Territories of United States Minor Outlying Islands

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Joshua Holman sent me a link to source [2], which has census data for 1980-2000, and [3], 1960-1980. They disagreed with the figures I had previously reported for the 1970 and 1990 censuses, so I replaced them. The 2000 populations are new. I also used area data from source [2], which differed slightly from what I had before. Sources [2] and [3] disagree about the 1980 population of Midway Islands; I used source [2], since it's more recent and may incorporate a correction.

The U.S. Census Bureau doesn't currently report populations for these islands. The naval base at Midway was closed in the 1990s, and a wildlife refuge took its place. The chemical weapons disposal facility on Johnston Atoll was closed in 2003. Populations reported below for 2010 are approximations of the number of workers present at any one time.

Country overview: 

ISO codeUM
GEC codeUM
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone(see table)


These islands were acquired haphazardly by the United States, and because of their isolation, they were administered separately from the states. Some of them were occupied by the Japanese during World War II.

Other names of country: 

  1. Dutch: Ver afgelegen eilandjes van de Verenigde Staten
  2. French: Îles fp mineures éloignées des États-Unis mp
  3. German: Amerikanisch-Ozeanien n, Amerikanische kleinere abgelegene Inseln fp im Pazifik m, Kleinere Amerikanische Überseeinseln
  4. Turkish: Minor Outlying Adaları Birleşik Devletleri

Origin of name: 


Primary subdivisions: 

United States Minor Outlying Islands is divided into eight unincorporated territories and one incorporated territory.

Baker IslandUM.FQ81FQ050XB,XBK-12031
Howland IslandUM.HQ84HQ100XH,XHO-12031
Jarvis IslandUM.DQ86DQ150XQ,XJV-10042
Johnston AtollUM.JQ67JQ200XU,XJA-10031
Kingman ReefUM.KQ89KQ250XM,XKR-11010
Midway IslandsUM.MQ71MQ300QM,XMW-114062
Navassa IslandUM.BQ76BQ350XV,XNV-5052
Palmyra AtollUM.LQ95LQ400XL,XPL-110125
Wake IslandUM.WQ79WQ450QW,XWK1215063
9 territories1904116
  • Territory: Palmyra Atoll is incorporated; the rest are unincorporated.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2. They originated in a FIPS Standard. In table
    2 of FIPS PUB 5-2, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands is listed as a state-level
    division of the United States. As such, its State Numeric Code is 74 and
    its State Alpha Code is UM. In table 3, its nine divisions are listed. They
    are assigned the codes in this column, under the heading "FIPS State
    Numeric Code".
  • GEC: Codes from GEC, in which these entities are treated as separate countries.
  • FIPS#: Three-digit county codes from FIPS PUB 55-2, where these entities
    are treated as counties and United States Minor Outlying Islands is
    treated as a state or territory.
  • GENC: Two-letter and three-letter country codes from GENC.
  • Tz: Offset from GMT to local time in hours. Daylight saving time is not
  • Population: 2010 estimates.
  • Capitals: These islands, even when inhabited, don't have named cities
    on them.

Territorial extent: 

  1. Johnston Atoll includes Johnston, Sand, Hikina, and Akan islands.
  2. Midway Islands includes Sand and Eastern islands.
  3. Palmyra Atoll is a cluster of islands, of which Cooper is the largest.
  4. Wake Island includes Wake, Peale, and Wilkes atolls.
  5. All of these islands are in the Pacific Ocean except for Navassa, which is in the Caribbean.

The UN LOCODE page  for United States Minor Outlying Islands lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Johnston Island: named for Charles James Johnston, who discovered the island in 1807.
  2. Kingman Reef: discovered by Captain W. E. Kingman in 1853.
  3. Midway Islands: about midway between California and Japan.
  4. Wake Island: discovered by Captain William Wake in 1796.

Change history: 

  1. 1912: The United States annexed Palmyra Atoll to Hawaii. It had previously been claimed by both Great Britain and Hawaii.
  2. 1922: U.S. annexed Kingman Reef.
  3. 1935: Baker and Howland Islands, formerly claimed by Great Britain, became U.S. territories. United States laid claim to Jarvis Island.
  4. 1959-08-21: Palmyra Atoll split from Hawaii when the latter became a state.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Jarvis Island: Jervis Island (variant)
  2. Midway Islands: Îles Midway (French); Ilhas Midway (Portuguese); Islas Midway (Spanish); Midwayinseln (German); Brooks Islands (obsolete)

Population history:

Baker, Howland, and Jarvis IslandsN/A100000000
Johnston AtollN/A69461561,0073271733150
Midway Islands364374162,3562,22045313040
Wake IslandN/AN/A3491,0971,64730271150


All census dates are April 1.


  1. [1] A Department of the Interior web page titled "Palmyra Atoll" explained the legal fluke through which Palmyra Atoll is an incorporated territory (http://www.doi.gov/oia/Islandpages/palmyrapage.htm, dead link, retrieved 2005-10-16).
  2. [2] United States Summary: 2000 . U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Population and Housing Unit Counts PHC-3-1, United States Summary. Washington, DC, 2004. Table 1: Population and Housing Units 1980 to 2000 and Area Measurements 2000 (retrieved 2013-10-17).
  3. [3] Population . U.S. Census Bureau, 1981. Table No. 6 (retrieved 2013-10-23).
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