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Territories of the United States are sub-national
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...

administrative division
s overseen by the U.S. federal government. The various U.S. territories differ from the
U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to this shared sovereignty, are both of t ...
s and
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...
in that they are not sovereign entities. In contrast, each state has a sovereignty separate from that of the federal government and each federally recognized Native American tribe possesses limited
tribal sovereignty 300px, Map of the contiguous United States with reservation lands excluded as of 2003 Tribal sovereignty in the United States is the concept of the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the Uni ...
as a "dependent sovereign nation". Territories are classified by
incorporation Incorporation may refer to: * Incorporation (business), the creation of a corporation * Incorporation of a place, creation of municipal corporation such as a city or county * Incorporation (academic), awarding a degree based on the student having a ...
and whether they have an "organized" government through an organic act passed by the
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
. U.S. territories are under U.S. sovereignty and, consequently, may be treated as part of the United States ''proper'' in some ways and not others (i.e. territories belong to, but are typically not considered to be a part of, the United States). Unincorporated territories in particular are not considered to be integral parts of the United States,https://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk2/1987/8712/871204.PDF Princeton.edu. Chapter 2: Introduction. (Renewable Resource Management for U.S. Insular Areas—Integrated.) Page 40 (Page 4 of PDF). Retrieved July 4, 2019. and the
Constitution of the United States The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...
applies only partially in those territories. Worldatlas.com. "What Are The U.S. Territories?" Retrieved July 4, 2019. Harvard Law Review—U.S. Territories: Introduction. April 10, 2017. Retrieved July 2019. The U.S. currently administers three territories in the Caribbean Sea and eleven in the Pacific Ocean. Five territories (
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, and the
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...
) are permanently inhabited, unincorporated territories; the other nine are small islands, atolls, and reefs with no native (or permanent) population. Of the nine, only one is classified as an incorporated territory (
Palmyra Atoll Palmyra Atoll (), also referred to as Palmyra Island, is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific ...

Palmyra Atoll
). Two additional territories (
Bajo Nuevo Bank Bajo Nuevo Bank, also known as the Petrel Islands ( es, Bajo Nuevo, Islas Petrel), is a small, uninhabited reef A reef is a ridge or shoal of rock, coral or similar relatively stable material, lying beneath the surface of a natural body of ...
and
Serranilla Bank Serranilla Bank ( es, Isla Serranilla, Banco Serranilla and ''Placer de la Serranilla'') is a partially submerged reef, with small uninhabited islets, in the western Caribbean Sea. It is situated about northeast of Punta Gorda, Nicaragua ...
) are claimed by the United States but administered by
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning South America and an Insular region of Colombia, insular region in North America. It is bordered by the Carib ...

Colombia
. Historically, territories were created to administer newly acquired land, and most eventually attained statehood. Others, such as the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, the
Federated States of Micronesia The Federated States of Micronesia (; abbreviated FSM), or simply Micronesia, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is oft ...
, the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
, and
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
, later became independent. Many organized, incorporated territories existed from 1789 to 1959. The first were the
Northwest The points of the compass are an evenly spaced set of Vertical and horizontal, horizontal directions (or Azimuth#In navigation, azimuths) used in navigation and geography. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, e ...

Northwest
and
Southwest The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
territories and the last were the
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...
and
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
territories. Thirty-one territories (or parts of territories) became states. In the process, some less-populous areas of a territory were orphaned from it after a statehood referendum. When a portion of the
Missouri Territory The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821. In 1819, the Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of its southern area. In 1821, a southeas ...
became the state of
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
, the remainder of the territory (the present-day states of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, most of Kansas, Wyoming, and Montana, and parts of Colorado and Minnesota) became an
unorganized territory In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Wash ...
. Politically and economically, the territories are underdeveloped. Residents of U.S. territories cannot vote in U.S. Presidential elections, and they have only non-voting representation in the U.S. Congress. Territorial telecommunications and other infrastructure is generally inferior to that of the
continental United States The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Americ ...
and
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
, and some territories' Internet speed was found to be slower than the least developed countries in
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of , geographical, ethnic, cultural, and connotations. , located in Eastern Europe, is both the ...

Eastern Europe
. Poverty rates are higher in the territories than in the states.


Organized vs. unorganized territories


Definition

Organized territories are lands under federal sovereignty (but not part of any state) which were given a measure of
self-governance __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems A complex system is a system composed of many c ...
by Congress through an organic act subject to the Congress's plenary powers under the
territorial clause Article Four of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of gover ...
of the Constitution's Article Four, section 3.


