(territory of the US)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Guam
Location of Guam
Map of Guam
Introduction ::Guam
Guam was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three years later. The military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific.
Geography ::Guam
Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
13 28 N, 144 47 E
total: 544 sq km
land: 544 sq km
water: 0 sq km
three times the size of Washington, DC
0 km
125.5 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
tropical marine; generally warm and humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season (January to June), rainy season (July to December); little seasonal temperature variation
volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coralline limestone plateau (source of most fresh water), with steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal plains in north, low hills in center, mountains in south
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m
aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)
arable land: 3.64%
permanent crops: 18.18%
other: 78.18% (2005)
frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare but potentially destructive typhoons (June - December)
extirpation of native bird population by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic, invasive species
largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean
People ::Guam
178,430 (July 2009 est.)
0-14 years: 27.8% (male 25,651/female 23,904)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 59,304/female 56,995)
65 years and over: 7% (male 5,786/female 6,790) (2009 est.)
total: 29.1 years
male: 28.8 years
female: 29.4 years (2009 est.)
1.365% (2009 est.)
18.22 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
4.57 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
urban population: 93% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 6.05 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.47 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 78.01 years
male: 74.97 years
female: 81.23 years (2009 est.)
2.54 children born/woman (2009 est.)
noun: Guamanian(s) (US citizens)
adjective: Guamanian
Chamorro 37.1%, Filipino 26.3%, other Pacific islander 11.3%, white 6.9%, other Asian 6.3%, other ethnic origin or race 2.3%, mixed 9.8% (2000 census)
Roman Catholic 85%, other 15% (1999 est.)
English 38.3%, Chamorro 22.2%, Philippine languages 22.2%, other Pacific island languages 6.8%, Asian languages 7%, other languages 3.5% (2000 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (1990 est.)
Government ::Guam
conventional long form: Territory of Guam
conventional short form: Guam
local long form: Guahan
local short form: Guahan
organized, unincorporated territory of the US with policy relations between Guam and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
name: Hagatna (Agana)
geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 144 44 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
none (territory of the US)
none (territory of the US)
Discovery Day, first Monday in March (1521)
Organic Act of Guam, 1 August 1950
modeled on US; US federal laws apply
18 years of age; universal; US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
head of government: Governor Felix P. CAMACHO (since 6 January 2003); Lieutenant Governor Dr. Michael W. CRUZ (since 1 January 2007)
cabinet: heads of executive departments; appointed by the governor with the consent of the Guam legislature
elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as Guam, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year term (can serve two consecutive terms, then must wait a full term before running again); election last held 7 November 2006 (next to be held in November 2010)
election results: Felix P. CAMACHO reelected governor; Dr. Michael W. CRUZ elected lieutenant governor; percent of vote - NA
unicameral Legislature (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 10, Republican Party 5
note: Guam elects one nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives; election last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 1
Federal District Court (judge is appointed by the president); Territorial Superior Court (judges appointed for eight-year terms by the governor)
Democratic Party [leader Michael PHILLIPS]; Republican Party [Philip J. FLORES] (controls the legislature)
Guam Federation of Teachers' Union; Guam Waterworks Authority Workers
other: activists; indigenous groups
none (territory of the US)
none (territory of the US)
territorial flag is dark blue with a narrow red border on all four sides; centered is a red-bordered, pointed, vertical ellipse containing a beach scene, outrigger canoe with sail, and a palm tree with the word GUAM superimposed in bold red letters; US flag is the national flag
Economy ::Guam
The economy depends largely on US military spending and tourism. Total US grants, wage payments, and procurement outlays amounted to $1.3 billion in 2004. Over the past 30 years, the tourist industry has grown to become the largest income source following national defense. The Guam economy continues to experience expansion in both its tourism and military sectors.
$2.5 billion (2005 est.)
$2.773 billion (2001)
$15,000 (2005 est.)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
82,950 (2007 est.)
agriculture: 26%
industry: 10%
services: 64% (2004 est.)
11.4% (2002 est.)
23% (2001 est.)
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $319.6 million
expenditures: $427.8 million (2002 est.)
2.5% (2005 est.)
fruits, copra, vegetables; eggs, pork, poultry, beef
US military, tourism, construction, transshipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles
1.767 billion kWh (2007 est.)
1.644 billion kWh (2007 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
9,227 bbl/day (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
14,230 bbl/day (2007 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
0 cu m (2008 est.)
0 cu m (2008 est.)
0 cu m (2008)
0 cu m (2008 est.)
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
$45 million (2004 est.)
transshipments of refined petroleum products, construction materials, fish, food and beverage products
$701 million (2004 est.)
petroleum and petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
the US dollar is used
Communications ::Guam
65,500 (2008)
98,000 (2004)
general assessment: modern system, integrated with US facilities for direct dialing, including free use of 800 numbers
domestic: modern digital system, including cellular mobile service and local access to the Internet
international: country code - 1-671; major landing point for submarine cables between Asia and the US (Guam is a trans-Pacific communications hub for major carriers linking the US and Asia); satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2005)
3 (2006)
23 (2009)
85,000 (2008)
Transportation ::Guam
5; note - 2 serviceable (2009)
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 1,045 km (2007)
Apra Harbor
Military ::Guam
males age 16-49: 37,563
females age 16-49: 36,083 (2009 est.)
male: 1,677
female: 1,581 (2009 est.)
defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues ::Guam