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United States Minor Outlying Islands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Minor Outlying Islands
Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Locations of the United States Minor Outlying Islands in the Pacific Ocean; note that Navassa Island is not located on this map.
Locations of the United States Minor Outlying Islands in the Pacific Ocean; note that Navassa Island is not located on this map.
Administrative centerWashington, D.C.
Largest villageWake Atoll
National languageEnglish
Demonym(s)American Islander
• President
Joe Biden (D)
• Total
34.2 km2 (13.2 sq mi) (unranked)
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
300 (232nd)
• 2000 census
GDP (PPP)estimate
• Per capita
$46,381a (6th)
CurrencyUnited States dollar (US$) (USD)
Time zoneUTC−12 to −10, −5, +12
ISO 3166 codeUM
Internet b
  1. 2000 estimate.
  2. .um was retired in 2008.
Brown boobies atop pier posts at Johnston Atoll, September 2005
Brown boobies atop pier posts at Johnston Atoll, September 2005

The United States Minor Outlying Islands is a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 3166-1 code. The entry code is ISO 3166-2:UM. The minor outlying islands and groups of islands consist of eight United States insular areas in the Pacific Ocean (Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island) and one in the Caribbean Sea (Navassa Island).


In 1936 a colonization program began to settle Americans on Baker, Howland, and Jarvis, but all three islands were evacuated in 1942 as a result of World War II.[1][2]

ISO introduced the term "United States Minor Outlying Islands" in 1986. From 1974 until 1986, five of the islands (Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Palmyra Atoll, and Kingman Reef) were grouped under the term United States Miscellaneous Pacific Islands, with ISO 3166 code PU. The code of Midway Atoll was MI, the code of Johnston Atoll was JT, and the code of Wake Island was WK. Prior to 1986, Navassa Island, along with several small islands in the Caribbean Sea that are no longer under U.S. sovereignty, were grouped under the term United States Miscellaneous Caribbean Islands, with FIPS country code BQ.

The populated Stewart Islands, called Sikaiana and now effectively controlled by the Solomon Islands, are not included in official lists of U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. In 1856, the Kingdom of Hawaii Privy Council and King Kamehameha IV voted to accept their voluntary cession. The Kingdom later became the Republic of Hawaii, all of which was annexed by the United States in 1898. In 1959, the resulting federal U.S. Territory of Hawaii, excluding only Palmyra Atoll and Midway Atoll, became a U.S. state. Residents of the Stewart Islands, who are Polynesian like the native Hawaiians rather than Melanesian, claimed to be citizens of the United States since the Stewart Islands were given to King Kamehameha IV in 1856 and were part of Hawaii at the time of the United States' annexation in 1898. The U.S. federal and Hawaii state governments informally accept the recent claim of the Solomon Islands over the Stewart Islands, and the United States makes no official claim of sovereignty.[3]


Except for Palmyra Atoll, all of these islands are unincorporated unorganized territories of the United States. Currently, none of the islands have any permanent residents, although military personnel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel, and temporarily stationed scientific and research staff are posted to some of the islands. The 2000 census counted 315 people on Johnston Atoll and 1 person on Wake Atoll.[4] The Territory of Palmyra Atoll is an incorporated territory, separated in 1959 from the rest of the former incorporated Territory of Hawaii when Hawaii became a state.

There has been no modern indigenous population, except at the 1940 census. During the late 2010s, the U.S. military began reinvesting in the airfield and other assets on Wake Island.[5]

The islands are grouped together as a statistical convenience. They are not administered collectively, nor do they share a single cultural or political history beyond being uninhabited islands under the sovereignty of the United States. They are all outside of the customs territory of the United States and have no customs duties.[6] Except for Midway Atoll, the Pacific islands are surrounded by large exclusive economic zones and are within the bounds of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

They are collectively represented by the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code UM. The individual islands have ISO 3166-2 numerical codes.

The Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) ".um" has historically been assigned to the islands; however, the .um ccTLD was retired in January 2007.[7]

Most of the islands in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands are closed to the public. Visitors to islands such as Jarvis Island need a permit. Palmyra Atoll is open to the public, but there is no easy way to reach it.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]



Airports in the United States minor outlying islands provide critical emergency landing points across the vast Pacific Ocean for all types of aircraft, allow for important military presence in key strategic zones, and have limited scheduled commercial services. The following is a list of island airports with ICAO (IATA) codes:

Other airports include:


Three of the islands are listed with ports in the World Port Index,[19] with World Port Number:

  • 56325 JOHNSTON ATOLL: Johnston Atoll
  • 56328 MIDWAY ISLAND: Midway Atoll
  • 56330 WAKE ISLAND: Wake Atoll
  • not listed WEST LAGOON: Palmyra Atoll

Baker Island, Howland Island, and Jarvis Island each have a small boat landing place. Kingman Reef and Navassa Island have offshore anchorage only.

