United States Minor Outlying Islands

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

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
Donald Trump (R)
Greg Sheehan (Acting)
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.

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]



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:


Three of the islands are listed with ports in the World Port Index,[18] with World Port Number:

  • 56325 JOHNSTON ATOLL: Johnston Atoll
  • 56328 MIDWAY ISLAND: Midway Atoll
  • 56330 WAKE ISLAND: Wake Island
  • not listed WEST LAGOON: Palmyra Atoll

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 islandIsland area (km2)Lagoon (km2)CoordinatesNWR
AcquiredFIPS CodeFGECG[19]

North Pacific Ocean, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Midway Atoll6.2[20]4028°13′N 177°22′W1996 November 1[21]1867 August 2874300MQ

North Pacific Ocean, scattered isolated islands

Wake IslandA6.5[22]619°18′N 166°38′E2009 January 6[23][24]1899 January 1774450WQ
Johnston AtollB2.63[25]13016°45′N 169°31′W1926 July 29[26]1859 September 674200JQ

North Pacific Ocean, Northern Line Islands

Kingman Reef0.03[27]766°24′N 162°24′W2001 January 18[28]1860 February 874250KQ
Palmyra AtollB11.9[29]155°53′N 162°05′W2001 January 18[30]1912 February 2174400LQ

North Pacific Ocean, Northern Phoenix Islands

Howland Island1.6[31]0°48′N 176°37′W1974 June 27[2]1856 October 2874100HQ
Baker Island1.5[32]0°12′N 176°29′W1974 June 27[2]1856 October 2874050FQ

South Pacific Ocean, Central Line Islands

Jarvis Island4.5[33]0°22′S 160°01′W1974 June 27[3]1856 October 2874150DQ

North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea

Navassa IslandC5.4[34]18°24′N 75°01′W1999 December 3[35]1858 October 3174350BQ
Bajo Nuevo BankD0.0215515°53′N 78°38′W1869 November 22(none)(none)
Serranilla BankE0.02120015°50′N 79°50′W1879 September 8
1880 September 13
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands40.26267     
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.[36][37]
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.[19]

Flora and fauna

See also


  1. US Census 2000 Population Summary — see Table I
  2. "Office of Insular Affairs: Baker and Howland Islands". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 2015-03-15. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  3. "Office of Insular Affairs: Jarvis Island". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  4. 19 C.F.R. 101.1
  5. Jesdanun, Anick (24 January 2007). "Unused Domain Name for U.S. Isles Gone". NBC News. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  6. "GAO/OGC-98-5 – U.S. Insular Areas: Application of the U.S. Constitution". U.S. Government Printing Office. November 7, 1997. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  7. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/midway_atoll/ Midway Atoll. FWS.gov. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  8. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Johnston_Atoll/about.html FWS.gov. Johnston Atoll. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  9. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Baker_island/about.html FWS.gov. Baker Island. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  10. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Howland_Island/about.html FWS.gov. Howland Island. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  11. https://www.intltravelnews.com/2010/06/rare-tour-to-wake-island Intltravelnews.com. Rare Tour to Wake Island. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  12. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Jarvis_Island/about.html FWS.gov. Jarvis Island. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  13. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Navassa_Island/visit/plan_your_visit.html FWS.gov. Navassa Island. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  14. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Palmyra_Atoll/visit/plan_your_visit.html FWS.gov. Palmyra Atoll - Plan Your Visit. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  15. "Search results". e-Archives. Purdue University Libraries. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  16. "Kingman Reef". The World Factbook. FAQs.org. 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  17. "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Pacific Islands". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  18. "NGA.mil". National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009.
  19. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/appendix/appendix-d.html CIA World Factbook. Appendix D: Cross-reference list of country data codes. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  20. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mq.html CIA World Factbook. Midway Atoll. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  21. "Executive Order 13022: Administration of the Midway Islands". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  22. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wq.html CIA World Factbook. Wake Island. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  23. "Presidential Proclamation 8336" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  24. "Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents: Monday, January 12, 2009 Volume 45—Number 1, Page 14" (PDF). United States Government Printing Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  25. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jq.html CIA World Factbook. Johnston Atoll. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  26. "Office of Insular Affairs: Johnston Island - History". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  27. https://www.britannica.com/place/Kingman-Reef Britannica.com. Kingman Reef. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  28. "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3223". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  29. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/lq.html CIA World Factbook. Palmyra Atoll. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  30. "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3224". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  31. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/hq.html CIA World Factbook. Howland Island. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  32. https://www.britannica.com/place/Baker-Island Britannica.com. Baker Island. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  33. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/dq.html CIA World Factbook. Jarvis Island. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  34. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bq.html CIA World Factbook. Navassa Island. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  35. "Department of the Interior: Secretary's Order #3210". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  36. http://www.statoids.com/uum.html Territories of United States Minor Outlying Islands. Statoids.com. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  37. http://www.hl7.org/fhir/valueset-fips-county.html FHIR. US counties and county equivalent entities codes. US Realm Taskforce Work Group. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
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