot vote in US federal elections and if they want to move to the United States, they must apply for a residence permit just like any other non-US citizen.
Geography and climate
American Samoa is located in the eastern part of the Samoa Islands, about 550 km west of the Cook Islands, and about 350 km east of Wallis and the Futuna Islands. The islands’ total area is about 199 km² and they are divided into two atolls and two archipelagos. In one archipelago called the Tutuila Islands is the main island of Tutila and Aunu’u, and in the other archipelago called the Manua Islands are the islands of Ta’u, Ofu, and Olosega. To these islands are added Swainsön and Roseatollen.
The main town is called Pago Pago and is located on Tutuila. This is where a large part of the islands’ approximately 58,000 inhabitants live. On Ta’u there is Lata Mountani which with a height of about 964 meters above sea level is the highest point of the islands. In the capital Pago Pago, there is an airport that can receive international flights.
According to Bridgat, the climate on the islands is tropical and there is a rainy season between November and April. Between December and March, typhoons can pull in over the islands. If you want to go to American Samoa, the best time is between May and October when it is hot but not so humid and when you avoid the worst rainstorms.
Those born in American Samoa, which includes Swain Island, have American nationality, but unless one of their parents is a US citizen, they will not become a US citizen. However, there is a difference between American Samoans and others who do not have American citizenship and that is that they can travel into the United States just like those who are American citizens. The United States cannot claim income tax from the American Samoans. The islands send a delegate to the US House of Representatives, but this delegate can not vote, so it’s more about a formality than about any real influence.
When it comes to jobs on the islands, there are three main categories and these are the public sector, in the tuna industry or in the private sector. The tuna factory, StarKist, is world famous and annually exports canned tuna for several hundred million dollars.
Little movie history
The film called Rain, which was launched in 1932 with Joan Crawford in the lead role, takes place in Pago Pago. A remake was made in 1953. The story of Sadie Thompson who prostituted herself was written fictionally by W. Somerset Maugham, but it is based on a real person who is said to have been active in the hotel in Pago Pago which still exists and which of course is called Sadie Thompson Inn.