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Island Areas Decennial Census

Historic Snapshot of the Island Areas

Article I of the Constitution requires that a census be taken every ten years. Title 13 of the U.S. Code provides the authorization for conducting the Census in the Island Areas (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The first official Census was conducted in American Samoa and Guam in 1920, in CNMI in 1970, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1917. Since that time, the decennial Census has been conducted every ten years, generally on April 1 in years ending in a zero.

Census data are used for determining the distribution of funds for government programs such as Medicaid; planning the right locations for schools, roads, and other public facilities; helping real estate agents and potential residents learn about a neighborhood; and identifying trends over time that can help predict future needs. Most Census data are available for many levels of geography, including island area, counties, county subdivisions, places, estates (U.S. Virgin Islands only), census tracts, block groups, and blocks.

About the 2010 Island Areas Census

To conduct the 2010 Island Areas Census, census workers went to every household to collect completed census forms or conduct an interview. Census workers also counted individuals living in group quarters, such as university dormitories and assisted living facilities, and those living in transitory locations, such as marinas or campsites.

Census 2010

What We Ask

For the 2010 Island Areas Census, questions were asked of every person and housing unit in American Samoa, CNMI, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Data are available on:

Population Subjects:

  • Age
  • Children ever born (fertility)
  • Citizenship status
  • Class of worker
  • Disability status
  • Earnings in 2009
  • Educational attainment
  • Employment status and subsistence activity
  • Ethnic origin or race (Pacific Islands only)
  • Family type
  • Foreign-born status
  • Grandparents as caregivers
  • Group quarters population
  • Health insurance coverage status
  • Hispanic or Latino origin (U.S. Virgin Islands only)
  • Household type and relationship
  • Income in 2009
  • Industry
  • Journey to work (commuting)
  • Language spoken at home and frequency of language usage (Pacific Islands only)
  • Language spoken at home and ability to speak English (U.S. Virgin Islands only)
  • Marital status
  • Military Dependents (Pacific Islands only)
  • Nativity
  • Occupation
  • Parents’ place of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Place of work
  • Poverty status in 2009
  • Race (U.S. Virgin Islands only)
  • Reason for moving
  • Remittances sent abroad in 2009 (Pacific Islands only)
  • Residence in 2009 (migration)
  • School enrollment
  • Service-connected disability status and ratings
  • Sex
  • Travel time to work
  • Veteran status
  • Vocational training
  • Work experience
  • Year of entry

Understanding the Results

The results from the 2010 Islands Areas Census are available in a number of datasets in American FactFinder:

  • 2010 American Samoa Demographic Profile - get data »
  • 2010 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Demographic Profile - get data »
  • 2010 Guam Demographic Profile - get data »
  • 2010 U.S. Virgin Islands Demographic Profile - get data »
  • 2010 American Samoa Summary File - get data »
  • 2010 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Summary File - get data »
  • 2010 Guam Summary File - get data »
  • 2010 U.S. Virgin Islands Summary File - get data »

Housing Subjects:

  • Air conditioning (Pacific Islands only)
  • Battery-operated radio (Pacific Islands only)
  • Computer ownership
  • Gross rent
  • Internet service
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Mortgage status
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of rooms
  • Occupancy status
  • Occupants per room
  • Plumbing facilities
  • Purchase of water from water vendor (U.S. Virgin Islands only)
  • Selected monthly owner costs
  • Sewage disposal
  • Source of water
  • Telephone service available
  • Tenure
  • Type of building materials
  • Units in structure
  • Vacancy status
  • Value of home
  • Vehicles available
  • Year householder moved into unit
  • Year structure built