Guam

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Guam
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Guam
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Map of Guam
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Photos of Guam
 
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OF GUAM
 

Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
 
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13 28 N, 144 47 E
 
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total: 544 sq km
country comparison to the world: 195
land: 544 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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three times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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125.5 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
 
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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
 
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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
 
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m
 
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aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)
 
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arable land: 3.64%
permanent crops: 18.18%
other: 78.18% (2005)
 
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2 sq km (2008)
 
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frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare but potentially destructive typhoons (June - December)
 
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extirpation of native bird population by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic, invasive species
 
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largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean
 
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People and Society

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noun: Guamanian(s) (US citizens)
adjective: Guamanian
 
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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)
 
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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)
 
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Roman Catholic 85%, other 15% (1999 est.)
 
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183,286 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
 
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0-14 years: 27% (male 25,577/female 23,836)
15-64 years: 65.5% (male 61,237/female 58,891)
65 years and over: 7.5% (male 6,287/female 7,458) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 29.4 years
male: 29 years
female: 29.8 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.314% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
 
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17.85 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
 
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4.71 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
 
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
 
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urban population: 93% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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HAGATNA (capital) 153,000 (2009)
 
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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 (2011 est.)
 
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total: 5.83 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 177
male: 6.24 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 78.34 years
country comparison to the world: 51
male: 75.3 years
female: 81.57 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.48 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 98% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 2% of population
total: 1% of population (2008)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (1990 est.)
 
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NA
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Territory of Guam
conventional short form: Guam
local long form: Guahan
local short form: Guahan
 
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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
 
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NA
 
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name: Hagatna (Agana)
geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 144 44 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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none (territory of the US)
 
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none (territory of the US)
 
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Discovery Day, first Monday in March (1521)
 
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Organic Act of Guam, 1 August 1950
 
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common law modeled on US system; US federal laws apply
 
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18 years of age; universal; US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
 
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chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
head of government: Governor Eddie CALVO (since 3 January 2011); Lieutenant Governor Ray TENORIO (since 3 January 2011)
cabinet: heads of executive departments; appointed by the governor with the consent of the Guam legislature
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
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 a four-year term (can serve two consecutive terms, then must wait a full term before running again); election last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2014)
election results: Eddie CALVO elected governor with 50.6% percent of vote against 49.4% for Carl GUTIERREZ; Ray TENORIO elected lieutenant governor
 
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unicameral Legislature (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 9, Republican Party 6
note: Guam elects one nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives; election last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 1
 
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Federal District Court (judge is appointed by the president); Supreme Court of Guam (hears appeals from Superior Court - judges appointed by governor); Territorial Superior Court (judges appointed for eight-year terms by the governor)
 
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Democratic Party [Michael PHILLIPS]; Republican Party [Philip J. FLORES] (controls the legislature)
 
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Guam Federation of Teachers' Union; Guam Waterworks Authority Workers
other: activists; indigenous groups
 
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IOC, SPC, UPU
 
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none (territory of the US)
 
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none (territory of the US)
 
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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, a proa or outrigger canoe with sail, and a palm tree with the word GUAM superimposed in bold red letters; the proa is sailing in Agana Bay with the promontory of Punta Dos Amantes, near the capital, in the background; blue represents the sea and red the blood shed in the struggle against oppression
note: the US flag is the national flag
 
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coconut tree
 
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name: "Fanohge Chamoru" (Stand Ye Guamanians)
lyrics/music: Ramon Manalisay SABLAN [English], Lagrimas UNTALAN [Chamoru]/Ramon Manalisay SABLAN
note: adopted 1919; the local anthem is also known as "Guam Hymn"; as a territory of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner," which generally follows the playing of "Stand Ye Guamanians," is official (see United States)
 
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Economy

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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.
 
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$2.5 billion (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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$2.773 billion (2001)
 
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NA%
 
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$15,000 (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
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agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
 
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82,950 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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agriculture: 26%
industry: 10%
services: 64% (2004 est.)
 
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11.4% (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
 
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23% (2001 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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revenues: $319.6 million
expenditures: $427.8 million (2002 est.)
 
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11.5% of GDP (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
 
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-3.9% of GDP (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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2.5% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
 
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fruits, copra, vegetables; eggs, pork, poultry, beef
 
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US military, tourism, construction, transshipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles
 
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NA%
 
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1.764 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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1.641 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
 
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9,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
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12,710 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
 
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$45 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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transshipments of refined petroleum products, construction materials, fish, food and beverage products
 
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$701 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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petroleum and petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
 
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$NA
 
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the US dollar is used
 
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Communications

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65,500 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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98,000 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 191
 
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general assessment: modern system, integrated with US facilities for direct dialing, including free use of 800 numbers
domestic: digital system, including mobile-cellular 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)
 
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about a dozen TV broadcast channels, including digital channels; multi-channel cable TV services are available; roughly 20 radio stations broadcasting (2009)
 
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.gu
 
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24 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 216
 
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90,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 163
 
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Transportation

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5; note - 2 serviceable (2010)
country comparison to the world: 178
 
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total: 4
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 1,045 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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Apra Harbor
 
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Military

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males age 16-49: 38,358
females age 16-49: 36,869 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 1,701
female: 1,608 (2010 est.)
 
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defense is the responsibility of the US
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
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