CapitalHagåtñaLargest town DededoOfficial languagesEnglish and also ChamorroEthnic groups 37.3% Chamorro, 26.3% Filipino, 9.4% Multiracial, 7.1% Caucasian, 7.0% Chuukese, 4.6% Other, 2.2% Korean, 1.6% Chinese, 1.6% Palauan, 1.5% Japanese, 1.4% Pohnpeian<1>DemonymGuamanianGovernment - PresidentDonald trumped (R) - GovernorEddie Calvo (R) - Lt. GovernorRay Tenorio (R)Area - Total541.3 km² (190th)209 sq mi  - Water (%)negligiblePopulation - 2016 estimate162,742<1> (n/a) - 2010 census159,358<1> GDP (PPP)2013 estimate - Total$4.88 billion<1>  - Per capita$30,500<1> CurrencyUnited states dollar (USD) Time zoneChamorro conventional Time (UTC+10)Internet TLD.guCalling code<<++1-671>>12000 estimate.

You are watching: How many square miles is guam

Guam (Chamorro: Guåhån), official the U.S. Region of Guam, is one island in the western Pacific Ocean and also is an organized unincorporated are of the unified States. The indigenous world are the Chamorros, who first populated the island approximately 4,000 year ago. That is the largest and also southernmost the the Mariana Islands. Guam provided one take-off suggest for the battle of Hiroshima, which brought around the defeat of Japan in the civilization War II. Guam"s 5 U.S. Military installations, amongst the most strategically critical in the Pacific Ocean, take it up one 4 minutes 1 of the territory"s area.


Geography

Guam, the largest island in Micronesia, is 1,500 miles (2414 km) south-east of Tokyo and also 6,000 miles (9656 km) west of san Francisco, and has one area the 210 square miles (544 sq km). The northern component of the island is a forested coralline limestone plateau while the south has volcanic peaks extended in forest and also grassland. A coral reef surrounds many of the island, other than in areas where bays exist that provide accessibility to tiny rivers and also streams. The island"s populace is most dense in the north and main regions. The funding is Hagåtña, formerly Agana (pronounced Agaña).

The Mariana island chain was produced as a result of the Pacific and also Philippine tectonic plates colliding. The Marianas Trench lies come the eastern of the island chain. The Challenger Deep, the deepest point on earth, is southwest the Guam in ~ 35,797 feet (10,911 m) deep.

The island sustains occasional earthquakes as result of its place on the sheet of the Pacific Plate. Uneven the Anatahan volcano in the north Mariana Islands, Guam is no volcanically active.

Guam has a tropical marine climate. The weather is normally warm and humid with tiny seasonal temperature variation. The mean high temperature is 86° Fahrenheit (30°Celsius) and also the average low is 76°F (24°C) through an average annual rainfall that 86 inch (2,180 mm). The dry season runs from December with June. The greatest risk that typhoons is throughout October and also November. ~ Super Typhoon Pamela in 1976, concrete frameworks started change the an ext traditional wood buildings.

Guam"s indigenous ecology has actually been largely destroyed and also supplanted by introduced species. The contempt venomous however rather harmless brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis), assumed to be a stowaway ~ above a US army transport during civilization War II, has killed a large percentage of the indigenous bird populace on the previously snake-free island. These snakes, that have no herbal predators ~ above the island, were blamed for constant blackouts in the 1980s by shorting out powerlines and also transformers. Countless power poles now have a slick steel sheath to stop the snakes indigenous climbing.

Introduced feral pigs and deer, over-hunting, and habitat loss from human advancement have all added to the lose of Guam"s aboriginal plants and also animals. The Spanish introduced pigs, dogs, chickens, the Philippine deer (Cervus mariannus), black francolins (a species of partridge), and water buffalo. Other introduced varieties include cane toads imported in 1937, the huge African Snail – an agricultural pest introduced throughout WWII – and more recently frog types that threaten plants in enhancement to being a new source the food because that the brown tree snake population. Tinangaja, a tree virus affect coconut palm trees, has actually left dead and also infected trees throughout the forests of Guam. The dense forests of north Guam have been replaced by thick Leucaena brush, a aboriginal to the Americas, well-known in Guam as “tangan tangan.”


