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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 26) – American Samoa’s Statistics Division says the Territory’s population has been growing at a rate of fifteen hundred a years since 2000.

As of July 1, 2007 the population stands at 68,200.

The division of the Department of Commerce says there were 300 fewer babies born in 2006 compared to the number of births in 2005.

In the 2005 -2006 period, 3,600 local residents moved off island for various reasons including further education, joining the military and seeking better job opportunities.

In the same time period 3,200 migrants entered and remained in the territory.

Deaths remained below 300 a year.

The annual population growth rate was measured at 2 percent, which is a slower birth rate that what was experienced in the last decade.

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