Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Pat Luce-Aoelua & Daniel Pouesi
Samoans in the United States are known as Pacific Islanders. More specifically, they are Polynesians, which is one of the three racial groups in the Pacific Basin. Ethnic and racial categories are used by the U.S. government to identify populations in the United States. In 1997, Pacific Islanders were added as the newest racial and ethnic category, the fifth racial group, “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders,” for purposes of data collection. This category was implemented for the first time in the 2000 census. This entry looks at their immigration and the U.S. community. Samoans in the United States originated from the Samoan Islands, which are located in Central Polynesia approximately 2,270 miles southwest of the Hawaiian Islands and 1,600 miles northeast of New Zealand. The islands are divided into two political entities—American Samoa and the Independent State of Samoa. The Independent State of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) was under ...