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.


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
Population: 159,914 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27% (male 25,577/female 23,836)

15-64 years: 65.5% (male 61,237/female 58,891)

65 years and over: 7.5% (male 6,287/female 7,458) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: Territory of Guam

conventional short form: Guam

local long form: Guahan

local short 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
Telephones – main lines in use:  65,500 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 98,000 (2004)
Airports: 5 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 4

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)


Defence is the responsibility of the US


The economy depends largely on US military spending and tourism. Total US grants, wage payments, and procurement outlays amounted to $1.3 billion in 2004. Over the past 30 years, the tourist industry has grown to become the largest income source following national defense. The Guam economy continues to experience expansion in both its tourism and military sectors.