Guam

Region: Pacific – Micronesia

Capital: Hagåtña

Population: 159,358 (2010 BSP)

Surface area: 549 sq km

Currency: US Dollar (USD)

Per capita real GDP (chained 2005 dollars): 25,420 (2010 BSP)

Background

The original inhabitants of Guam are believed to have been of Indo-Malaya descent originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 B.C., and having linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Guam is one of seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories recognized by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations. In 1668 Guam became a Spanish colony until 1898 when the island was ceded to the United States during the Spanish-American War. Guam is referred to as 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

Economy Overview

The 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.

Major Industries: national defense, tourism, construction, transhipment services, concrete products, printing and publishing, food processing, textiles (CIA 2013)

Major Export Commodities: transshipments of refined petroleum products, construction materials, fish, food and beverage products ($44 million, CIA est. 2011)

Remittances: N/A

Life Expectancy at Birth: 74.1 (males) 78.8 (females) (UN data 2010 – 2015)

Sources:

Bureau of Statistics and Plans, Office of the Governor. Guam Statistical Yearbook 2011: http://www.bsp.guam.gov/Gu%20Stat%20Yrbk_2011_Fnl_v3.pdf (accessed 20/11/2013)

UN Data: http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Guadeloupe (accessed 19/11/2013)

Guam-OnLine.com, Guam History and Culture: http://www.guam-online.com/history/ (accessed 20/11/2013)

CIA World Factbook. Information on Background and Economy Overview: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gq.html (accessed 20/11/2013)

Image of flag and map; copyright of Wikimedia Commons

Updated November 2013