Insular area

Locations of the insular areas of the United States

An insular area of the United States is a U.S. territory that is neither a part of one of the 50 states nor of a Federal district. Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution grants to United States Congress the responsibility of overseeing these territories,[a] of which there are currently 14—three in the Caribbean Sea and 11 in the Pacific Ocean.[1] These territories are classified by whether they are incorporated (by Congress extending the full body of the Constitution to the territory as it applies to the several states) and whether they have an organized territorial government established by the U.S. Congress through an Organic Act.[2] All territories but one are unincorporated, and all but four are considered to be unorganized. Five U.S. territories have a permanent, nonmilitary population. Each of them has a civilian government, a constitution, and enjoys some degree of local political autonomy.


Congress has extended citizenship rights by birth to all inhabited territories except American Samoa, and these citizens may vote and run for office in any U.S. jurisdiction in which they are residents. The people of American Samoa are U.S. nationals by place of birth, or they are U.S. citizens by parentage, or naturalization after residing in a State for three months.[3] Nationals are free to move around and seek employment within the United States without immigration restrictions, but cannot vote or hold office outside American Samoa.[4]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Астраўныя тэрыторыі ЗША
Bahasa Indonesia: Daerah insuler
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Otočke teritorije Sjedinjenih Američkih Država
粵語: 美國屬地
中文: 島嶼地區