Geographic and Governmental Profile of Guam

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 installation on the island is one of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific.
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
Continent / Subcontinent
544 sq km
544 sq km
0 sq km
Area - comparative
three times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
125.5 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
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
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 extremes
lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mount Lamlam 406 m
Natural resources
aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)
Land use
arable land:
permanent crops:
78.18% (2005)
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Irrigated land
2 sq km
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
Country name
conventional long form:
Territory of Guam
conventional short form:
local long form:
local short form:
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
Government type
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)
none (territory of the US)
National holiday
Discovery Day, first Monday in March (1521)
Organic Act of Guam, 1 August 1950
Legal system
common law modeled on US system; US federal laws apply
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)
heads of executive departments; appointed by the governor with the consent of the Guam legislature
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)
election results:
Eddie CALVO elected governor with 50.6% percent of vote against 49.4% for Carl GUTIERREZ; Ray TENORIO elected lieutenant governor
Legislative branch
unicameral Legislature (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 9, Republican Party 6
Guam elects one nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives; election last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 1
Judicial branch
Federal District Court (judge is appointed by the president); Supreme Court of Guam (hears appeals from Superior Court - judges appointed by governor); Territorial Superior Court (judges appointed for eight-year terms by the governor)
Political parties and leaders
Democratic Party [Michael PHILLIPS]; Republican Party [Philip J. FLORES] (controls the legislature)
Political pressure groups and leaders
Guam Federation of Teachers' Union; Guam Waterworks Authority Workers
activists; indigenous groups
International organization participation
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; blue represents the sea and red the blood shed in the struggle against oppression
the US flag is the national flag
National symbol(s)
coconut tree
National anthem
"Fanohge Chamoru" (Stand Ye Guamanians)
Ramon Manalisay SABLAN [English], Lagrimas UNTALAN [Chamoru]/Ramon Manalisay SABLAN
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)
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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