4 Oct 2011

American Samoa congressman calls for census inquiry

8:34 am on 4 October 2011

American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. Congress, Faleomavaega Eni has called on the territorial Legislature to continue to look into the 2010 Census count.

Faleomavaega says that former government chief statistician Meleisea Filiga is an expert in census matters and his report on the possible undercount over the last ten years should be taken seriously.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the territory's population declined by 3.1% or 1,772 people between 2000 and 2010.

In a report last months, Meleisea Filiga said he finds it hard to believe that the territory's population declined in the past decade when the number of births is above a thousand every year.

The American Samoa Department of Commerce says the department does not see an adequate or convincing basis for serious questions raised on the outcome of the 2010 population count.

Faleomavaega told lawmakers that the Fono should look at holding more hearings on this matter in order to get a better understanding on whether or not there was an undercount.

He says the 2010 Census is the final population count for the territory and no one can change these numbers, which will be used for future federal funding appropriations.