Swains Island, island, 1 sq mi (2.59 sq km), district of American Samoa, c.200 mi (320 km) N of Tutuila. It is a ring of sand and coral with luxuriant vegetation. Swains Island has been privately owned by the same family for more than 100 years. Local government was ordered for the indigenous residents by the U.S. government in 1954. The island sends one nonvoting member to the territorial legislature.