ABSTRACT: The Samoan population affords an excellent opportunity to study the influences of modernization and migration on growth. Moreover, since Samoan adults in some settings have very high rates of obesity, the childhood precursors to obesity can be studied among Samoans. This study reports the results of a survey of 786 Samoan children between 5.5 and 11.5 years of age living in traditional, modern or migrant situations. It was found that the children from Western Samoa (traditional) were significantly shorter, lighter and lighter for height than their counterparts in American Samoa (modern) and Hawaii (migrant). The major influence on height and weight appears to be modernization (Western versus American Samoa), with migration (American Samoa versus Hawaii) playing only a small incremental role (significant only for weight among boys). The influences of modernization are likely to be exerted through changes in diet and activity among the children. Modernization and migration are associated with obesity among Samoan adults, and this pattern also seems to be established in preadolescents.