Former

The term ''unorganized'' was historically applied either to a newly acquired region not yet constituted as an organized incorporated territory (e.g. the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from French First Republic, Napoleonic France in 1803. In retur ...

Louisiana Purchase
prior to the establishment of
Orleans Territory The Territory of Orleans or Orleans Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from October 1, 1804, until April 30, 1812, when it was admitted to the United States, Union as the State of Louisiana. Hist ...
and the
District of Louisiana The District of Louisiana, or Louisiana District, was an official, temporary, United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily ...
), or to a region previously part of an organized incorporated territory left "unorganized" after part of it had been organized and achieved the requirements for statehood (e.g. a large portion of
Missouri Territory The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821. In 1819, the Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of its southern area. In 1821, a southeas ...
became unorganized territory for several years after its southeastern section became the state of
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
). Regions that have been admitted as states by the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first ...
in addition to the original thirteen were (most often), prior to admission, territories or parts of territories of this kind. As the United States grew, the most populous parts of the organized territory would achieve statehood. Some territories existed only a short time before becoming states, while others remained territories for decades. The shortest-lived was
Alabama Territory The Territory of Alabama (sometimes Alabama Territory) was an organized incorporated territory of the United States Organized incorporated territories were territories of the United States that were both incorporated (part of the United State ...
at two years, while
New Mexico Territory The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed (with varying boundaries) from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the remaining extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as ...
and
Hawaii Territory The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 30, 1900 until August 21, 1959, when most of its territory, excluding Palmyra Island, was admitted to the Uni ...
both lasted more than 50 years. Of the current 50 U.S. states, 31 were at one time or another part of an organized, incorporated U.S. territory. In addition to the original 13, six subsequent states never were. Kentucky, Maine, and West Virginia were each set off from already existing states. Texas and Vermont both entered the Union after having been
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
s (only ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' sovereignty in Vermont's case, as the region was claimed by
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
). California was set off from unorganized land to the United States by
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to ...

Mexico
in 1848 at the end of the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. ...

Mexican–American War
.


Current status

All of the five U.S. territories with a permanent non-military population have constitutions, locally elected territorial legislatures and executives, and some degree of political
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...

autonomy
. Four of the five are "organized", but American Samoa is technically "unorganized". All of the U.S. territories without permanent non-military populations are unorganized.


Federal administration

The
Office of Insular Affairs The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States insular areas. It is the successor to the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the United State ...
coordinates federal administration of the U.S. territories and freely associated states, except for Puerto Rico. On March 3, 1849, the last day of the 30th Congress, a bill was passed to create the
U.S. Department of the Interior The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. government. It is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resour ...
to take charge of the internal affairs of ''United States territory''. The Interior Department has a wide range of responsibilities (which include the regulation of territorial governments, the basic responsibilities for public lands, and other various duties). In contrast to similarly named Departments in other countries, the United States Department of the Interior is not responsible for local government or for civil administration except in the cases of Indian reservations, through the
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), also known as Indian Affairs (IA), is a United States federal government of the United States, federal agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, Department of the Interior. It is responsible for imp ...

Bureau of Indian Affairs
(BIA), and island dependencies administered by the Office of Insular Affairs.


Permanently inhabited territories

The U.S. has five permanently inhabited territories:
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
and the
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...
in the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an Americas, American Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean ...
,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
and the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
in the
North Pacific Ocean North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to east and west. ''North'' is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating Direction (geometry), direction or geography. Etymology Th ...

North Pacific Ocean
, and
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
in the South Pacific Ocean. American Samoa is in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
, while the other four are in the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

