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).
United States Minor Outlying Islands
Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
|Administrative center||Washington, D.C.|
|Largest village||Wake Island|
|Donald Trump (R)|
• Director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
|Greg Sheehan (Acting)|
|34.2 km2 (13.2 sq mi) (unranked)|
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
• 2000 census
• Per capita
|Currency||United States dollar (USD)|
|ISO 3166 code||UM|
|Internet TLD||.us b|
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Airports in the United States Minor Outlying Islands provide critical emergency landing points across the vast Pacific Ocean for all types of aircraft, allow for important military presence in key strategic zones, and have limited scheduled commercial services. The following is a list of island airports with ICAO (IATA) codes:
Other airports include:
Baker Island, Howland Island and Jarvis Island each have a small boat landing place. Kingman Reef and Navassa Island have offshore anchorage only.
|Atoll or island||Island area (km2)||Lagoon (km2)||Coordinates||NWR
|Midway Atoll||5.18||40||1996 November 1||1867 August 28||74300||MQ|
North Pacific Ocean, scattered isolated islands
|Wake IslandA||7.4||6||2009 January 6||1899 January 17||74450||WQ|
|Johnston AtollB||2.52||130||1926 July 29||1859 September 6||74200||JQ|
North Pacific Ocean, Northern Line Islands
|Kingman Reef||0.01||76||2001 January 18||1860 February 8||74250||KQ|
|Palmyra AtollB||6.56||15||2001 January 18||1912 February 21||74400||LQ|
North Pacific Ocean, Northern Phoenix Islands
|Howland Island||1.62||–||1974 June 27||1856 October 28||74100||HQ|
|Baker Island||1.24||–||1974 June 27||1856 October 28||74050||FQ|
South Pacific Ocean, Central Line Islands
|Jarvis Island||4.45||–||1974 June 27||1856 October 28||74150||DQ|
|Navassa IslandC||5.2||–||1999 December 3||1858 October 31||74350||BQ|
|Bajo Nuevo BankD||0.02||155||1869 November 22||(none)||(none)|
|Serranilla BankE||0.02||1200||1879 September 8
1880 September 13
|U.S. Minor Outlying Islands||34.2||267|
|A Claimed by the Marshall Islands.|
B Previously claimed by Hawaii when independent. Palmyra Atoll was officially part of Hawaii until 1959.
C Claimed by Haiti.
D Administered by Colombia and claimed by Jamaica and Nicaragua, not included in the ISO list of territories; its area is not included in the total.
E Administered by Colombia and claimed by Honduras and Nicaragua, not included in the ISO list of territories; its area is not included in the total.
FEach island (except for Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank) has a unique FIPS (INCITS) code treating it as a county-equivalent for statistical purposes; "74" is the state-level code for the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
GGEC stands for "Geopolitical Entities and Codes", a coding system superseding the FIPS 10-4 codes; the codes (such as FQ for Baker Island) treat each island as if it were a country.
.um was the Internet country code top-level domain for the United States Minor Outlying Islands. It was administered by the United States Minor Outlying Islands Registry. Until late 2006 USMIR was housed at the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI), which was the original administrator of .us prior to NeuStar absorbing that role.
In January 2007, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers reportedly dropped the .um domain from the master list of domain names in response to the domain's being unused and USC-ISI's desire to divest itself of responsibility for the domain. In November 2007 at the registry website of www.nic.um a message stated "Registration is CLOSED at this time. We are only accepting Registrar Accounts." Links to a brief description of each of the individual American islands were also given. In December 2007, registration was opened on an experimental basis with an "Annual Account Maintenance" fee of $1,200 and a $30 annual domain registration.
Since the USC-ISI divested itself of this registry, in late 2006, EP.NET hosted USMIR and continued to administer it. According to the www.nic.um site at that time, the TLD was no longer affiliated with USC-ISI and had spun off the venture into an independent company, USMIR, which has the same contact information as that of the limited liability company EP.net. Accessing the website without the "www" subdomain returned a copy of the main site for EP.net.
Some .um websites, like 'hotel.um' and 'co.um' appeared after the TLD registry opened; however, as of April 20, 2008, the .um domain has been removed from the root zone. It appears ICANN took the action of removing .um from the root since USC-ISI requested this. Whether USMIR will refund domain owners is not known. According to the revocation report on the IANA website, the U.S. DOC has approved the removal and has also instructed ICANN not to reassign the domain without prior approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce.Flags of Oceania
This is a gallery of national flags of Oceania.Henderson Field (Midway Atoll)
Henderson Field (IATA: MDY, ICAO: PMDY) is a public airport located on Sand Island in Midway Atoll, an unincorporated territory of the United States. The airport is used as an emergency diversion point for ETOPS operations.