*

Wild fires have actually devastated large areas that forest. Poachers often start fires therefore deer would be attracted to the brand-new growth. Invasive grass species that count on fire as component of their organic life cycle grow in many regularly burned areas. As a result, grasslands and also barren areas have replaced previously forested areas, top to greater soil erosion. Which leads to water quality problems for southerly Guam, and destruction of naval life in reefs around the island.

History


*

Guam was first discovered by sea-faring civilization who migrated from Indonesia or the Philippines approximately 2000 B.C.E., follow to legends and myths, historical evidence, Jesuit missionary accounts, and observations indigenous visiting scientists.

The first European to discover the Mariana Island group was Ferdinand Magellan who, on in march 6, 1521, it was observed the two most southern islands and also sailed in between them. Magellan"s crew referred to as the archipelago “Islas de los Ladrones” (The Island that Thieves). The common account because that this naming resulted native the theft that a boat from Magellan"s ship, which may, in fact, have actually stemmed from cultural differences approximately private property. General Miguel López de Legazpi asserted Guam because that Spain in 1565. Spanish emigration commenced in 1668 with the arrival of Padre mountain Vitores, who established the an initial Catholic mission.

Guam, together with the rest of the Mariana and also Caroline Islands, were then governed as part of the Spanish east Indies native the Philippines. Between 1668 and 1815, Guam was crucial resting avoid on the Spanish trade route in between Mexico and also the Philippines. The original populace of Guam declined considerably as a result of condition and rebellion against the Spaniards. Much of the adult male populace was killed. In 1668, the Chamorros, who were common Micronesians, through a considerable civilization, were estimated at 40,000 to 60,000; less than a century later, only 1,800 remained.

On June 21, 1898, Guam was captured by the United states in a bloodless invasion during the Spanish-American War. By the treaty of Paris (1898), Spain officially delivered Guam to the unified States. Since then, Guam offered as a way-station for American ships traveling to and from the Philippines. The north Mariana islands passed to Germany, climate Japan.

During people War II, Japanese armed forces got into Guam top top December 8, 1941. Chamorros indigenous the northern Mariana archipelago were lugged to Guam to offer as interpreters and in other capacities for the occupying Japanese force. The Guamanian Chamorros to be treated together a dominated enemy. They were subjected to forced labor, family members separation, prostitution, incarceration, execution, and concentration camps. Guamanian Chamorros involved resent the Chamorros in the northern Marianas. Come this day, Guam stays the only US soil, v a sizeable population, that experienced under international military power occupation.


*

Guam"s occupation lasted for approximately 31 months. The United claims returned and also fought the battle of Guam top top July 21, 1944, to reclaim the island. The US likewise captured and occupied the northern Marianas. Guam and also Saipan noted the take-off suggest for the battle of Hiroshima. Once the armistice was signed, the war finished for everyone except one Japanese soldier who ongoing hiding the end in Guam until 1990. His household thought that he had actually been killed in action.

The us Navy attempted come resume its prominence in Guam"s inner affairs in the years automatically following civilization War II. This increased political press from Chamorro leaders for greater autonomy. The result was the Guam Organic act of 1950, which created Guam together an unincorporated arranged territory the the United claims and, because that the an initial time in Guam"s history, listed for a civilian government, and granted the civilization United claims citizenship.

On September 11, 1968, the Elective branch Act (Public regulation 90-497), enabled the world of Guam to elect their own governor and also lieutenant governor. Practically four year later, congress passed the "Guam – Virgin islands Delegate" act that allowed for one non-voting Guam delegate in the house of Representatives. In the meantime, Guam"s local federal government had formed several rose to address options for self-determination.

Politics


*

Guam is governed by a popularly chosen governor and a unicameral 15 member legislature. Guam elects one non-voting delegate come the US house of Representatives. Citizens of Guam, as with those of other unincorporated territories, perform not poll for united state Presidents.