Northern Hemisphere
. In 2020, their combined population was about 3.62 million.Resident population for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico: 2020 census
U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau, October 28, 2021.
People born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands acquire U.S. citizenship by birth, and foreign nationals residing there may apply for U.S. citizenship by naturalization. People born in American Samoa acquire U.S. nationality but not U.S. citizenship by birth if they do not have a U.S. citizen parent. U.S. nationals without U.S. citizenship may hold U.S. passports and reside in any part of the United States without restriction.8 FAM 301.1-1
b). State Department Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Vol 8. January 21, 2021.
However, to become U.S. citizens they must apply for naturalization, like foreigners, and may only do so while residing in parts of the United States other than American Samoa. Foreign nationals residing in American Samoa cannot apply for U.S. citizenship or U.S. nationality at all. Each territory is self-governing with three branches of government, including a locally elected governor and a territorial legislature. Each territory elects a non-voting member (a non-voting
resident commissioner Resident commissioner was or is an official title of several different types of commissioner A commissioner is, in principle, a member of a Regulatory agency, commission or an individual who has been given a Wiktionary: commission, commission ...
in the case of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
) to the
U.S. House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legis ...
. They "possess the same powers as other members of the House, except that they may not vote n the floorwhen the House is meeting as the House of Representatives"; they debate, are assigned offices and staff funding, and nominate constituents from their territories to the
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branc ...
, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force and Merchant Marine academies. They can vote in their appointed House committees on all legislation presented to the House, they are included in their party count for each committee, and they are equal to senators on conference committees. Depending on the Congress, they may also vote on the floor in the House Committee of the Whole. As of the
117th Congress The 117th United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C., on January 3, 2021 ...
(January 3, 2021January 3, 2023) the territories are represented by Aumua Amata Radewagen (R) of American Samoa,
Michael San Nicholas Michael Franklin Quitugua San Nicolas (born ) is a Guamanian Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic ...
(D) of Guam,
Gregorio Sablan Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (born January 19, 1955) is a Northern Mariana Islander politician and former election commissioner. Elected in 2008 2008 was designated as: * International Year of Languages *International Year of Planet Ear ...
(I) of Northern Mariana Islands,
Jenniffer González Jenniffer Aydin González Colón (born August 5, 1976) is a Puerto Rican politician who currently serves as the 20th Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. González has served in leadership positions in the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (P ...
-Colón (R-PNP) of Puerto Rico and
Stacey Plaskett Stacey Elizabeth Plaskett (; born May 13, 1966) is an American politician, attorney, and commentator. She is a delegate Delegate or delegates may refer to: * Delegate, New South Wales, a town in Australia * Delegate (CLI), a computer programming ...
(D) of U.S. Virgin Islands. The
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
's delegate is
Eleanor Holmes Norton Eleanor Holmes Norton (born June 13, 1937) is an American politician serving as a Delegate to the United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the ...

Eleanor Holmes Norton
(D); like the district, the territories have no vote in Congress and no representation in the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. Additionally, the
Cherokee Nation The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee language, Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, ''Tsalagihi Ayeli'' or ᏣᎳᎩᏰᎵ "Tsalagiyehli"), also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee List of federally recognized trib ...
has delegate-elect
Kimberly Teehee Kimberly Teehee (born March 2, 1966) is an American attorney, activist, and lobbyist on Native American issues. She is a Delegate-designate to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Cherokee Nation The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee language, ...

Kimberly Teehee
, who has not been seated by Congress. Every four years, U.S. political parties nominate presidential candidates at conventions which include delegates from the territories. U.S. citizens living in the territories can vote for presidential candidates in these primary elections but not in the general election. The territorial capitals are
Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands * ...
(American Samoa), Hagåtña (Guam),
Saipan Saipan ( ch, Sa’ipan, formerly in es, Saipán, and in ja, 彩帆島, Saipan-tō) is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Commonwealth (U.S. insular area), commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. Acc ...

Saipan
(Northern Mariana Islands),
San JuanSan Juan , Spanish for Saint John (disambiguation), Saint John, may refer to: Places Argentina * San Juan Province, Argentina * San Juan, Argentina, the capital of that province * San Juan (Iruya), a small village in the Iruya Department of the ...
(Puerto Rico) and Charlotte Amalie (U.S. Virgin Islands). Their governors are
Lemanu Peleti Mauga Lemanu Palepoi Sialega "Peleti" Mauga (born January 1, 1949) is an American Samoan politician and the 58th List of governors of American Samoa, governor of American Samoa since January 3, 2021. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democ ...

Lemanu Peleti Mauga
(
American Samoa #REDIRECT American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) ...
),
Lou Leon Guerrero Lourdes Aflague "Lou" Leon Guerrero (born November 8, 1950) is an American politician serving as the ninth Governor of Guam The Governor (United States), Governor of Guam (Chamorro language, Chamorro: ''I Maga'låhen/Maga'håga Guåhan'' ) is th ...
(
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousa ...
),
Ralph Torres Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres (born August 6, 1979) is an American Republican politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, ...

