Maoputasi County

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Maoputasi County, American Samoa
County of Maoputasi
Map of Tutuila where Maoputasi County is highlighted in red
Map of Tutuila where Maoputasi County is highlighted in red
Country United States
Territory American Samoa
Named forO le Ma'upūtasi ("The Single Chief’s House")
County seatPago Pago
Largest cityPago Pago
 • Total6.65 sq mi (17.2 km2)
Highest elevation
2,142 ft (653 m)
 • Total10,299
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,500/sq mi (600/km2)
Time zoneUTC−11 (Pacific Time Zone)
ZIP code
Area code+1 684
Map of Tutuila where Maoputasi County is highlighted in red, while the Eastern District is marked in orange.

Ma'upūtasi County is located in the Eastern District of Tutuila Island in American Samoa. Maoputasi County comprises the capital of Pago Pago and its harbor, as well as surrounding villages. It was home to 11,695 residents as of 2000.[2] Maoputasi County is 6.69 sq. mi.[3] The county has a 7.42-mile shoreline which includes Pago Pago Bay.[3]

Maoputasi County makes up all villages in the Pago Pago Bay Area from Aua to Fatumafuti.[4] Besides Pago Pago, it is home to the following villages: Anua (2010 pop. 18), Atu’u (pop. 359), Aua (pop. 2,077), Faga'alu (pop. 910), Fagatogo (pop. 1,737), Fatumafuti (pop. 113), Leloaloa (pop. 448), Satala (pop. 297), and Utulei (pop. 684).[5]

Ma'upūtasi translates to “the only house of chiefs”.[6] Pago Pago has been called O le Maputasi ("The Single Chief’s House") in compliment to the Mauga, who lived at Gagamoe and was the senior to all the other chiefs in the area.[7]

The county is represented by three senators in the American Samoa Senate, and five representatives in the House of Representatives, more than any other county.[8] Following the 2018 midterm elections, the county is currently represented by the following five members in the House of Representatives: Vailoata Eteuati Amituana’i, Vailiuama Steve Leasiolagi, Vesiai Poyer Samuelu, Vaetasi Tuumolimoli Moliga, and Faimealelei Anthony Allen.[9]


Guns were emplaced at Blunt's- and Braker's Points in 1940–42, covering Pago Pago Harbor.

In the summer of 1892, a disturbance broke out around Pago Pago Bay due to local rivalries. Mauga Lei chose to spend most of his time in Upolu Island, leaving the Pago Pago area without its natural leadership. The village of Pago Pago remained loyal, but neighboring Fagatogo joined with Aua village in an attempt to oust Mauga Lei in favor of a new titleholder. Pago Pago and the transmontane village of Fagasa demanded and received the surrender of the pretender. Fagatogans and Auans embarked in their boats and set out for Pago Pago, and when they were closing in on the village, they were met by bullets and forced to retreat. Houses were burned in Aua and Fagatogo, and women and children from Aua took refuge at the Roman Catholic Mission at Lepua.[10]

Following the death of elder statesman Mauga Moi Moi in 1935, the high chiefly title became vacant along with the county’s chieftainship and the district’s governorship. When the Mauga aiga could not agree upon a successor, the Governor had to fill administrative posts and named High Chief Lei’ato to be the district’s governor. He decided to try free, “American-style” elections for the post of county chief, however, Aua village declined to take any part in such proceedings. In the fa'aSāmoa, Utulei and Fagatogo villages voted for the Mailo, but each of the other county villages voted for its own village chiefs. Five years later, when the Mauga aiga chose Sialega Palepoi to be their matai, and hence High Chief of Maputasi County, the county chieftainship passed naturally into his hands.[11]

The 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami did major structural damage to the port facility in Fagatogo and elsewhere in the county.[12][13]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

Ma'oputasi County was first recorded beginning with the 1912 special census. Regular decennial censuses were taken beginning in 1920.[15] From 1912-1970, it was reported as "Mauputasi County."

With the exception of Fatumafuti village, Maoputasi County as a whole and all its villages experienced a population decline from 2000-2010. In 2010, the county was home to 10,299 residents, down from 11,695 recorded at the 2000 U.S. Census. Pago Pago’s population decreased 14.5 percent, Fagatogo’s population by 17.1 percent, and Utulei’s population by 15.2 percent. The population of the Eastern District decreased from 23,441 residents recorded at the 2000 U.S. Census, down to 23,030 residents as of the 2010 U.S. Census.[16]

Maoputasi County had a 2015 population of 11,052 residents, according to the 2015 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) by the Commerce Department.[1] It is the second-most populated county (after Tualauta County) and was home to 1,999 housing units as of the 2010 U.S. Census, down from 2,031 recorded at the 2000 U.S. Census.[17] It had the second-highest number of registered voters in 2016, only surpassed by Tualauta County. However, during the 2016 elections, more votes were cast in Maoputasi County than any other county. There were 3,507 registered voters in Maoputasi County as of 2016: 1,911 females and 1,596 males.[18]

Population change[16]
2000 U.S. Census 2010 U.S. Census
Maoputasi County 11,695 10,299
Anua 265 18
Atu'u 413 359
Aua 2,193 2,077
Faga'alu 1,006 910
Fagatogo 2,096 1,737
Fatumafuti 103 113
Leloaloa 534 448
Pago Pago (village) 4,278 3,656
Satala - 297
Utulei 807 684


English author W. Somerset Maugham stayed at Sadie Thompson Inn during his 6-week visit to Pago Pago in 1916.
Government House in the Togotogo Ridge appears on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. ^ a b "Taulauta faipule Vui seeks to amend Constitution to add two more seats for her district | American Samoa". Samoa News. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  2. ^ Government Printing Office (2004). The National Data Book. Government Printing Office. Page 824. ISBN 9780160877575.
  3. ^ a b "Mitigatio plan" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  4. ^ "Lawmakers hear 'options' on the House reapportionment issue | American Samoa". Samoa News. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  5. ^ "Census data" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  6. ^ Krämer, Augustin (2000). The Samoa Islands. University of Hawaii Press. Page 436. ISBN 9780824822194.
  7. ^ Gray, John Alexander Clinton (1980). Amerika Samoa. Arno Press. Page 123. ISBN 9780405130380.
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ Gray, John Alexander Clinton (1980). Amerika Samoa. Arno Press. Pages 95-96. ISBN 9780405130380.
  11. ^ Gray, John Alexander Clinton (1980). Amerika Samoa. Arno Press. Page 238. ISBN 9780405130380.
  12. ^ [3][dead link]
  13. ^ "Fa'alauiloa galuega mo le toe fa'aleleia uafu o va'a fagota alia i Fagatogo". Samoa News.
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "Census" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  16. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rate". American Samoa Department of Commerce. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  17. ^ "2010 census reveals jump in local housing units | American Samoa". Samoa News. 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  18. ^ "Election Office stats show registered female voters outnumber male voters | American Samoa". Samoa News. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2020-01-21.