What are some major U.S. territories?


Quick Answer

Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa are some of the major territories of the United States. These are the only five of the United States' 15 territories to be permanently inhabited.

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Full Answer

Puerto Rico is the largest U.S. territory, with a total area of 3,515 square miles. In 2011, its estimated population was 3,998,905 people. On July 25, 1898, the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico at Guánica. As an outcome of the war, Spain ceded Puerto Rico, along with the Philippines and Guam, to America.

Guam is the Marianas Archipelago's largest and southernmost island. Its land area is 212 square miles, and its population in 2008 was 175,877. From 1899 to 1949, the U.S. Navy administered Guam, except during the Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1944. Guam's economy is based on tourism and U.S. military spending.

The Northern Mariana Islands include the islands of Rota, Saipan, Tinian, Pagan, Guguan, Agrihan and Aguijan. Its total area is 184 square miles, and the population in 2014 was 51,483 people. Saipan's territorial status enables its employers to claim that their clothing is “Made in the USA.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands has a land area of 136 square miles, and its 2014 population was 104,170. American Samoa has a total area of 77 square miles. Its population in 2014 was 54,517.

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