The US territory of Guam is a keystone of American military strategy in the Pacific.
Tourism and an expanding military presence form the bedrock of its economy.
The island is an important staging post, allowing rapid access to potential flashpoints in the Koreas and in the Taiwan Strait.
Washington plans to move thousands of troops to Guam from the Japanese island of Okinawa as part of a global realignment of its military.
This proposed build-up of US forces has brought the issue of the island’s future political status to the fore in recent years,
Its official status is a “non-incorporated territory”. Despite being US citizens, Guamanians lack voting rights in US elections.
The indigenous Chamorro are a people of mixed Micronesian, Spanish and Filipino descent but the diverse population also includes Japanese, Chinese, and incomers from other Pacific islands.
- Guam US overseas territory
- Population: 184,000
- Area: 541 sq km (209 sq miles)
- Major language: English, Chamorro (both official)
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 74 years (men), 79 years (women)
- Currency: US dollar