Palmyra Atoll is the only incorporated territory. As of 2008, none of the islands has any permanent residents. The only population are temporarily stationed scientific and military personnel. The 2000 census counted 315 people on Johnston Atoll and 1 person on Wake Island. There has been no indigenous population, except at the 1940 census. The Baker, Howland and Jarvis Colonization Scheme attempted to settle Americans on those three islands beginning in 1935, but all three islands were evacuated in 1942 as a result of World War II.
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 collectively represented by the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code UM. The individual islands have ISO 3166-2 numerical codes, see UM. 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.
The term "United States Minor Outlying Islands" was introduced 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 US Miscellaneous Pacific Islands, with ISO 3166 code PU (the code of Midway Atoll was MI, and the code of Johnston Atoll JT).
Baker Island, Howland Island and Jarvis Island have a small boat landing place only each. Kingman Reef and Navassa Island have offshore anchorage only.
|Atoll/Island||Island Areakm²||Lagoonkm²||Coordinates||NWRestablished||date ofacquisition|
|Northern Pacific Ocean, scattered isolated islands|
|Northern Pacific Ocean, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands|
|Central Pacific Ocean, Northern Line Islands|
|Central Pacific Ocean, Central Line Islands|
|Central Pacific Ocean, Northern Phoenix Islands|
|Bajo Nuevo Bank4||0.02||155||N/A||1869-11-22|
|'''U.S. Minor Outlying Islands||34.2||267|
|1claimed by the Marshall Islands|
|2previously claimed by Hawaii when independent. Palmyra was officially part of Hawaii until 1959.|
|3claimed by Haiti|
|4These islands are disputed with Colombia, Jamaica, and possibly Honduras. Their areas are not included in the totals. Only one U.S. Government online resource list these islands in the context of the United States Minor Outlying Islands, all others do not. lists them as disputed.|