Overseas Territories (United States of America)

Travel Guide Overseas Territories Overseas Territories



Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions directly overseen by the United States federal government (unlike U.S. states, which share sovereignty with the federal government). These territories are classified by whether they are incorporated (part of the United States proper) and whether they have an organized government through an Organic Act passed by the U.S. Congress.

The United States currently has sixteen territories. Five of them are permanently inhabited and are classified as unincorporated territories: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Marianas archipelago in the western North Pacific Ocean; and American Samoa in the South Pacific. They are organized, self-governing territories with locally elected governors and territorial legislatures. Each also elects a non-voting member (or resident commissioner) to the U.S. House of Representatives. The eleven other territories are small islands, atolls and reefs, also spread across the Caribbean and Pacific, with no native or permanent populations. These are Palmyra Atoll, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island, Serranilla Bank and Wake Island, which are claimed by the United States under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. The status of some are disputed by Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and the Marshall Islands. The Palmyra Atoll is the only territory currently incorporated.

Many overseas areas of the USA are covered in the respective continents, except the ones mentioned here.


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This is version 2. Last edited at 9:14 on Jul 12, 17 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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