Henderson Field was named after Major Lofton R. Henderson (killed in the Battle of Midway during WWII) and is one of three airfields so-named (the other two include the original Henderson Field on Eastern Island (Midway Atoll) and Henderson Field (Guadalcanal)). The airfield now provides access to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge - the sole "window" into the rich resources of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (established in 2006). It operated until 1993 as Naval Air Facility Midway.
After transition from the U.S. Navy to the Department of the Interior, the airport was subsidized by Boeing until 2004. Since 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has fully supported airport operations and maintenance with some assistance from the FAA.
Henderson Field is an uncontrolled airport (no tower). Flight arrivals and departures are typically limited to night during the months of November–June when albatross are present. (Midway Atoll NWR is the world's largest nesting albatross colony.)Jarvis Island
Jarvis Island (; formerly known as Bunker Island, or Bunker's Shoal) is an uninhabited 1 3⁄4-square-mile (4.5 km2) coral island located in the South Pacific Ocean at 0°22′S 160°01′W, about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. It is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system. Unlike most coral atolls, the lagoon on Jarvis is wholly dry.
Jarvis is one of the Line Islands and for statistical purposes is also grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.Johnston Atoll Airport
Johnston Atoll Airport is located on the Johnston Atoll in the United States Minor Outlying Islands, in the Pacific Ocean 717 nautical miles (1328 kilometers) southwest of Hawaii. While an active U.S. military facility during the 20th century, the airport was shut down in 2005 and the runway is not maintained. Although no longer a Diversion airport, it is still considered preferable to a dangerous water landing in extreme emergency.Johnston Island Air Force Base
Johnston Island Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base on the Johnston Atoll in the United States Minor Outlying Islands, in the Pacific Ocean several hundred kilometers southwest of Hawaii. After its closure, it briefly operated as Johnston Atoll Airport, until its closure in 2005.Kingman Reef
Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited triangular-shaped reef, 9.5 nautical miles (18 kilometers) east-west and 5 nmi (9 km) north-south, located in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa at 6°23′N 162°25′W. It is the northernmost of the Northern Line Islands and lies 36 nautical miles (67 km) northwest of the next closest island (Palmyra Atoll), and 930 nautical miles (1,720 km) south of Honolulu.The reef encloses a lagoon up to 270 feet (82 m) deep in its western part. The total area within the outer rim of the reef is 29 sq mi (75 km2). There are two small strips of dry land composed of coral rubble and giant clamshells on the eastern rim with areas of 2 and 1 acre (8,100 and 4,000 m2) having a coastline of 2 miles (3 km). The highest point on the reef is less than 5 feet (1.5 m) above sea level, which is wetted or awash most of the time, making Kingman Reef a maritime hazard. It has no natural resources and supports no economic activity.List of airports in United States minor islands
List of airports in the United States Minor Outlying Islands of Oceania, listed alphabetically.
For a list sorted by ICAO code, see List of airports by ICAO code: PNote: not to be confused with Henderson Field (Guadalcanal) on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands; renamed as Honiara International Airport in 2003.List of lighthouses in the United States
This is a list of lighthouses in the United States. The United States has had approximately a thousand lights as well as light towers, range lights, and pier head lights. Michigan has the most lights of any state with over 150 past and present lights. Lighthouses that are in former U.S. territories are not listed here.
Most of the lights in the United States have been built and maintained by the Coast Guard (since 1939) and its predecessors, the United States Lighthouse Service (1910–1939) and the United States Lighthouse Board (1852–1910). Before the Lighthouse Board was established, local collectors of customs were responsible for lighthouses under Stephen Pleasonton. As their importance to navigation has declined and as public interest in them has increased, the Coast Guard has been handing over ownership and in some cases responsibility for running them to other parties, the chief of them being the National Park Service under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.
Note: Click on the state of your choice in the tables below to link you to lighthouses in that state.Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll (colloquial: Midway Islands; Hawaiian: Pihemanu Kauihelani) is a 2.4-square-mile (6.2 km2) atoll in the North Pacific Ocean at 28°12′N 177°21′W. Midway is roughly equidistant between North America and Asia. Midway Atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States. Midway continues to be the only island in the Hawaiian archipelago that is not part of the state of Hawaii. Unlike the other Hawaiian islands, Midway observes Samoa Time (UTC−11:00, i.e., eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time), which is one hour behind the time in the state of Hawaii. For statistical purposes, Midway is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 590,991.50 acres (239,165.77 ha) of land and water in the surrounding area, is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The refuge and most of its surrounding area are part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Until 1993, the atoll was the home of the Naval Air Facility Midway Island. The Battle of Midway, which was fought between June 4 and 6, 1942, was a critical Allied victory of the Pacific campaign of World War II. The United States Navy successfully defended the atoll from a Japanese invasion, defeating a Japanese battle group, marking a turning point in the war in the Pacific Theater. USAAF aircraft based at the original Henderson Field on Eastern Island joined the attack against the Japanese fleet, which suffered losses of four carriers and one heavy cruiser.
