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American Samoa

American Samoa

Summary

American Samoa is a United States territory located in the Pacific Ocean.1 This territory is in many ways an extension of the mainland United States with similar governing bodies and benefits, but American Samoans often have lower standards of living and much higher poverty rates. However, the island boasts diverse ecosystems which are in need of protection due to rapid population growth and industrialization.2 1 http://everything-everywhere.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-territories-of-the-united-states/
2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/aq.html

Explore American Samoa Subcases

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Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

American Samoa is located in the tropical region of the Caribbean Ocean. The island is at risk of losing land because of rising ocean water levels, and it has already lost coral reef areas because of pollution.1 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Division of Environmental Quality have embarked on multi-year protection projects to monitor pollution levels, prevent erosion, clean up contaminated areas, and replant native species to preserve the biodiversity.2 `

Family

Much of the population has a mixed background coming mainly from different indigenous groups or Asia.1 The typical family has an average of two children.2

Human Rights

In American Samoa, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.1 There are special programs set up to provide services for victims of abuse. In addition, workers are routinely exploited by their employers and forced to work in unsafe condition for unfair wages.2

Education

Education is compulsory for children aged 6-17, and all of the primary and secondary schools are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Private institutions, licensing, and academic testing standards are overseen by local education departments.1 Children are instructed in Spanish. Students can chose to attend local institutions of higher education or universities in the United States.

Poverty

Poverty is a pressing issue and significantly more prevalent than in the United States. 30 percent of American Samoans are unemployed and an even higher percentage live in poverty.1

Religion

Over 90 percent of people in the territories identify as Christians, mainly Roman Catholics.1 Although this is the most common religion, many combine their Christian beliefs with traditional religious practices as well.

Clean Water

Water systems are often contaminated and not safe to drink from.1 The United States’ Environment Protection Agency offers special grants to improve or build new drinking water infrastructures, but they still struggle to meet water standards due to poor monitoring.2

Economy

There has been a decrease in tourism and investments which has caused the economy to struggle in recent years.1 American Samoa has an economy largely based on communal farming and fisheries, with fish and tourism being their largest exports.2

Government

Because they have more autonomy than other U.S. territories, American Samoa does not have any representation in the United States government.1 They have their own local governments and tax system that consists of a chief governor, legislative body, and local court system. American Samoans are considered U.S. nationals who may become naturalized citizens.2

Health

The Department of Public Health is administered by local officials with some direction from the U.S. mainland. There is one hospital located in the capital city with smaller health facilities scattered throughout the land.1 American Samoa faces many health concerns that are common in developing nations like malnutrition and infectious tropical diseases.2

Children

Youth comprise approximately 20 percent of American Samoa’s population.1 There are many organized youth sport and extracurricular opportunities organized through the local government and funded by the United States Department of Education. Nearly all public and privately funded grants available to youth in the mainland U.S. for studies and enrichment programs are also available for those living in the American Samoa.

Animals

American Samoa has a diverse array of animal life with many species found only on one specific island.1 The United States Environmental Protection Agency has initiated sea turtle monitoring services to maintain the number of sea turtles and protect their eggs during mating season.2

American Samoa

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