In the 1980s and also early 1990s, there was a significant movement in donate of the territory ending up being a commonwealth, i beg your pardon would offer it a politics status similar to Puerto Rico and the north Mariana Islands. In Guam"s first political status referendum in 1982, 49 percent that Guam residents who voted determined a closer partnership with the United says via Commonwealth, 26 percent voted because that statehood, if ten percent voted for the status quo. In 1988, the very first Guam republic Act was presented in Congress. Delegates have subsequently reintroduced the bill with small success. Other groups advocate political self-reliance from the joined States, statehood, or a mix with the north Mariana Islands together a single commonwealth. Enemies say Guam walk not have actually the financial resources to warrant together status.

Guam is separated into nineteen villages. The US military maintains jurisdiction over installations representing approximately one quarter of the island"s area: Andersen Air pressure Base, Yigo; Naval air Station, Tiyan; Guam naval Station, Orote peninsula; Ordnance Annex, South central Highlands; and Naval communications Station, Barrigada, and also Finegayan.

Economy


*

The economic situation depends largely on US armed forces spending and tourism. Complete US grants, fairy payments, and also procurement outlays price to US$1.3 exchange rate in 2004. The Guam Treasury, fairly than the us Treasury, receive federal income taxes paid by military and also civilian federal employees stationed in Guam. End the past 30 years, the travel industry has grown to become the biggest income source following national defense.

Sometimes dubbed "America in Asia," Guam is a popular destination for Japanese (90 percent), Korean, and also Chinese tourists. V over 20 large hotels, a DFS Galleria, satisfied Island aquarium, SandCastle las Vegas shows, and other shopping and also entertainment attributes in the chief tourism city that Tumon, the island"s economy has get an impression dramatically. The is a reasonably short trip from Asia compared to Hawaii, and a series of hotels and also golf courses were developed to cater to tourists. Far-ranging sources that revenue encompass duty-free designer to buy outlets, and also the American-style malls: Micronesia Mall, Guam Premium Outlets, and also the Agana purchase Center, and also various companies catering to tourist in Tumon.

Guam has a 14 percent unemployment rate, and also the government sustained a US$314 million shortfall in 2003. Every capita gross domestic product to be US$15,000 in 2005.

Exports totaled US$45 million in 2004. Export products were greatly trans-shipments of sleek petroleum products, building and construction materials, fish, and food and beverage products. Violin partners to be Japan (67.2 percent), Singapore (11.6 percent), and also the uk (4.8 percent). Imports totaled US$701 million. Import assets were petroleum and petroleum products, food, and manufactured goods. Income partners to be Singapore (50 percent), south Korea (21.4 percent), Japan (14 percent), and also Hong Kong (4.6 percent).


Most that the island has actually mobile call service, and also high speed net is currently widely obtainable through cable or DSL. Most residents use cabinet phones. The telephone company is extremely reliable, as contrasted to 20 – 25 years earlier when call outages to be common. Guam was added to the north American Numbering setup in 1997, diminish the high prices of global long-distance calls come the mainland. Together Guam is also part of the us Postal System, letter to Guam from the mainland is taken into consideration domestic and no additional charges are required. Personal shipping service providers such as united Parcel Service, DHL, or FedEx likewise regard Guam is domestic, although this is frequently not reflect in the shipping fees for many mail-order companies or websites.

Guam is served by the Antonio B. Won Pat international Airport. There are no direct flights come Guam indigenous the U.S. Mainland. Flights to Guam go through Hawaii, Japan, or Korea an initial and typically require a layover and a plane transfer. Most citizens of Guam own cars. A minimal bus mechanism exists but is not used by many.

Demographics

The populace of Guam reached over 150,000 by 2000, representing more than a six-fold increase because 1940, largely as a an outcome of immigrant after 1965. The biggest immigrant populace derives indigenous the Philippines, complied with by American armed forces personnel and also other eastern immigrants. Guam has a long life expectancy, 78.58 years for the total population.