Ralph Torres
(
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...
), Pedro Pierluisi (Governor of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico) and Albert Bryan (politician), Albert Bryan (List of Governors of the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands). Among the inhabited territories, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available only in the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
; however in 2019 a U.S. judge ruled that the federal government's denial of SSI benefits to residents of Puerto Rico is unconstitutional.
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
is the only U.S. territory with its own immigration system (a system separate from the United States immigration system). Department of the Interior—American Samoa. Retrieved July 4, 2019. American Samoa also has a communal land system in which ninety percent of the land is communally owned; ownership is based on Samoan ancestry.


History

* American Samoa: territory since 1900; after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War, the Samoan Islands were divided into two regions. The U.S. took control of the eastern half of the islands. In 1900, the Treaty of Cession of Tutuila took effect. The Manuʻa islands Treaty of Cession of Manuʻa, became part of American Samoa in 1904, and Swains Island became part of American Samoa in 1925. Congress Ratification Act of 1929, ratified American Samoa's treaties in 1929. For 51 years, the U.S. Navy controlled the territory. American Samoa is locally self-governing under a constitution last revised in 1967. The first elected governor of American Samoa was in 1977, and the first non-voting member of Congress was in 1981. People born in American Samoa are U.S. nationals, but not U.S. citizens. American Samoa is technically unorganized, and its main island is Tutuila. * Guam: territory since 1899, acquired at the end of the Spanish–American War. Guam is the home of Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base. It was organized under the Guam Organic Act of 1950, which granted U.S. citizenship to Guamanians and gave Guam a local government. In 1968, the act was amended to permit the election of a governor. * Northern Mariana Islands: A commonwealth since 1986, the Northern Mariana Islands together with Guam were part of the Spanish Empire until 1899 when the Northern Marianas were sold to the German Empire after the Spanish–American War. Beginning in 1919, they were administered by Japan as a League of Nations mandate until the islands were captured by the United States in the Battle of Saipan and Battle of Tinian (June-August 1944) and the surrender of Aguigan (September 1945) during World War II. They became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) in 1947, administered by the United States as U.N. trustee. The other constituents of the TTPI were
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
, the
Federated States of Micronesia The Federated States of Micronesia (; abbreviated FSM), or simply Micronesia, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is oft ...
and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Marshall Islands. Following failed efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to reunify Guam and the Northern Marianas, a covenant to establish the Northern Mariana Islands as a commonwealth in political union with the United States was negotiated by representatives of both political bodies; it was approved by Northern Mariana Islands voters in 1975, and came into force on March 24, 1976. In accordance with the covenant, the Northern Mariana Islands constitution partially took effect on January 9, 1978, and became fully effective on November 4, 1986. In 1986, the Northern Mariana Islands formally left U.N. trusteeship. The abbreviations "CNMI" and "NMI" are both used in the commonwealth. Most residents in the Northern Mariana Islands live on
Saipan Saipan ( ch, Sa’ipan, formerly in es, Saipán, and in ja, 彩帆島, Saipan-tō) is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Commonwealth (U.S. insular area), commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. Acc ...

Saipan
, the main island. * Puerto Rico: unincorporated territory since 1899; Puerto Rico was acquired at the end of the Spanish–American War, and has been a U.S. commonwealth since 1952. Since 1917, Puerto Ricans have been granted U.S. citizenship. Puerto Rico was organized under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950 (Public Law 600). In November 2008, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that a series of Congressional actions have had the cumulative effect of changing Puerto Rico's status from unincorporated to incorporated. The issue is proceeding through the courts, however, and the U.S. government still refers to Puerto Rico as unincorporated. A Puerto Rican attorney has called the island "semi-sovereign". Puerto Rico has a statehood movement in Puerto Rico, statehood movement, whose goal is to make the territory the 51st state. See also Political status of Puerto Rico. * U.S. Virgin Islands: purchased by the U.S. from Denmark in 1917 and organized under the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands in 1954. U.S. citizenship was granted in 1927. The main islands are Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas, Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint John and Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Croix.


Statistics

Except for Guam, the inhabited territories lost population in 2020. Although the territories have higher poverty rates than the mainland U.S., they have high Human Development Indexes. Four of the five territories have another official language, in addition to English language, English. The territories do not have administrative County (United States), counties. The U.S. Census Bureau counts Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico, municipalities, the U.S. Virgin Islands' three main islands, all of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands' four municipalities, and American Samoa's Administrative divisions of American Samoa, three districts and two atolls as county equivalents. The Census Bureau also counts each of the United States Minor Outlying Islands, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands as county equivalents. U.S. Census Bureau. Census Bureau Code Lists. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Codes for States. Retrieved July 26, 2020. For statistical purposes, the U.S. Census Bureau has a defined area called the "Island Areas" which consists of
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
, and the
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...
(every major territory except
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
).https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/cph-2-1.pdf United States Summary: 2010. Population and Housing Unit Counts. Issued September 2012. Page 1 (Page 49 of PDF). Retrieved July 4, 2019. The U.S. Census Bureau often treats Puerto Rico as its own entity or groups it with the states and D.C. (for example, Puerto Rico has a QuickFacts page just like the states and D.C.) Puerto Rico data is collected annually in American Community Survey estimates (just like the states), but data for the other territories is collected only once every ten years.


