United States Minor Outlying Islands
Flag of United States Minor Outlying Islands
Flag
Motto: 
Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Locations of the United States Minor Outlying Islands in the Pacific Ocean; Navassa Island is not located on this map.
Locations of the United States Minor Outlying Islands in the Pacific Ocean; Navassa Island is not located on this map.
Administrative centerWashington, D.C., U.S.
Largest villageWake Island
National languageEnglish
Government
• President
Joe Biden (D)
Area
• Total
49.26 km2 (19.02 sq mi) (Unranked)
• Water (%)
88.6
Population
• 2009 estimate
300 (232nd)
• 2000 census
316
GDP (PPP)estimate
• Per capita
$46,381a (6th)
CurrencyUnited States dollar (US$) (USD)
Time zoneUTC−12 to −10, −5, +12
ISO 3166 codeUM
Internet TLD.us b
  1. 2000 estimate.
  2. .um was retired in 2007.
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).

The islands, though scattered across the Pacific and quite small, are rich in history and nature, and have been quite strategically important. The nearly barren Howland is famous for being the island Amelia Earhart, a famous American woman that vanished on her round the world flight in 1938, was going to land on. Wake, home to a now extinct flightless bird, was the site of a pitched WW2 battle in 1941, and was an important stopover for aircraft transiting the Pacific in the mid-20th century. Likewise, Midway Atoll is the site of many corals and birds, and was also center of one the famous battle of WW2 which helped turn the tide of Pacific war. Other islands, like Palmyra, are rich in unique biodiversity and was also the site of a WW2 base. Johnston Atoll was a famous island for its Cold War base, when it was expanded and used to destroy chemical weapon stockpiles; it was also the site of a nuclear accident. Johnston was heavily modified with land expansion, while others are nearly untouched nature reserves.

History

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]

Overview

Visitor map for Palmyra Atoll

Except for Palmyra Atoll, all of these islands are unincorporated unorganized territories of the United States. Currently, none of the islands have any known 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 Island.[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 recorded 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]

Transportation

Howland island

Airports

See also: List of airports in United States minor islands

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:

Seaports

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

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
established
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 Apr 22[24] 1867 Aug 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 Jan 16[26][27] 1899 Jan 17 74450 WQ
Johnston Atoll 2.6[23] 130 16°45′N 169°31′W / 16.750°N 169.517°W / 16.750; -169.517 (Johnston Atoll) 1926 Jun 29[28] 1859 Sep 6 74200 JQ
North Pacific Ocean, Northern Line Islands
Kingman Reef 0.01[23] 76 6°24′N 162°24′W / 6.400°N 162.400°W / 6.400; -162.400 (Kingman Reef) 2001 Jan 18[29] 1860 Feb 8 74250 KQ
Palmyra Atoll[D] 3.9[23] 15 5°53′N 162°05′W / 5.883°N 162.083°W / 5.883; -162.083 (Palmyra Atoll) 2001 Jan 18[30] 1912 Feb 21 74400 LQ
North Pacific Ocean, Northern Phoenix Islands
Howland Island 2.6[23] 0°48′N 176°37′W / 0.800°N 176.617°W / 0.800; -176.617 (Howland Island) 1974 Jun 27[1] 1856 Oct 28 74100 HQ
Baker Island 2.1[23] 0°12′N 176°29′W / 0.200°N 176.483°W / 0.200; -176.483 (Baker Island) 1974 Jun 27[1] 1856 Oct 28 74050 FQ
South Pacific Ocean, Central Line Islands
Jarvis Island 5.0[23] 0°22′S 160°01′W / 0.367°S 160.017°W / -0.367; -160.017 (Jarvis Island) 1974 Jun 27[2] 1856 Oct 28 74150 DQ
Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles
Navassa Island[E] 5.4[31] 18°24′N 75°01′W / 18.400°N 75.017°W / 18.400; -75.017 (Navassa Island) 1999 Dec 3[32] 1858 Oct 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 Nov 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 Sep 8
1880 Sep 13
(none) (none)
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands 34.3 267
  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

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2019)

See also

References

  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. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  4. ^ US Census 2000 Population Summary Archived 3 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine — 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. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  6. ^ 19 CFR 101.1
  7. ^ Jesdanun, Anick (24 January 2007). "Unused Domain Name for U.S. Isles Gone". NBC News. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. 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". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  9. ^ "About the Refuge - Johnston Atoll - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 26 January 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  10. ^ "About the Refuge - Baker Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  11. ^ "About the Refuge - Howland Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Rare tour to Wake Island". www.intltravelnews.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  13. ^ "About the Refuge - Jarvis Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Plan Your Visit - Navassa Island - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Plan Your Visit - Palmyra Atoll - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". www.fws.gov. Archived from the original on 5 December 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  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. FAQs.org. 2002. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  19. ^ "NGA.mil". National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009.
  20. ^ "United States Minor Outlying Islands Territories". www.statoids.com. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Valueset-fips-county - FHIR v3.0.1". Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Appendix D :: Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges". cia.gov. 22 December 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  24. ^ "Executive Order 13022: Administration of the Midway Islands". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  25. ^ "Wake Island". cia.gov. 17 January 2024. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  26. ^ "Presidential Proclamation 8336". Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2018. 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. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3223". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  30. ^ "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3224". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  31. ^ "Navassa Island". cia.gov. 17 January 2024. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  32. ^ "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3210". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2011.