Samoan Culture

Samoans in Australia

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In the early 19th century, a small number of Samoans migrated to Australia due to perceived commercial and educational opportunities. In the 1850s, Wesleyan Christian missionaries from Australia began to visit Samoa. This led to Samoan pastors travelling to Australia for training and work. In the early 20th century, the White Australia Policy restricted immigration from Samoa. However, Australia was establishing trading companies in Samoa during this time. This resulted in a small number of Samoans migrating to Australia.


In the 1970s, educational programs sponsored by Australia increased the number of Samoans migrating. In contemporary Australia, the size of the Samoan community may be underestimated due to migration via New Zealand. A combination of Christian beliefs and Samoan traditions underpin community life of the Samoan community in Australia. Many continue to share Samoan music, dance and oral literature with others in the Samoan community as well as broader Australia.

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Samoa
  • Population
    198,926
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Samoan (official)
    English
  • Religions
    Protestant Christianity (57.4%)
    Roman Catholic Christianity (19.4%)
    Mormonism (15.2%)
    Worship Centre (1.7%)
    Other Christianity (5.5%)
    Other Religion (0.7%)
    No Religion (0.1%)
    Unspecified (0.1%)
    [2011 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Samoan (92.6%)
    Euronesians (persons with European and Polynesian heritage) (7.0%)
    Europeans (0.4%)
    [2001 census]
  • Australians with Samoan Ancestry
    75,755 [2016 census]
Samoans in Australia
  • Population
    24,017
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Samoa.
  • Average Age
    44
  • Gender
    Male (49.0%)
    Female (51.0%)
  • Religion
    Roman Catholic Christianity (23.0%)
    Church of the Latter-Day Saints (13.2%)
    Christian [nfd] (11.1%)
    Uniting Church Christianity (9.6%)
    Other (43.1%)
  • Ancestry
    Samoan (68.0%)
    English (6.8%)
    German (4.3%)
    Other (14.3%)
    Not Stated (6.5%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Samoan (84.4%)
    English (13.2%)
    Tokelauan (0.1%)
    Other (0.7%)
    Not Stated (1.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 85.7% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (41.3%)
    Queensland (33.9%)
    Victoria (21.1%)
    Western Australia (1.9%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (58.8%)
    2001-2006 (17.7%)
    2007-2011 (17.4%)
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