Governments and legislatures

The five major inhabited territories contain the following governments and legislatures:


Political party status

The following is the political party status of the governments of the U.S. territories following completion of the 2020 United States elections. Instances where local and national party affiliation differs, the national affiliation is listed second. Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have unicameralism, unicameral territorial legislatures.


Courts

Each of the five major territories has its own local court system: * High Court of American Samoa * Supreme Court of Guam * Northern Mariana Islands Supreme Court, Supreme Court of the Northern Mariana Islands * Supreme Court of Puerto Rico * Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands Of the five major territories, only Puerto Rico has an Article Three of the United States Constitution, Article III federal district court (i.e., equivalent to the courts in the fifty states); it became an Article III court in 1966. This means that, unlike other U.S. territories, federal judges in Puerto Rico have life tenure. Federal courts in
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
and the U.S. Virgin Islands are Article Four of the United States Constitution, Article IV United States territorial court, territorial courts. The following is a list of federal territorial courts, plus Puerto Rico's court: * District Court of Guam (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Ninth Circuit) * District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Ninth Circuit) * United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (not a territorial court) (United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, First Circuit) * District Court of the Virgin Islands (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Third Circuit)
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
does not have a federal territorial court, and so federal matters in American Samoa are sent to either the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, District court of Hawaii or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, District court of the District of Columbia. GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office. AMERICAN SAMOA: Issues Associated with Some Federal Court Options. September 18, 2008. Retrieved July 2019. American Samoa is the only permanently inhabited region of the United States with no federal court.


Demographics

While the U.S. mainland is majority non-Hispanic White Americans, White, this is not the case for the U.S. territories. In 2010, American Samoa's population was 92.6% Pacific Islander Americans, Pacific Islander (including 88.9% Samoan Americans, Samoan); Guam's population was 49.3% Pacific Islander (including 37.3% Chamorro people, Chamorro) and 32.2% Asian Americans, Asian (including 26.3% Filipino Americans, Filipino); the population of the Northern Mariana Islands was 34.9% Pacific Islander and 49.9% Asian; and the population of the U.S. Virgin Islands was 76.0% African Americans, African American. In 2019, Puerto Rico's population was 98.9% Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic or Latino, 67.4% white, and 0.8% non-Hispanic white. Throughout the 2010s, the U.S. territories (overall) lost population. The combined population of the five inhabited territories was 4,100,594 in 2010, and 3,569,284 in 2020. The U.S. territories have list of U.S. states and territories by religiosity, high religiosity rates—American Samoa has the highest religiosity rate in the United States (99.3% religious and 98.3% Christianity, Christian).


Economies

The economies of the U.S. territories vary from Puerto Rico, which has a GDP of $104.989 billion in 2019, to American Samoa, which has a GDP of $636 million in 2018. In 2018, Puerto Rico exported about $18 billion in goods, with the Netherlands as the largest destination. Guam's GDP shrank by 0.3% in 2018, the GDP of the Northern Mariana Islands shrank by 19.6% in 2018, Puerto Rico's GDP grew by 1.18% in 2019, and the U.S. Virgin Islands' GDP grew by 1.5% in 2018. In 2017, American Samoa's GDP shrank by 5.8%, but then grew by 2.2% in 2018.
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
has the List of U.S. states and territories by income, lowest per capita income in the United States—it has a per capita income comparable to that of Botswana. In 2010, American Samoa's per capita income was $6,311. As of 2010, the Manu'a District, American Samoa, Manu'a District in American Samoa had a per capita income of $5,441, the List of United States counties by per capita income, lowest of any county or county-equivalent in the United States.https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DPAS_ASDP3&prodType=table American FactFinder. Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2010. 2010 American Samoa Demographic Profile Data. [Geography set to "Manu'a District, American Samoa" or "American Samoa"]. Retrieved August 30, 2019. In 2018,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
had a median household income of $20,166 (lower than the median household income of any state). Also in 2018, Comerio, Puerto Rico, Comerío Municipality, Puerto Rico had a median household income of $12,812 (the List of lowest-income counties in the United States, lowest median household income of any populated county or county-equivalent in the U.S.)
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
has much higher incomes (Guam had a median household income of $48,274 in 2010.)


