American Samoa, an island territory of the United States in the South Pacific Ocean. Part of the Samoa Islands, it consists of Tutuila and Aunuu islands, the three Manua islands, and two small atolls. The total area is 77 square miles (199 km2). Tutuila is the largest and most populous island. The climate, although tropical and rainy, is pleasant because of the ocean's moderating effect. The National Park of American Samoa, covering some 14 square miles (36 km2) on the island and nearby sea, contains two tropical rain forests and a coral reef.
Samoans, who are ethnically Polynesian, make up most of the population. Many work in agriculture, raising bananas, taro, breadfruit, and other tropical crops. Tourism and the canning of fish, primarily tuna, are also important. Tuna is the principal export. Pago Pago, on Tutuila, is the capital.
American Samoa is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. It has limited self-government and is governed under its second constitution, adopted in 1967. The governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature are elected.
Although the Samoa Islands were discovered in 1722, few territorial claims were made until the late 19th century. By agreement in 1899, Germany and Great Britain renounced their claims to the islands east of 171° West longitude in favor of the United States. Formal cession by Samoan chiefs took place in 1900 and 1904.