Saturday, June 16, 2012

World's Largest Pacific Islander Communities

Which of the following countries has the largest Pacific Islander population?

A.) Samoa
B.) Tonga
C.) Fiji
D.) The United States of America

You might think it'd be one of these Pacific Island nations, but the answer is D.) USA.

In fact, the United States has a bigger Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander community than all of those other nations combined. Alongside Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, the U.S.A. has one of the largest Pacific Islander populations in the world.


Want to see the sources and the math for yourself? I've written out the math below, and hyperlinked to our sources: 

  • Samoa has a population of 183,000, of which 99 percent are Samoan or other Pacific Islander (181,170)
  • Tonga has a population of 105,000, of which 98 percent are Tongan (102,900)
  • Fiji has a population of 851,000, of which 57 percent are Fijian (485,070)

181,170 + 102,900 + 485,070 = 769,140

By comparison, the US counts over 1,200,000 Pacific Islanders in the 50 states

What about Papua New Guinea and New Zealand?

  • Papua New Guinea is home to 6.8 million people, of which 99 percent are Papua New Guinean (6.73 million). Papua New Guinea is the only place in the world I'm aware of that has a larger Pacific Islander population than the US.
  • New Zealand has a population of 4.4 million residents, of which 15 percent are Maori and 7 percent are other Pacific Islanders (968,000). Their Pacific Islander population is comparable, though clearly smaller, than the US.
(Did we miss a country with a bigger PI population than the US?  If you think so, let us know!)

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