Guam was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three years later. The military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific.
volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coralline limestone plateau (source of most fresh water), with steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal plains in north, low hills in center, mountains in south
under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as Guam, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term (can serve two consecutive terms, then must wait a full term before running again); election last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2014)
Eddie CALVO elected governor with 50.6% percent of vote against 49.4% for Carl GUTIERREZ; Ray TENORIO elected lieutenant governor
unicameral Legislature (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012)
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 9, Republican Party 6
note:Guam elects one nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives; election last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 1
Federal District Court (judge is appointed by the president); Supreme Court of Guam (hears appeals from Superior Court - judges appointed by governor); Territorial Superior Court (judges appointed for eight-year terms by the governor)
territorial flag is dark blue with a narrow red border on all four sides; centered is a red-bordered, pointed, vertical ellipse containing a beach scene, a proa or outrigger canoe with sail, and a palm tree with the word GUAM superimposed in bold red letters; the proa is sailing in Agana Bay with the promontory of Punta Dos Amantes, near the capital, in the background; blue represents the sea and red the blood shed in the struggle against oppression
Ramon Manalisay SABLAN [English], Lagrimas UNTALAN [Chamoru]/Ramon Manalisay SABLAN
note:adopted 1919; the local anthem is also known as "Guam Hymn"; as a territory of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner," which generally follows the playing of "Stand Ye Guamanians," is official (see United States)
The economy depends largely on US military spending and tourism. Total US grants, wage payments, and procurement outlays amounted to $1.3 billion in 2004. Over the past 30 years, the tourist industry has grown to become the largest income source following national defense. The Guam economy continues to experience expansion in both its tourism and military sectors.
general assessment: modern system, integrated with US facilities for direct dialing, including free use of 800 numbers
digital system, including mobile-cellular service and local access to the Internet
country code - 1-671; major landing point for submarine cables between Asia and the US (Guam is a trans-Pacific communications hub for major carriers linking the US and Asia); satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)