Guam - GU - GUM - GUM - Australia and Oceania

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Guam Factbook Data

Dependency status

unincorporated organized territory of the US with policy relations between Guam and the Federal Government under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (territory of the US)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.64% (male 23,325/female 21,792)

15-64 years: 62.85% (male 55,606/female 50,816)

65 years and over: 10.51% (2023 est.) (male 8,290/female 9,501)
2022 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Guam. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Guam. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

13 28 N, 144 47 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare but potentially destructive typhoons (June to December)

Area - comparative

three times the size of Washington, DC

Background

Guam was settled by Austronesian people around 1500 B.C. These people became the indigenous Chamorro and were influenced by later migrations, including the Micronesians in the first millennium A.D., and island Southeast Asians around 900. Society was stratified with higher classes living along the coast and lower classes living inland. Spanish explorer Ferdinand MAGELLAN was the first European to see Guam in 1521, and Spain claimed the island in 1565 as it served as a refueling stop for ships between Mexico and the Philippines. Spain formally colonized Guam in 1668. Spain’s brutal repression of the Chamorro, along with new diseases and intermittent warfare, reduced the indigenous population from more than 100,000 to less than 5,000 by the 1700s. Spain tried to repopulate the island by forcing people from nearby islands to settle on Guam and preventing them from escaping.

Guam became a hub for whalers and traders in the western Pacific in the early 1800s. During the 1898 Spanish-American War, the US Navy occupied Guam and set up a military administration. The US Navy opposed local control of government despite repeated petitions by the Chamorro. Japan invaded Guam in 1941 and instituted a repressive regime. During the US recapture of Guam in 1944, the island’s two largest villages were destroyed. After World War II, political pressure from local Chamorro leaders led to Guam being established as an unincorporated organized territory in 1950 with US citizenship granted to all Chamorro. In a referendum in 1982, more than 75% of voters chose closer relations with the US over independence, although no change in status was made because of disagreements on the future right of Chamorro self-determination. The US military holds about 29% of Guam’s land and stations several thousand troops on the island. The installations 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.


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

Population below poverty line

23% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

scrap iron, scrap copper, boring/sinking machinery, leather handbags, rubber, scrap aluminum (2021)

Exports - partners

South Korea 31%, Hong Kong 27%, Taiwan 18%, Philippines 7% (2019)

Administrative divisions

none (territory of the US)

Agricultural products

fruits, copra, vegetables; eggs, pork, poultry, beef

Budget

revenues: $1.24 billion (2016 est.)

expenditures: $1.299 billion (2016 est.)

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)

etymology: the name is derived from the Chamoru word "haga," meaning "blood", and may refer to the bloodlines of the various families that established the original settlement

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, trunks/cases, cars, insulated wire, broadcasting equipment (2019)

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

Coastline

125.5 km

Constitution

history: effective 1 July 1950 (Guam Act of 1950 serves as a constitution)

amendments: amended many times, last in 2015

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joseph R. BIDEN Jr. (since 20 January 2021); Vice President Kamala D. HARRIS (since 20 January 2021)

head of government: Governor Lourdes LEON GUERRERO (since 7 January 2019); Lieutenant Governor Josh TENORIO (since 7 January 2019)

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); gubernatorial election last held on 8 November 2022 (next to be held in November 2026)

election results: 2022: Lourdes LEON GUERRERO reelected governor; percent of vote - Lourdes LEON GUERRERO (Democratic Party) 55%, Felix CAMACHO (Republican Party) 44%; Josh TENORIO (Democratic Party) elected lieutenant governor

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

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 Puntan 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

Independence

none (territory of the US)

Industries

national defense, tourism, construction, transshipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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)

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 33.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 16.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 14.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 47.9% (2018 est.)

other: 18.7% (2018 est.)

Legal system

common law modeled on US system; US federal laws apply

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)
Guam directly elects 1 member by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term as the delegate to the US House of Representatives; note - 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

elections: Guam Legislature - last held on 8 November 2022 (next to be held on November 2024)
delegate to the US House of Representatives - last held on 8 November 2022 (next to be held on November 2024)

election results: Guam Legislature - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 10, Republican Party 5; composition - men 5, women 10, percent of women 66.7%
Guam delegate to the US House of Representatives - Democratic Party 1 (man)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

International organization participation

AOSIS (observer), IOC, PIF (observer), SPC, UPU

National holiday

Discovery Day (or Magellan Day), first Monday in March (1521)

Nationality

noun: Guamanian(s) (US citizens)

adjective: Guamanian

Natural resources

aquatic wildlife (supporting tourism), fishing (largely undeveloped)

Geography - note

largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago and the largest island in Micronesia; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean

Economic overview

small Pacific island US territorial economy; upper income, tourism-based economy; hard-hit by COVID-19 disruptions; relaunched many industries via vaccination tourism; domestic economy relies on multiple military bases; environmentally fragile economy

