United States Minor Outlying Islands

United States Minor Outlying Islands

Flag of United States Minor Outlying Islands
Locations of the United States Minor Outlying Islands in the Pacific Ocean; note that Navassa Island is not visible on this map.
Locations of the United States Minor Outlying Islands in the Pacific Ocean; note that Navassa Island is not visible on this map.
Administrative centerWashington, D.C.
Largest villageWake Island
National languageEnglish
Demonym(s)American Islander
• President
Donald Trump (R)
Greg Sheehan (Acting)
• 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 (USD)
ISO 3166 codeUM
Internet TLD.us b
  1. 2000 estimate.
  2. .um was retired in 2008.
Brown boobies atop pier posts at Johnston Atoll, September 2005

The United States Minor Outlying Islands are 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 United States has a related territorial dispute with Colombia over administration of the Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank. These islands are not included in the ISO designation.


Except for Palmyra Atoll, all of these islands are unincorporated, unorganized territories of the United States. As of 2019, none of the islands have any permanent residents. The U.S. Territory of Palmyra Island is an incorporated territory, separated in 1959 from the rest of the former incorporated Territory of Hawaii when Hawaii became a state. The only human population consists of temporarily stationed scientific and military personnel. The 2000 census counted 315 people on Johnston Atoll and 94 people on Wake Island.[1]

There has been no modern indigenous population, except at the 1940 census. 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.[2][3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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 Island and Midway Island, became a U.S. state. Residents of the Stewarts, who are Polynesian like the native Hawaiians rather than Melanesian, claimed to be citizens of the United States since the Stewarts 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 Stewarts, and the United States makes no official claim of sovereignty.[6]

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.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Зьнешнія малыя астравы (ЗША)