5 Jun 2020

American Samoa census to resume

2:50 pm on 5 June 2020

American Samoa's 2020 Census has been given the green light to resume.

Pago Pago Harbour, American Samoa

Pago Pago Harbour, American Samoa Photo: AFP / Michael Runkel / Robert Harding Premium

The Director of Commerce Fuiavailili Keniseli Lafaele says Governor Lolo Moliga approved the resumption of the people count at a meeting yesterday.

The census was suspended in March following the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration .

Census Advisor Jason Kopp says safety will be a priority as the work resumes.

"This data is so important because it's the data that will be used for the next ten years to make decisions about federal funding that the island will qualify for, and for future administrations to be able to make decisions about your island and your community."

During the emergency phase only census office staff continued to work at reduced hours while all field enumeration operations were suspended.

Almost 300 Census workers received compensation during the suspension.

In preparation for the restart of the census, a public awareness programme about the census and how home interviews will be conducted under the COVID-19 emergency rules, is being aired on local television.