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party [Anthony "Tony" M. BABAUTA]
Republican Party [Juan Carlos BENITEZ]

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Apra Harbor

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal; note - Guamanians are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Guam’s telecommunications companies provide important services that allow other businesses on island to operate; Guam plays a larger, and growing role, in global telecommunications infrastructure, the submarine fiber optic cables that land on Guam benefit island residents and the local economy; in the Asia-Pacific region the demand for 4G, 5G, and broadband access is rapidly increasing; the 11 submarine cables that currently land on Guam, connecting the U.S. to the Asia-Pacific region, are some of the more than 400 cables that are the backbone of global telecommunications, providing nearly all of the world’s internet and phone service (2021)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions 41 per 100 and 62 per 100 mobile-cellular subscriptions in 2004 (2020)

international: country code - 1-671; major landing points for Atisa, HANTRU1, HK-G, JGA-N, JGA-S, PIPE-1, SEA-US, SxS, Tata TGN-Pacific, AJC, GOKI, AAG, AJC and Mariana-Guam Cable submarine cables between Asia, Australia, and the US (Guam is a transpacific communications hub for major carriers linking the US and Asia); satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2019)

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

Government type

unincorporated organized territory of the US with local self-government; republican form of territorial government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the US; the US military maintains over 6,000 personnel on Guam, including an air base, an air wing, and a naval installation command (2023)

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

Location

Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines

Map references

Oceania

Irrigated land

2 sq km (2012)

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (territory of the US)

Internet country code

.gu

GDP (official exchange rate)

$5.793 billion (2016 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 95.2% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

about a dozen TV channels, including digital channels; multi-channel cable TV services are available; roughly 20 radio stations

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 99.7% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0.3% of population (2020 est.)

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)

Major urban areas - population

147,000 HAGATNA (capital) (2018)

National symbol(s)

coconut tree; national colors: deep blue, red

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: (2016 est.) NA

exports of goods and services: 19.4% (2016 est.)

imports of goods and services: -51.2% (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 60.7

youth dependency ratio: 42.3

elderly dependency ratio: 18.4

potential support ratio: 5.4 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

see United States

Population distribution

no large cities exist on the island, though large villages (municipalities) attract much of the population; the largest of these is Dededo

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

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.)

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.)

Religions

Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic) 94.2%, folk religions 1.5%, Buddhist 1.1%, other 1.6%, unaffiliated 1.7% (2020 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.)

Imports - partners

Singapore 33%, Japan 21%, South Korea 18%, Hong Kong 9%, Malaysia 6% (2019)

Disputes - international

none identified

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Elevation

highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Contraceptive prevalence rate

NA

Current health expenditure

NA

Military and security forces

Guam National Guard (US Army)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 141,500 tons (2012 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 25,258 tons (2011 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 17.9% (2011 est.)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

N

Heliports

2 (2024)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 96% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.) Data represented includes both Guam and Northern Mariana Islands

refined petroleum consumption: 2,100 bbl/day (2019 est.) Data represented includes both Guam and Northern Mariana Islands

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.) Data represented includes both Guam and Northern Mariana Islands

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.) Data represented includes both Guam and Northern Mariana Islands

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.) Data represented includes both Guam and Northern Mariana Islands

Gross reproduction rate

1.33 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

37% (2023 est.)

Labor force

76,200 (2021 est.)

note: includes only the civilian labor force

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 15.3% (2021 est.)

male: 14.7%

female: 16.1%

Net migration rate

-10.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 30.1 years (2023 est.)

male: 29.4 years

female: 30.8 years

Debt - external

NA

Refined petroleum products - imports

13,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

22.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.1% of GDP (2013)

Total fertility rate

2.76 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

6.98% (2021 est.)
6.8% (2020 est.)
5.51% (2019 est.)

Population

169,330 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)

Internet users

total: 136,850 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 80.5% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

1.828 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 1.828 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 544 sq km

land: 544 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

21.4% (of GDP) (2016 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.793 billion (2016 est.)
$5.697 billion (2015 est.)
$5.531 billion (2014 est.)

Roadways

total: 1,045 km (2008)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 98,000 (2009 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 62 (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1% (2017 est.)
0% (2016 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$35,600 (2016 est.)
$35,200 (2015 est.)
$34,400 (2014 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 3,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

Energy consumption per capita

152.767 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

18.3 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 455,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 1.683 billion kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 85 million kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 3 (2023)

by type: other 3

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

NA

Imports

$2.964 billion (2016 est.)
$3.054 billion (2015 est.)

Exports

$1.124 billion (2016 est.)
$1.046 billion (2015 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 70,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 75.3 years

female: 80.3 years

Real GDP growth rate

1.06% (2021 est.)
-11.39% (2020 est.)
2.6% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

NA

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: NA

industry: NA

services: 58.4% (2015 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

NA

Population growth rate

0.13% (2023 est.)

Airports

3 (2024)