Guam

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Spain ceded Guam to the US in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three years later. The military installations on the island are some of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific.

Geography

Location

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

Area 195/257

total: 544 sq km

land: 544 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

three times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

125.5 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

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

Terrain

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

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m

Natural resources

aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)

Land use

agricultural land: 33.4%

arable land 1.9%; permanent crops 16.7%; permanent pasture 14.8%

forest: 47.9%

other: 18.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

2 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare but potentially destructive typhoons (June to 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 and Society

Nationality

noun: Guamanian(s) (US citizens)

adjective: Guamanian

Ethnic groups

Chamorro 37.3%, Filipino 26.3%, white 7.1%, Chuukese 7%, Korean 2.2%, other Pacific Islander 2%, other Asian 2%, Chinese 1.6%, Palauan 1.6%, Japanese 1.5%, Pohnpeian 1.4%, mixed 9.4%, other 0.6% (2010 est.)

Languages

English 43.6%, Filipino 21.2%, Chamorro 17.8%, other Pacific island languages 10%, Asian languages 6.3%, other 1.1% (2010 est.)

Religions

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

Population 188/238

161,785 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 25.47% (male 21,189/female 20,017)

15-24 years: 17% (male 14,267/female 13,241)

25-54 years: 39.23% (male 32,315/female 31,159)

55-64 years: 9.4% (male 7,655/female 7,560)

65 years and over: 8.89% (male 6,552/female 7,830) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52%

youth dependency ratio: 38.7%

elderly dependency ratio: 13.3%

potential support ratio: 7.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 30.1 years

male: 29.6 years

female: 30.7 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 156/233

0.54% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 109/224

16.82 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 184/225

5.12 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 202/222

-6.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 94.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.36% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

HAGATNA (capital) 143,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 171/224

total: 5.41 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 5.81 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 50/224

total population: 78.98 years

male: 75.94 years

female: 82.21 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 87/224

2.34 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 99.5% of population

rural: 99.5% of population

total: 99.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0.5% of population

rural: 0.5% of population

total: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 89.8% of population

rural: 89.8% of population

total: 89.8% of population

unimproved:

urban: 10.2% of population

rural: 10.2% of population

total: 10.2% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 25/134

total: 29.4%

male: 29.7%

female: 28.9% (2011 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Territory of Guam

conventional short form: Guam

local long form: Guahan

local short form: Guahan

Government type

NA

Capital

name: Hagatna (Agana)

geographic coordinates: 13.28° N, 144.44° E

time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

none (territory of the US)

Independence

none (territory of the US)

National holiday

Discovery Day (or Magellan Day), first Monday in March (1521)

Constitution

effective 1 July 1950 (Guam Act of 1950 serves as a constitution); amended many times, last in 2015 (2015)

Legal system

common law modeled on US system; US federal laws apply

Citizenship

see United States

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal; note - Guamanians are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections

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 Eddie CALVO (since 3 January 2011); Lieutenant Governor Ray TENORIO (since 3 January 2011)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor with the consent of the Legislature

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); 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 ballot by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for 2 consecutive terms); election last held on 4 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2018)

election results: Eddie CALVO reelected governor; percent of vote - Eddie CALVO (Republican Party) 64%, Carl GUTIERREZ (Democratic Party) 36%; Ray TENORIO elected lieutenant governor

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislature of Guam or Liheslaturan Guahan (15 seats; members elected in a single countrywide constituency by simple majority vote to serve 2-year terms)

elections: last held on 4 November 2014 (next to be held on 8 November 2016)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 9, Republican Party 6

note: Guam directly elects 1 member by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term as a delegate to the US House of Representatives; the delegate can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of delegate last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 November 2014)

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Guam (consists of 3 justices); note - appeals beyond the Supreme Court of Guam are heard by the US Supreme Court

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Guam legislature; justices appointed for life subject to retention election every 10 years

subordinate courts: Superior Court of Guam - includes several divisions; US Federal District Court for the District of Guam (a US territorial court; appeals beyond this court are heard before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party [Carlo BRANCH]

Republican Party [Mike BENITO]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Guam Commission on Decolonization

Guam Federation of Teachers' Union

Guam Waterworks Authority Workers

We Are Guahan

International organization participation

AOSIS (observer), IOC, PIF (observer), SPC, UPU

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, 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; the shape of the central emblem is that of a Chamorro sling stone, used as a weapon for defense or hunting; blue represents the sea and red the blood shed in the struggle against oppression

note: the US flag is the national flag

National symbol(s)

coconut tree; national colors: deep blue, red

National anthem

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)

Economy

Economy - overview

US national defense spending is the main driver of Guam’s economy, followed by tourism and other services. Total federal spending (defense and non-defense) amounted to $1.973 billion in 2014, or 40.4% of GDP. Service exports, mainly spending by foreign tourists while on Guam, amounted to $651 million in 2013, or 13.3% of GDP. In 2013, Guam’s economy grew 0.6%. Despite slow growth, Guam’s economy has been stable over the last decade. National defense spending cushions the island’s economy against fluctuations in tourism, its other major income source. Guam serves as a forward US base for the Western Pacific and is home to thousands of American military personnel. Federal grants amounted to $373.3 million in 2013, or 32.6% of Guam’s total revenues for fiscal year.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 174/230

$4.882 billion (2013 est.)

$4.756 billion (2012 est.)

$4.562 billion (2011 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$4.6 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 190/225

0.6% (2013 est.)

1.8% (2012)

-0.3% (2011)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 60/230

$30,500 (2013 est.)

$29,800 (2012 est.)

$28,600 (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 63.7%

government consumption: 64.9%

investment in fixed assets: 5.8%

exports of goods and services: 17%

imports of goods and services: 17% (2013)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Agriculture - products

fruits, copra, vegetables; eggs, pork, poultry, beef

Industries

national defense, tourism, construction, transshipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Labor force 186/233

70,490

note: this number is for the civilian labor force only (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 0.3%

industry: 21.6%

services: 78.1% (2013)

Unemployment rate 96/207

8.4% (2013 est.)

8.2% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line

23% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $1.147 billion

expenditures: $1.188 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 122/219

24.9% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 51/220

-0.9% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt 136/176

32.1% of GDP (2013)

35.8% of GDP (2012)

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 104/226

1.8% (2014 est.)

4% (2011 est.)

Exports 164/224

$828 million (2013 est.)

$795 million (2012)

Exports - commodities

transshipments of refined petroleum products, construction materials, fish, foodstuffs and beverages

Imports 155/223

$2.501 billion (2013 est.)

$2.438 billion (2012)

Imports - commodities

petroleum and petroleum products, food, manufactured goods

Debt - external

$NA

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

Energy

Electricity - production 145/220

1.566 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption 148/219

1.566 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 146/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 157/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 137/214

552,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 13/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 102/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 177/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 180/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 143/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 132/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 199/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 141/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 190/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 148/212

12,510 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 186/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 122/213

15,620 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 196/216

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 150/215

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 109/215

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 204/214

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 146/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 152/212

1.775 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 152/219

total subscriptions: 67,400

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 191/217

total: 98,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 62 (2004)

Telephone system

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 transpacific communications hub for major carriers linking the US and Asia); satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

about a dozen TV channels, including digital channels; multi-channel cable TV services are available; roughly 20 radio stations (2009)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2005)

Television broadcast stations

3 (2006)

Internet country code

.gu

Internet hosts 219/232

23 (2012)

Internet users 168/217

total: 107,800

percent of population: 67.0% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 179/236

5 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 4

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 186/223

total: 1,045 km (2008)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Apra Harbor

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none