U.S. Census 2000 states that there are approximately 875,000 Polynesians living in the US today.  That amounts to about 0.3% of the population.

Most of us would figure that the city with the highest concentration of Polynesians would be Honolulu.  But, would you have ever guessed that New York City would be number two.  According the the US 2000 Census that is true.  Things may have changed since then but...

The average age of a Samoan in the US is 24.  Among Pacific Islanders we are the 2nd youngest group.  Additionally, compared to the total US population whose average age is 35, we are practically babes. These statistics indicate to us that we haven't even reached our prime!

There are about 500,000 Samoans in the world and more than 200 play Division I football. A Samoan boy, according to estimates, is 40 times more likely to make it to the NFL than a boy from the mainland.


Between 1990 and 2000, the number of children in American Samoa increased by 24%. In comparison the US number of children only increased by 14% during the past decade.

NYC Polynesian Count

Data possibly skewed

We received some comments, which are highly welcomed, about our NYC report.  We quote:

"As any Polynesian knows when filling out forms, they always ask your ethnicity.  The box always reads Asian/Pacific Islander.  It is at this moment that we ask ourselves, "is that me?"  Some of can safely say yes.  The Ah Sus, the Wongs, the Ah Mus, etc.  Any Samoan who somewhere in their ancestry can trace one of their  progenetors to  Asia.  But, what of the Samoans who if there is an early non-Samoan progenetor they were of German or English descent.  Then, this form fails to capture accurate data."

Yes, we have all filled out this form from time to time. But, it appears that the census bureau took this into consideration.  As we pulled up the actual census form it was clear that the Feds broke up each ethnicity into their own category. 

Samoans are the second most numerous group of Polynesians in the US

As we looked into further into the cesus report  We found some more interesting facts about Samoans in the US.  About 1 out of every 4 Pacific Islander in the US is a Samoan (22.5%.)  Only Native Hawaiians are more numerous than Samoans.  As a result, Samoans have their own category on the census form. 

Other  facts of interest are that Samoan households average 4.43 persons.  The family income is around $41,000, and about 1/3 of the Samoan households own their house.

Source: Census Report 2000

Other Forms

This reader, who requested to remain annonymous, had a good point.  Since, many Federally funded programs which attempt to help Pacific Islanders, allot funds to certain programs according to ethnicity. Then, If these programs continue to inclue Asian with Pacific Islander, the programs may not be helping the Pacific Islanders as intended because the Pacific Islander population is significantly smaller that the Asian population.

US Samoans Follow-Up

In our prime?

Looking at the data from the census report, the median age of Samoans in the US is 24.  We said that it could mean we, as Samoans, haven’t reached our prime.  This assumption was conceived while considering the median age of the whole US is 35 years old.  We thought that this median age of 24 was attributed to the fact that Samoans are still having kids. 

Since the US average birth rate is dropping, the median age is going up overall.  Samoans on the other hand still have a large youth population that helps keep the median age low.

The other fatal reason

One reader commented, “Maybe, the reason Samoans are so young, is because the older generation is dying off because of diseases like Diabetes.”  This is a fact that no Samoan can deny.  Each of us knows or is related to at least three Samoans with this deadly disease.  

Many have fallen to the effects of this killer.  Many of us have lost loved ones.  What do we do about it?  We don’t know.  We can donate money to the causes that are fighting it.  We can love and spend time with those that have it.  We can eat right and exercise and teach our kids these healthy habits and we can pray for them.