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  Introduction Back To Top

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 Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

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

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
13 28 N, 144 47 E

Natural resources:
aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m

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

Geography - note:
largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean

total: 541.3 sq km
land: 541.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines

125.5 km

Area - comparative:
three times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
extirpation of native bird population by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic, invasive species

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare, but potentially very destructive typhoons (June - December)

Land use:
arable land: 3.64%
permanent crops: 18.18%
other: 78.18% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.55 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
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: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.93 years
male: 75.86 years
female: 82.19 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (1990 est.)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
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)

Median age:
total: 28.9 years
male: 28.7 years
female: 29.2 years (2008 est.)

175,877 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:

Population growth rate:
1.373% (2008 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)

Death rate:
4.65 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.55 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.2% (male 25,644/female 23,910)
15-64 years: 64.8% (male 58,034/female 55,900)
65 years and over: 7% (male 5,801/female 6,588) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
18.37 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Roman Catholic 85%, other 15% (1999 est.)

noun: Guamanian(s) (US citizens)
adjective: Guamanian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of the US)

National holiday:
Discovery Day, first Monday in March (1521)

18 years of age; universal; US citizens, but do not vote in US presidential elections

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Guam Federation of Teachers' Union; Guam Waterworks Authority Workers
other: activists; indigenous groups

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of the US)

Dependency status:
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

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
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

Legal system:
modeled on US; US federal laws apply

Flag description:
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

none (territory of the US)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Territory of Guam
conventional short form: Guam
local long form: Guahan
local short form: Guahan

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [leader Michael PHILLIPS]; Republican Party [Philip J. FLORES] (controls the legislature)

name: Hagatna (Agana)
geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 144 44 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Organic Act of Guam, 1 August 1950

Executive branch:
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

Administrative divisions:
none (territory of the US)

Judicial branch:
Federal District Court (judge is appointed by the president); Territorial Superior Court (judges appointed for eight-year terms by the governor)

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
1.664 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Debt - external:

Unemployment rate:
11.4% (2002 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$15,000 (2005 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.5 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.773 billion (2001)

Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used

GDP - real growth rate:

Labor force:
62,050 (2002 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Oil - imports:
13,530 bbl/day (2005)

$45 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
US dollar (USD)

Economy - overview:
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.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, food, manufactured goods

US military, tourism, construction, transshipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
23% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:
1.789 billion kWh (2006 est.)

$701 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 10%
services: 64% (2004 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
12,780 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
transshipments of refined petroleum products, construction materials, fish, food and beverage products

Economic aid - recipient:
Guam receives large transfer payments from the US Federal Treasury into which Guamanians pay no income or excise taxes; under the provisions of a special law of Congress, the Guam Treasury, rather than the US Treasury, receives federal income taxes paid by military and civilian Federal employees stationed in Guam (2001 est.)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $319.6 million
expenditures: $427.8 million (2002 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
65,000 (2005)

Telephones - main lines in use:
65,500 (2003)

106,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2005)

221,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
98,000 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:
3 (2006)

Telephone system:
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)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
20 (2000)

Internet hosts:
36 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
Apra Harbor

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 - closed
914 to 1,523 m: 1 - closed (2008)

total: 1,045 km (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

5; note - 2 serviceable (2008)

  Military Back To Top

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 1,665
female: 1,547 (2008 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:

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