Guam Overview

Guam Overview

Background: According to EDUCATIONVV, Guam was ceded by Spain to the US in 1898. Occupied by the Japanese in 1941, it was recaptured by the US three years later. The military installations on the island are one of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific. Geography


Location: Oceania, an island in the North Pacific, about three-quarters of the way from the Hawaiian Islands to the Philippines.
Geographical coordinates: 13° 28′ N. latitude, 144° 47′ E
Reference map: Oceania.
Area: total: 549 km2; land surface area: 549 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: three times the size of Washington DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 125.5 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical marine; mostly warm and humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season from January to June, rainy season from July to December; little seasonal temperature variation.
Terrain: island of volcanic and coral origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coral limestone plateau (with fresh water springs), steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal lowlands in the north, gentle hills in the central part of the island, mountains in the south.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mt. Lampam 406 m.
Natural resources: fish (small amount caught), favorable conditions for tourism (most tourists are from Japan).
Land use: arable land: 11%; cultivated land: 11%; pastures: 15%; forests and plantations: 18%; others: 45% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: frequent squalls during the rainy season; relatively rare but potentially very destructive typhoons (especially in August).
Current environmental issues: Decrease in local bird populations due to rapid breeding of the tree snake introduced to the island.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”: the largest and southernmost in the archipelago of the Mariana Islands; strategic location in the Pacific Northwest.


Population: 157,557 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 35.07% (male 28,978; female 26,270); 15 to 64 years old: 58.78% (male 48,704; female 43,902); over 65: 6.15% (male 4,871; female 4,832) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.09% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 25.07 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 4.2 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.14 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.1 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.11 male/female; over 65: 1.01 male/female; for the general population: 1.1 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 6.71 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 77.94 years; men: 75.66 years; women: 80.55 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.85 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: resident of the island of Guam; adjective: Guam.
Ethnic groups: Chamorro 47%, Filipino 25%, white 10%, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other 18%.
Believers: Roman Catholic 85%, other 15% (1999 est.).
Language(s): English, Chamorro, Japanese.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 99%; men: 99%; women: 99% (1990 est.). State Name:


Common long form: Territory of Guam;
Common short form: Guam. Dependency Status: Non-U.S. Territory, political relations between Guam and the U.S. are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Hagatna (Aganya).
Administrative divisions: none (US territory).
Independence: none (U.S. territory).
National holiday: Guam Discovery Day (first Monday in March) (1521)
Constitution: Constitutional Act of August 1, 1950
Legal system: copied from USA; US federal laws apply.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal; residents are US citizens but do not take part in presidential elections.
chief of state: US President George W. BUSH (since January 20, 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since January 20, 2001);
head of government: Governor Carl GUTIERREZ (since November 8, 1994), Deputy Governor Madeleine BORDALLO (since November 8, 1994);
Government: executive departments; heads are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Legislative Assembly of Guam; elections: the president and vice president of the United States are elected on a single list for 4 years; the governor and deputy governor are elected according to a single list by universal suffrage for 4 years; elections last held 3 November 1998 (next to be held in November 2002); election results: Carl GUTIERREZ re-elected governor; vote distribution: Carl GUTIERREZ (Democrat) 53.2%, Joseph ADA (Joseph ADA) (Republican) 46.8%.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Assembly (Legislature) (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote for 2 years); elections: last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held November 2002); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: Republicans 8, Democrats 7; note: Guam elects one representative to the US House of Representatives; elections last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held in November 2002); results: Robert UNDERWOOD re-elected congressman; distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: Democrat 1.
Judiciary: Federal District Court (judges are appointed by the president); Supreme Territorial Court (judges are appointed by the governor for eight years).
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party (governor’s party) (leader – no data); Republican Party (controls the Legislative Assembly) (leader – no data).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ESCAP (associate), Interpol (subbureau), US, SPC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: none (US territory).
U.S. Diplomatic Mission: None (U.S. Territory).
Flag Description: the flag of the territory is dark blue, bordered in red on all four sides; in the center, a red-edged, pointed, vertically oriented ellipse depicting a landscape: a boat with a sail and a palm tree with the inscription GUAM in bold red letters; The flag of the United States is the national flag.


Economic Overview: The economy relies on US military base spending and tourism revenue, as well as fish and handicraft exports. Combined, US subsidies, salaries and supplies totaled $1 billion in 1998. Over the past 20 years, the tourism industry has grown rapidly, causing a building boom (new and refurbishment of old hotels). More than 1 million tourists visit Guam every year. The tourism sector experienced a downturn in 1998 due to a prolonged recession in Japan: the Japanese usually make up to 90% of tourists. Most food and manufactured goods are imported. Guam is in need of developing a civilian economic sector to offset the effects of military curtailment.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $ 3.2 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: no data available.
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity – $21,000 (2000 est.).
Composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: no data; industry: 15% (1993); service sector: no data.
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 0% (1999 est.).
Labor force: 60,000 people (2000).
Employment structure: employees of the federal and territorial government 36%, private sector employees 74% (trade 24%, other services 40%, industry 10%) (2000 est.).
Unemployment rate: 15% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $605.3 million; expenses: $654.2 million, including capital expenditures – NA (2000).
Spheres of economy: maintenance and service of the US military base, tourism, construction, cargo transportation, production of concrete products, printing and publishing, food industry, textile industry.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 800 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuel: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 744 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: fruits, copra, vegetables; egg, pork, poultry, beef.
Export: $75.7 million (free on board, 1999)
Exports: mainly transshipment of petroleum products, construction materials, fish, food and beverages.
Export partners: USA 25%.
Imports: $203 million (free on board, 1999)
Import articles: oil and oil products, foodstuffs, manufactured goods.
Import partners: USA 23%, Japan 19%.
External debt: no data. Recipient of economic assistance: no data; note – Guam receives significant subsidies from the US Federal Treasury ($143 million in 1997), to which Guam residents do not deduct any taxes; under a special act of Congress, the Treasury of Guam receives the majority of the federal income tax paid by military and civilian government employees based in Guam.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: US dollar.
Currency code: USD.
Exchange rate: US dollar is used.
Fiscal year: October 1-September 30.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 84 134 (1998).
Mobile cell phones: 55,000 (1998).
Telephone system: modern system integrated with the US system (direct dialing), including free use of 800 code; internal: modern digital system, including cellular communication and Internet access; international: satellite earth stations: 2 Intelsat (Pacific); submarine cable to USA and Japan (Guam is a trans-Pacific switching hub for MCI, Sprint, AT&T, IT&E, GTE between USA and Asia).
Broadcast stations: AM – 4, FM – 7, shortwave -0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 221,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 5 (1997).
TVs: 106,000 (1997).
Internet country code: gu
Internet service providers: 20 (2000).
Number of users: 5,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 885 km; coated: 675 km; unpaved: 210 km; note: there are also 685 km of non-public roads, including roads at federal government facilities.
Ports and harbours: Apra Harbour.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 5 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 4; over 3,047 m: 2; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 1; less than 914 m: 1 (2000 est.).

Guam Overview