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Flag 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
Geographic coordinates:
13 28 N, 144 47 E
Map references:
total: 549 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 549 sq km
Area - comparative:
three times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
125.5 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical marine; generally warm and humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season from January to June, rainy season from 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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m
Natural resources:
fishing (largely undeveloped), tourism (especially from Japan)
Land use:
arable land: 10.91%
permanent crops: 10.91%
other: 78.18% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare, but potentially very destructive typhoons (June - December)
Environment - current issues:
extirpation of native bird population by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic, invasive species
Geography - note:
largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean
People Guam
163,941 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 35.1% (male 30,334; female 27,264)
15-64 years: 58.4% (male 50,258; female 45,538)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 5,269; female 5,278) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 25.2 years
male: 25.6 years
female: 24.9 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
1.89% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
23.19 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
4.29 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 6.62 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.27 years
male: 75.96 years
female: 80.9 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.62 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Guamanian(s)
adjective: Guamanian
Ethnic groups:
Chamorro 37%, Filipino 26%, white 10%, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other 27%
Roman Catholic 85%, other 15% (1999 est.)
English, Chamorro, Japanese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (1990 est.)
Government Guam
Country name:
conventional long form: Territory of Guam
conventional short form: Guam
local long form: Guahan
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
Government type:
Hagatna (Agana)
Administrative divisions:
none (territory of the US)
none (territory of the US)
National holiday:
Discovery Day, first Monday in March (1521)
Organic Act of 1 August 1950
Legal system:
modeled on US; US federal laws apply
18 years of age; universal; US citizens, but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch:
chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
election results: Felix P. P. CAMACHO elected governor; percent of vote - Felix P. P. CAMACHO (Republican Party) 55.4%, Robert A. UNDERWOOD (Democratic Party) 44.6%
elections: US president and vice president elected on the same ticket for a four-year term; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year term; election last held 5 November 2002 (next to be held NA November 2006)
head of government: Governor Felix P. P. CAMACHO (since 6 January 2003) and Lieutenant Governor Kaleo MOYLAN (since 6 January 2003)
cabinet: executive departments; heads appointed by the governor with the consent of the Guam legislature
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislature (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: last held 5 November 2002 (next to be held 2 November 2004)
note: Guam elects one nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives; election last held 5 November 2002 (next to be held NA November 2004); results - Madeleine BORDALLO (Democratic Party) was elected as delegate; percent of vote by party - Democratic Party 64.6%, Republican Party 35.4%; seats by party - Democratic Party 1
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Democratic Party 9, Republican Party 6
Judicial branch:
Federal District Court (judge is appointed by the president); Territorial Superior Court (judges appointed for eight-year terms by the governor)
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party (controls the legislature) [speaker, Vicente (Ben) PANGELINAN]; Republican Party (party of Governor CAMACHO) [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
ESCAP (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of the US)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of the US)
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
Economy Guam
Economy - overview:
The economy depends on US military spending, tourism, and the export of fish and handicrafts. Total US grants, wage payments, and procurement outlays amounted to $1 billion in 1998. Over the past 20 years, the tourist industry has grown rapidly, creating a construction boom for new hotels and the expansion of older ones. More than 1 million tourists visit Guam each year. The industry has recently suffered setbacks because of the continuing Japanese slowdown; the Japanese normally make up almost 90% of the tourists. Most food and industrial goods are imported. Guam faces the problem of building up the civilian economic sector to offset the impact of military downsizing.
purchasing power parity - $3.2 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $21,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 7%
industry: 15%
services: 78% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
23% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0% (1999 est.)
Labor force:
60,000 (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
federal and territorial government 26%, private 74% (trade 24%, other services 40%, industry 10%) (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
15% (2000 est.)
revenues: $340 million
expenditures: $445 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
US military, tourism, construction, transshipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
830 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
771.9 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
20,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
fruits, copra, vegetables; eggs, pork, poultry, beef
$75.7 million f.o.b. (1999 est.)
Exports - commodities:
mostly transshipments of refined petroleum products; construction materials, fish, food and beverage products
Exports - partners:
Japan 81.7%, South Korea 6.1%, Canada 2.4% (2002)
$203 million f.o.b. (1999 est.)
Imports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Singapore 40.5%, South Korea 21.7%, Japan 21.6%, Hong Kong 4.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
Guam receives large transfer payments from the US Federal Treasury ($143 million in 1997) 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
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Communications Guam
Telephones - main lines in use:
84,134 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
55,000 (1998)
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: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); submarine cables to US and Japan (Guam is a trans-Pacific communications hub for MCI, Sprint, AT&T, IT&E, and GTE, linking the US and Asia)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4, FM 7, shortwave 2 (2003)
221,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
5 (1997)
106,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
20 (2000)
Internet users:
5,000 (2000)
Transportation Guam
0 km
total: 885 km
paved: 675 km
unpaved: 210 km
note: there are also 685 km of roads classified non-public, including roads located on federal government installations
Ports and harbors:
Apra Harbor
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
5 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Guam
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues Guam
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003