Australia - Oceania :: Guam
  • Introduction :: Guam
  • Background:
    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; they also constitute the island’s most important source of income and economic stability.
  • Geography :: Guam
  • 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
    Map references:
    Oceania
    Area:
    total: 544 sq km
    land: 544 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 195
    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:
    0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    406 highest point: Mount Lamlam
    Natural resources:
    aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 33.4% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 1.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 16.7% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 14.8% (2011 est.)
    forest: 47.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 18.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    2 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    no large cities exist on the island, though large villages (municipalities) attract much of the population; the largest of these is Dededo
    Natural hazards:
    frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare but potentially destructive typhoons (June to December)
    Environment - current issues:
    fresh water scarcity; reef damage; inadequate sewage treatment; extermination of native bird populations by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic, invasive species
    Geography - note:
    largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago and the largest island in Micronesia; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean
  • People and Society :: Guam
  • Population:
    167,772 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    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.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 27.48% (male 23,893 /female 22,207)
    15-24 years: 16.4% (male 14,692 /female 12,816)
    25-54 years: 37.18% (male 32,170 /female 30,207)
    55-64 years: 10.05% (male 8,627 /female 8,236)
    65 years and over: 8.9% (male 6,947 /female 7,977) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 52.3 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 38.8 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 13.6 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 7.4 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 29.1 years
    male: 28.4 years
    female: 29.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Population growth rate:
    0.23% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Birth rate:
    19.4 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Death rate:
    6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Net migration rate:
    -11.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Population distribution:
    no large cities exist on the island, though large villages (municipalities) attract much of the population; the largest of these is Dededo
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 94.8% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.92% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    147,000 HAGATNA (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 11.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 12.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 76.4 years (2018 est.)
    male: 73.9 years (2018 est.)
    female: 78.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Total fertility rate:
    2.92 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 99.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 99.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 99.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 89.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 89.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 89.8% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 10.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 10.2% of population (2015 est.)
    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:
    total: 29.4% (2011 est.)
    male: 29.7% (2011 est.)
    female: 28.9% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
  • Government :: Guam
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Guam
    local long form: none
    local short form: Guahan
    abbreviation: GU
    etymology: the native Chamorro name for the island "Guahan" (meaning "we have" or "ours") was changed to Guam in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, whereby Spain relinquished Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the US
    Dependency status:
    unincorporated organized 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:
    presidential democracy; a self-governing unincorporated territory of the US
    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:
    history: effective 1 July 1950 (Guam Act of 1950 serves as a constitution) (2017)
    amendments: amended many times, last in 2015 (2017)
    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 Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017)
    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 6 November 2018 (next to be held in November 2022)
    election results: Lourdes Leon GUERRERO elected governor; percent of vote -  Lourdes Leon GUERRERO (Democratic Party) 50.7%, Ray TENORIO (Republican Party) 26.4%; Josh TENORIO (Democratic Party) elected lieutenant governor; note - the new governor takes office in Janaury 2019
    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 6 November 2018 (next to be held in November 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 10, Republican Party 5

    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 2018 (next to be held in November 2020)

    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Guam (consists of 3 justices); note - appeals beyond the Supreme Court of Guam are referred to 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 [Joaquin "Kim" PEREZ]
    Republican Party [Victor CRUZ]
    International organization participation:
    AOSIS (observer), IOC, PIF (observer), SPC, UPU
    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, 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 :: Guam
  • Economy - overview:
    US national defense spending is the main driver of Guam’s economy, followed closely by tourism and other services. Guam serves as a forward US base for the Western Pacific and is home to thousands of American military personnel. Total federal spending (defense and non-defense) amounted to $1.988 billion in 2016, or 34.2 of Guam’s GDP. Of that total, federal grants and cover-over payments amounted to $3444.1 million in 2016, or 35.8% of Guam’s total revenues for the fiscal year. In 2016, Guam’s economy grew 0.3%. 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. Service exports, mainly spending by foreign tourists in Guam, amounted to over $1 billion for the first time in 2016, or 17.8% of GDP.
    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $5.793 billion (2016 est.)
    $5.697 billion (2015 est.)
    $5.531 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $5.793 billion (2016 est.) (2016 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    0.4% (2016 est.)
    0.5% (2015 est.)
    1.6% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $35,600 (2016 est.)
    $35,200 (2015 est.)
    $34,400 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 56.2% (2016 est.)
    government consumption: 55% (2016 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 20.6% (2016 est.)
    investment in inventories: NA (2016 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 19.4% (2016 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -51.2% (2016 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: NA
    industry: NA
    services: 58.4% NA (2015 est.)
    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:
    73,210 (2016 est.)

    note: includes only the civilian labor force

    country comparison to the world: 184
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 0.3%
    industry: 21.6%
    services: 78.1% (2013 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    4.5% (2017 est.)
    3.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Population below poverty line:
    23% (2001 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget:
    revenues: 1.24 billion (2016 est.)
    expenditures: 1.299 billion (2016 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    21.4% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Public debt:
    22.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    32.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Fiscal year:
    1 October - 30 September
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    1% (2017 est.)
    0% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Exports:
    $1.124 billion (2016 est.)
    $1.046 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Exports - partners:
    Palau 13.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    transshipments of refined petroleum products, construction materials, fish, foodstuffs and beverages
    Imports:
    $2.964 billion (2016 est.)
    $3.054 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Imports - commodities:
    petroleum and petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
    Imports - partners:
    Singapore 41.7%, Japan 30.6%, Hong Kong 10.6% (2017)
    Debt - external:

    NA

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    (31 December 2009 est.)
    Exchange rates:

    the US dollar is used

  • Energy :: Guam
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 66,724 (2012)
    electrification - total population: 59% (2012)
    electrification - urban areas: 60% (2012)
    electrification - rural areas: 45% (2012)
    Electricity - production:
    1.722 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Electricity - consumption:
    1.601 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    560,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    94% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    6% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    14,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    13,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    2.214 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
  • Communications :: Guam
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 68,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 181,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 113 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: modern system, integrated with US facilities for direct dialing, including free use of 800 numbers (2016)
    domestic: three major companies provide both fixed-line and mobile services, as well as access to the Internet (2016)
    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) (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    about a dozen TV channels, including digital channels; multi-channel cable TV services are available; roughly 20 radio stations (2009)
    Internet country code:
    .gu
    Internet users:
    total: 125,328 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 77% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
  • Transportation :: Guam
  • Airports:
    5 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 4 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 1 (2013)
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    Roadways:
    total: 1,045 km (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Merchant marine:
    total: 3 (2017)
    by type: other 3 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Apra Harbor
  • Military and Security :: Guam
  • Military - note:
    defense is the responsibility of the US
  • Transnational Issues :: Guam
  • Disputes - international:
    none