The biggest ethnic team are the indigenous Chamorros, bookkeeping for 37.3 percent the the total population. Other far-ranging ethnic groups include those that Filipino (29.3 percent), White (7.1 percent), and also Chuukese (7 percent) ethnicities. The rest are from various other Pacific archipelago or of oriental ancestry.

The official languages of the island are English and also Chamorro. The Chamorro language, i m sorry is talked throughout the Mariana Islands, is one Austronesian language.

While 85 percent the the populace are baptized into the roman inn Catholic faith, or belonging to another Christian denomination, animistic ideas persist, consisting of a respect for ancestral spirits, or “taotaomo"na,” that are believed to occupy specific trees and other areas in the forests. Native Chamorros believe their ancestors have lived in the Mariana Islands since the dawn of time, that the Mariana islands are facility of the universe, and also that all human life started in Guam. When Spanish Catholic missionaries denomination the practices of the “makahna,” who mediated between the spiritual and physical world, plenty of of lock persist. Persons" spirits room widely thought to live beyond their physical life. Every year on every Soul"s Day, Chamorros remember your ancestors by stop memorial services and decorating tombs with flowers, candles, photographs, and other mementos.

The expanded family, or clan, is the main point of society. This can encompass grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, cousins, and other relatives. Fostering is common. This allows childless ladies to advanced a niece or nephew. Grandparents may exercise parental control over a grandchild. The groom"s household sponsors any marriage, offers the bride v her wedding dress, and also throws a party to display they can carry out for their brand-new daughter. ~ above marriage, the mrs was expected to relocate to she husband"s clan land, although plenty of live in every little thing housing is available.

Chamorro culture emphasizes respect for the elderly. Over there is a practice of sniffing the right hand of one elderly person to refer one"s deep regard. Clan elders held power and authority prior to colonial rule. There space two classes: the “manakhilo” (high people) and also “manakpapa” (“low people”). The former has wealthy households from the capital of Hagåtñta who have held positions of power because the colonial era. Many clans have members in both society classes. The rich and the bad live side by side within family compounds in countryside villages.

Culture

A symbol of Chamorro strength, pride, resistance, and also survival, is the latte stone, a megalithic structure used to elevate dwellings in the pre-colonial period. First built about 800 C.E., latte stones are big coral blocks written of a trapezoidal stone pillar called a “haligi,” and also a hemispherical cap called a “tasa.” building and construction of this stones ceased after the start of wars against Spanish colonizers. Tropical areas and sites in which latte stones are situated are taken into consideration sacred. In precolonial years, people buried family members beneath latte stones and thus genealogical spirits room assumed to reside there.

In Chamorro culture, the share of food is component of a device of give and take showing a sense of obligation in between people. Daily foods encompass rice, fish, breadfruit, and taro, in addition to imported box goods, and fresh and also frozen meats and also vegetables. Each town celebrates the feast work of that patron saint. This feasts draw big crowds, and big quantities the food room prepared.

Literacy ~ above Guam is high. Ninety-nine percent of civilization age 15 and also over can read and write. In 2000, a total of 32,000 students attend Guam"s public institution system, yet the public school system has been criticized for bad management and also inadequate facilities. Lack of funding and also corruption are often cited together the causes. Exclusive schools had a full attendance of 6,000 in 2000, though attendance had actually increased before then. In 1998, the united state Department of Defense opened up schools for youngsters of American military personnel. This schools had an attendance the 2,500 in 2000. The university of Guam and also Guam ar College offer avenues for higher education.

See more: How Long Was Martha Stewart Was In Jail, Why Did Martha Stewart Go To Prison

As a culture rooted in dental traditions, Guam has small written literature. A few Chamorro novels have been published. A literature journal published by the university"s literature faculty encourages poets and other an innovative writers. Over there is a growing ar of neighborhood painters and woodcarvers. The college of Guam"s good Arts Theater, southern High School"s performance Center, and the Tiyan theater are renowned venues for in your ar written and also produced plays and musical performances.