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Guam (gwäm)[1] is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the Pacific Ocean; the residents are full U.S. citizens.


The island, Guam, was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1898, after the Spanish-American War.[2]

In World War II, Guam was occupied by the Japanese, but American forces landed in July 1944 and took back the island after a three-week battle. Out of 18,000 Japanese troops stationed on the island, only 500 survived to become prisoners of war.[3]


The highest point in Guam is Mount Lamlam, which is 1,332 feet (406 m). The weather is usually hot and humid, ranging from 74° to 86°, with an average annual rainfall of 96 inches. Typhoons are common, especially during the months of October and November.[4][5]


The population of Guam is estimated at 162,742 in July 2016.[2] As of 2010, the largest ethnic groups on this island are Chamorro (37.3%), Filipino (26.3%), white (7.1%), and Chuukese (7%).[2] The most common languages, as of 2010, are English (43.6%), Filipino (21.2%), and Chamorro (17.8%).[2] About 85 percent of the population are estimated to be Roman Catholics.[2][6]

Military and geopolitics

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) entering Apra Harbor in 2011

The United States Army and Navy maintains military bases on Guam,[2] which cover 29% of the island's total land area.[7] The U.S. military has maintained its military presence on the island since 1944, when it retook the island from the Japanese during World War II.[7]

Guam is a strategically important U.S. territory in the Pacific.[7]


Guam is a relatively conservative U.S. territory. It is a right to work state,[8] and since 2014 it has been a Castle Doctrine[9][10] and concealed carry state.[10][11]

Elected officials



See also


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Guam - The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  3. Chronicle of the 20th Century, ed. by Clifton Daniel, Chronicle Publications, 1987
  6. Goldman, David; Biesecker, Michael (August 9, 2019). Catholicism ingrained in daily life on US island of Guam. Associated Press. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Guam: Small But Important Piece of US Territory in Pacific. Voice of America. August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  8. Right to Work Laws. National Conference of State Legislators. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  9. Fernandez, Janna (February 10, 2014). Press Release - "YOUR RIGHTS: Calvo Signs Ada’s Castle Doctrine into Law". Office of Governor Eddie Baza Calvo. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Miculka, Cameron (January 30, 2016). Gov. Calvo endorses Ted Cruz for president. Pacific Daily News. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  11. Matanane, Sabrina Salas (May 28, 2014). "Governor Signs 12 Bills, Vetoes 2" Kuam News. Retrieved September 30, 2016.

External links