Approximately 40 to 60 people live on the atoll, which includes staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and contract workers. Visitation to the atoll is possible only for business reasons (which includes permanent and temporary staff, contractors and volunteers) as the tourism program has been suspended due to budget cutbacks. In 2012, the last year that the visitor program was in operation, 332 people made the trip to Midway. Tours focused on both the unique ecology of Midway as well as its military history. The economy is derived solely from governmental sources and tourist fees. Nearly all supplies must be brought to the island by ship or plane, though a hydroponic greenhouse and garden supply some fresh fruits and vegetables.National Register of Historic Places listings in the United States Minor Outlying Islands
This is a list of the buildings, sites, districts, and objects listed on the National Register of Historic Places across the United States Minor Outlying Islands. There are currently two listed sites located on two of the twelve islands or atolls that make up the Minor Outlying Islands.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.Navassa Island
Navassa Island (; French: l'île de la Navasse; also La Navasse, La Navase) is a small uninhabited island in the Caribbean Sea. Located northeast of Jamaica, south of Cuba, 40 nautical miles (46 mi; 74 km) west of Jérémie on the south west peninsula of Haiti, the island is subject to an ongoing territorial dispute between Haiti and the United States, which officially administers it through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. has claimed the island since 1857, based on the Guano Islands Act of 1856. Haiti's claim over Navassa goes back to the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 that established French possessions in mainland Hispaniola, that were transferred from Spain by the treaty. As well as the western half of the main island and certain other specifically named nearby islands, Haiti's 1801 constitution also claimed "other adjacent (but unnamed) islands". Navassa was not one of the named islands. Since its 1874 Constitution, and after the establishment of the 1857 U.S. claim, Haiti has explicitly named "la Navase" as one of the territories it claims.Palmyra (Cooper) Airport
Palmyra (Cooper) Airport (ICAO: PLPA, FAA LID: P16) is an unattended airport on Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. It is a private-use facility, originally built during World War II and now owned by The Nature Conservancy. It has one runway (6/24) measuring 5,000 ft × 150 ft (1,524 m × 46 m).The name for the airport and the island where it is located comes from Henry Ernest Cooper, Sr. (1857–1929) who owned Palmyra from 1911 to 1922.Treaty of Tarawa
On September 20, 1979, representatives of the newly independent Republic of Kiribati and of the United States met in Tarawa to sign a treaty of friendship between the two nations, known as the Treaty of Tarawa. More formally, the treaty is entitled, "Kiribati, Treaty of Friendship and Territorial Sovereignty, September 20, 1979"; and subtitled "Treaty of Friendship Between the United States of America and the Republic of Kiribati". In this treaty, the U.S. acknowledged Kiribati sovereignty over fourteen islands. The treaty was approved by the U.S. Senate on June 21, 1983. The treaty came into force on September 23, 1983, by the exchange of the instruments of ratification, which took place at Suva, Fiji. This, together with British cessation of claims, ended the Canton and Enderbury Islands Condominium, which had begun under the terms of the Guano Islands Act. In Art. 3 the US have reserved the right to maintain military bases on the Islands of Canton, Enderbury or Hull.United States Miscellaneous Caribbean Islands
The United States Miscellaneous Caribbean Islands is an obsolete collective term for the territories currently or formerly controlled by the United States in the Caribbean Sea. Most of the islands were acquired through claims made via the Guano Islands Act:
Bajo Nuevo Bank (occupied by Colombia, claimed by the U.S., Jamaica and Nicaragua)
Corn Islands (returned to Nicaragua on April 25, 1971)
Navassa Island (U.S. unincorporated territory, claimed by Haiti)
Quita Sueño Bank (claim abandoned on September 17, 1981, occupied by Colombia)
Roncador Bank (ceded to Colombia on September 17, 1981)
Serrana Bank (ceded to Colombia on September 17, 1981)
Serranilla Bank (occupied by Colombia, claimed by the U.S., Nicaragua, Honduras and, until 1994, Jamaica)
Swan Islands (ceded to Honduras on September 1, 1972)The islands were given the FIPS country code of BQ before 1974. With the transfer of sovereignty of most of the islands, the FIPS country code of BQ now represents only Navassa Island, still controlled by the U.S.United States Miscellaneous Pacific Islands
The United States Miscellaneous Pacific Islands is an obsolete term used to collectively describe Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, and Palmyra Atoll, all of them territories controlled by the United States by the Guano Islands Act in the Pacific Ocean.
The islands were given the ISO country codes of PU (alpha-2), PUS (alpha-3), and 849 (numeric) before 1986 (now PUUM), and the FIPS country code of IQ before 1981. For ISO purposes, the islands are now defined as part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands, together with Johnston Atoll, Midway Atoll, Navassa Island, and Wake Island, while each island is now given a separate FIPS code.
Protected areas of the United States Minor Outlying Islands
|Marine National Monuments|
|National Wildlife Refuges|
|The Nature Conservancy|