macrohistory & world report

Territory of Guam

Location of the island of Guam

Location of the island of Guam

World Factbook as of November 2014: "[Guam's] economy depends largely on US national defense spending, tourism, other services. Total US grants, wages and salaries, and procurement outlays amounted to approximately $1.6 billion in 2010. Over the past 30 years, tourism has grown to become the largest income source following national defense."

Estimated per capita GDP for 2005: $15,000

The US maintains several military bases on Guam.


July 2014: 161,001
July 2011: 183,286

Net migration rate:
2014: -7.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population

Births / deaths
2014: 17.01 / 5.04

Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2014: 5.51
2 011: 5.83 deaths

Average life expectancy at birth
2014: 78.82
2011: 78.34

Living in an urban area
2010: 93%

Ethnic groups
200 census: 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%

1999: Roman Catholic 85%, other 15%


An volcanic island about 30 by 8 miles (48 by 13 kilometers) east of the Philippines; north of New Guinea and Australia, and north of the equator; about three times the size of Washington D.C.; 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.


An 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.

Chief of state is the President of the United States. It has a unicameral legislature with 15 seats. Members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms.

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)

Recent History

On June 21, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the United States captured Guam in a bloodless take over. Spain officially ceded the island to the United States, and Guam became a way station for US ships traveling to and from the Philippines.

The Battle of Guam (July 21 to August 10, 1944) left its two largest communities Sumay and Hagatna, utterly destroyed.

Wikipedia: "The immediate years after World War II saw the US Navy attempting to resume its predominance in Guam affairs. This eventually led to resentment, and thus increased political pressure for greater autonomy from Chamorro leaders. The result was the Guam Organic Act of 1950 (signed by President Harry S. Truman), which established Guam as an unincorporated organized territory of the United States and, for the first time in Guam History, provided for a civilian government."

Wikipedia: "The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, section 307, granted US citizenship to "all persons born in the island of Guam on or after April 11, 1899 (whether before or after August 1, 1950)". In the 1960s, under President John F. Kennedy, the island's required security clearance for visitors was lifted."


The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.