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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Insular Area Summary for Guam

Political Status

War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam.

Guam became a U.S. territory in 1898 and placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy.  The Guam Organic Act of 1950 conferred U.S. citizenship on Guamanians and established the territory's government.  The Act also transferred Federal jurisdiction over Guam from the U.S. Navy to the Department of the Interior.  First elections were held in 1970.

Elected Leaders

Governor: Eddie Baza Calvo (2011)
Lt. Governor: Raymond S. Tenorio (2011)
Delegate to the House of Representatives: Madeleine Z. Bordallo
Speaker of the Legislature: Judith Won Pat

Distances from places

Washington DC: 8,950 miles
Los Angeles: 6,300 mils
Honolulu: 3,800
Tokyo: 1,500 miles

Population & Demography

Puntan Dos Amantes, Guam.

Population: 159,358 (2010)
Chamorro: 37.1% (2000 Census)
Filipino: 26.3%
Other Pacific Islanders: 11.3%
White: 6.9%
Other Asian: 6.3%
Other ethnic origins: 2.3%
Mixed ethnicities: 9.8%
Median age: 28.8 years
U.S. median age: 36.7 years

Economy & Income Sources

Bear Rock in Inarajan, Guam

GDP: $4.88 billion (BEA 2013 estimate)
Per capita GDP: $25,582 (BEA 2013 estimate)
U.S. per capita GDP: $53,142.89

Federal Spending
Defense spending: $ 1.1 billion (FY 10)
Non-defense spending: $0.9 billion

Over one million tourists a year
Japanese tourists: about 70 percent of total
Direct tourist spending: about $1 billion

Wholesale and retail trade
Hotels and restaurants
Tourist and recreational services
Government services
Other services

U.S. Military on Guam

Guam, which is often described as at the "tip of the spear," is the forward most U.S. territory in the Western Pacific.  Located only hours by air or a few days by sea from strategic interests such as Japan, the Korean peninsula, and China, Guam is critical to America's defense posture in the Asia/Western-Pacific region.  Guam is currently home to a large U.S. military presence which includes Navy and Air Force bases, comprising nearly 27% of the island's land mass.    

The Department of Defense (DoD) plans to relocate 8,600 Marines and approximately 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam with an initial estimated cost of $10.27 billion.  The current Guam population is approximately 178,000.  It is estimated that up to 20,000 temporary workers may be needed to complete the required construction.  At the completion of the relocation approximately 6,000 civilian workers will be added to the island's population.  The government of Guam is concerned that this rapid population increase will place an unsustainable burden on its infrastructure.
The Administration will continue to move forward with a "One Guam" approach to address the needs of Guam associated with the military build-up. A Civilian-Military Coordination Council (CMCC) has been established which will assist DoD in implementing Adaptive Program Management, whereby DoD will monitor the buildup and adjust the construction pace if it unduly impacts the environment and/or the infrastructure.
Many new construction jobs will be created during the build-up years.  Priority will be given to U.S. workers before the hiring of foreign labor.  Public Law 110-229 provides that Guam can import foreign labor without limit until 2014.

Major funding for the build-up effort is being contributed by DOD, USDA and the Government of Japan.

Labor Force & Employment

Total payroll employment: 60,350 (2011)
Private sector employment: 46,030
Government employment: 15,960
Private sector employment as a % of total: 74.3
Government employment as a % of total: 25.7
Unemployment rate: 13.3% (March 2011)
Private sector average weekly earnings: $438.54
Government of Guam average weekly earnings: $841.08

Government Finances

Total revenues: $868.4 million (FY 09)
Total spending: $1,017.6 million (FY 09)
Total Federal grants: $278.4 million (FY 09)

OIA Contacts

Krystina Borja
Desk Officer for Guam
Office of Insular Affairs
Washington, DC  20240
(202) 219-8537

OIA appreciates the photos made courtesy of Congresswoman Bordallo's Guam District Office