Islands and atolls

Atoll or island Island area (km2) Lagoon (km2) Coordinates NWR
Acquired FIPS Code[A] GEC[B][22]

North Pacific Ocean, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Midway Atoll 6.2[23] 40 28°13′N 177°22′W / 28.217°N 177.367°W / 28.217; -177.367 (Midway Atoll) 1988 April 22[24] 1867 August 28 74300 MQ

North Pacific Ocean, scattered isolated islands

Wake Island[C] 6.5[25] 6 19°18′N 166°38′E / 19.300°N 166.633°E / 19.300; 166.633 (Wake Island) 2009 January 16[26][27] 1899 January 17 74450 WQ
Johnston Atoll 2.63[28] 130 16°45′N 169°31′W / 16.750°N 169.517°W / 16.750; -169.517 (Johnston Atoll) 1926 June 29[29] 1859 September 6 74200 JQ

North Pacific Ocean, Northern Line Islands

Kingman Reef 0.03[30] 76 6°24′N 162°24′W / 6.400°N 162.400°W / 6.400; -162.400 (Kingman Reef) 2001 January 18[31] 1860 February 8 74250 KQ
Palmyra Atoll[D] 11.9[32] 15 5°53′N 162°05′W / 5.883°N 162.083°W / 5.883; -162.083 (Palmyra Atoll) 2001 January 18[33] 1912 February 21 74400 LQ

North Pacific Ocean, Northern Phoenix Islands

Howland Island 1.6[34] 0°48′N 176°37′W / 0.800°N 176.617°W / 0.800; -176.617 (Howland Island) 1974 June 27[1] 1856 October 28 74100 HQ
Baker Island 1.5[35] 0°12′N 176°29′W / 0.200°N 176.483°W / 0.200; -176.483 (Baker Island) 1974 June 27[1] 1856 October 28 74050 FQ

South Pacific Ocean, Central Line Islands

Jarvis Island 4.5[36] 0°22′S 160°01′W / 0.367°S 160.017°W / -0.367; -160.017 (Jarvis Island) 1974 June 27[2] 1856 October 28 74150 DQ

Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles

Navassa Island[E] 5.4[37] 18°24′N 75°01′W / 18.400°N 75.017°W / 18.400; -75.017 (Navassa Island) 1999 December 3[38] 1858 October 31 74350 BQ

Caribbean Sea, scattered isolated islets

Bajo Nuevo Bank[F] 0.02 155 15°53′N 78°38′W / 15.883°N 78.633°W / 15.883; -78.633 (Bajo Nuevo Bank) 1869 November 22 (none) (none)
Serranilla Bank[G] 0.02 1200 15°50′N 79°50′W / 15.833°N 79.833°W / 15.833; -79.833 (Serranilla Bank) 1879 September 8
1880 September 13
(none) (none)
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands 40.26 267          
  1. ^ Each island (except for Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank) has a unique FIPS (INCITS) code treating it as a county-equivalent for statistical purposes; "74" is the state-level code for the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.[20][21]
  2. ^ GEC stands for "Geopolitical Entities and Codes", a coding system superseding the FIPS 10-4 codes; the codes (such as FQ for Baker Island) treat each island as if it were a country.[22]
  3. ^ Claimed by the Marshall Islands.
  4. ^ Previously claimed by Hawaii when independent. Palmyra Atoll was officially a part of the Hawaii Territory until 1959, when Hawaii became a U.S. state.
  5. ^ Claimed by Haiti.
  6. ^ Administered by Colombia, also claimed by Jamaica, not included in the ISO list of territories; its area is not included in the total.
  7. ^ Administered by Colombia, also claimed by Honduras and Jamaica, not included in the ISO list of territories; its area is not included in the total.

Flora and fauna

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Office of Insular Affairs: Baker and Howland Islands". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Office of Insular Affairs: Jarvis Island". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  3. ^ "GAO/OGC-98-5 – U.S. Insular Areas: Application of the U.S. Constitution". U.S. Government Printing Office. 7 November 1997. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  4. ^ US Census 2000 Population Summary — see Table I
  5. ^ "The US Military Is Pouring Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Into Tiny Wake Island". Honolulu, Hawaiʻi: KITV-TV. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  6. ^ 19 CFR 101.1
  7. ^ Jesdanun, Anick (24 January 2007). "Unused Domain Name for U.S. Isles Gone". NBC News. Retrieved 28 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Midway Atoll NWR - Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  9. ^ "About the Refuge - Johnston Atoll - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  10. ^ "About the Refuge - Baker Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  11. ^ "About the Refuge - Howland Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  12. ^ "Rare tour to Wake Island".
  13. ^ "About the Refuge - Jarvis Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  14. ^ "Plan Your Visit - Navassa Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  15. ^ "Plan Your Visit - Palmyra Atoll - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".
  16. ^ "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Pacific Islands". Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Search results". e-Archives. Purdue University Libraries. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Kingman Reef". The World Factbook. 2002. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  19. ^ "". National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009.
  20. ^ "United States Minor Outlying Islands Territories".
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ a b "Appendix D :: Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency".
  23. ^ "Australia - Oceania :: Midway Islands — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". Archived from the original on 16 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Executive Order 13022: Administration of the Midway Islands". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  25. ^ "Australia - Oceania :: Wake Island — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". 15 February 2022.
  26. ^ "Presidential Proclamation 8336" (PDF). Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  27. ^ "Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents: Monday, January 12, 2009 Volume 45—Number 1, Page 14" (PDF). United States Government Printing Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  28. ^ "Australia - Oceania :: Johnston Atoll — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". Archived from the original on 16 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Office of Insular Affairs: Johnston Island - History". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  30. ^ "Kingman Reef | United States territory, Pacific Ocean". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  31. ^ "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3223". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  32. ^ "Australia - Oceania :: Palmyra Atoll — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". Archived from the original on 16 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3224". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  34. ^ "Australia - Oceania :: Howland Island — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". Archived from the original on 16 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Baker Island | island and territory, United States". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  36. ^ "Australia - Oceania :: Jarvis Island — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". Archived from the original on 16 March 2017.
  37. ^ "Central America :: Navassa Island — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". 3 March 2022.
  38. ^ "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3210". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 10 June 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 June 2022, at 08:46
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