Minor Outlying Islands

The United States Minor Outlying Islands are small islands, atolls and reefs. Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll,
Palmyra Atoll Palmyra Atoll (), also referred to as Palmyra Island, is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific ...

Palmyra Atoll
, and Wake Island are in the Pacific Ocean, and Navassa Island is in the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an Americas, American Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean ...
. The additional disputed territories of ''
Bajo Nuevo Bank Bajo Nuevo Bank, also known as the Petrel Islands ( es, Bajo Nuevo, Islas Petrel), is a small, uninhabited reef A reef is a ridge or shoal of rock, coral or similar relatively stable material, lying beneath the surface of a natural body of ...
'' and ''
Serranilla Bank Serranilla Bank ( es, Isla Serranilla, Banco Serranilla and ''Placer de la Serranilla'') is a partially submerged reef, with small uninhabited islets, in the western Caribbean Sea. It is situated about northeast of Punta Gorda, Nicaragua ...
'' are also located in the Caribbean Sea. Palmyra Atoll (formally known as the United States Territory of Palmyra Island) is the only incorporated territory, a status it has maintained since
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
became a state in 1959. All are uninhabited except for Midway Atoll, whose approximately 40 inhabitants are employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their services provider; Palmyra Atoll, whose population varies from four to 20 The Nature Conservancy, Nature Conservancy and Fish and Wildlife staff and researchers; and Wake Island, which has a population of about 100 military personnel and civilian employees. The two-letter abbreviation for the islands collectively is "UM". The status of several islands is disputed. Navassa Island is disputed by Haiti,The World Factbook
CIA World Factbook—Navassa Island. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
Wake Island is disputed by the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
, Swains Island (a part of
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
) is disputed by Tokelau, and ''Bajo Nuevo Bank'' and ''Serranilla Bank'' (both administered by Colombia) are disputed by
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning South America and an Insular region of Colombia, insular region in North America. It is bordered by the Carib ...

Colombia
, Jamaica, Honduras, and Nicaragua.


Disputed

The following two territories are claimed by multiple countries (including the United States), and are not included in ISO 3166-2:UM. However, they are sometimes grouped with the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. According to the GAO, "the United States conducts maritime law enforcement operations in and around Serranilla Bank and Bajo Nuevo [Bank] consistent with U.S. sovereignty claims."


Incorporated vs. unincorporated territories

Congress decides whether a territory is incorporated or unincorporated. The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Constitution applies to each incorporated territory (including its local government and inhabitants) as it applies to the local governments and residents of a state. Incorporated territories are considered to be integral parts of the U.S., rather than possessions. In unincorporated territories, "fundamental rights apply as a matter of law, but other constitutional constitutional rights are not available", raising concerns about how citizens in these territories can influence Politics of the United States, politics in the United States. Selected constitutional provisions apply, depending on congressional acts and judicial rulings according to U.S. constitutional practice, local tradition, and law. As a result, these territories are often considered colony, colonies of the United States. All modern inhabited territories under the control of the federal government can be considered as part of the "United States" for purposes of law as defined in specific legislation. However, the judicial term "unincorporated" was coined to legitimize the late-19th-century territorial acquisitions without citizenship and their administration without constitutional protections temporarily until Congress made other provisions. The case law allowed Congress to impose discriminatory tax regimes with the effect of a protective tariff upon territorial regions which were not domestic states.


Insular Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court, in its 1901–1905 Insular Cases, ruled that the Constitution extended (i.e., of its own force) to the continental territories. The Court also established the doctrine of territorial incorporation, in which the Constitution applies fully to incorporated territories (such as the then-territories of Territory of Alaska, Alaska and Territory of Hawaii, Hawaii) and partially in the unincorporated territories of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
and, at the time, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
(which is no longer a U.S. territory). In the 1901 Supreme Court case ''Downes v. Bidwell'', the Court said that the U.S. Constitution did not fully apply in unincorporated territories because they were inhabited by "alien races". The U.S. had no unincorporated territories of the United States, unincorporated territories (also known as overseas possessions or insular areas) until 1856. Congress enacted the Guano Islands Act that year, authorizing the president to take possession of unclaimed islands to mine guano. The U.S. has taken control of (and claimed rights on) many islands and atolls, especially in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, under this law; most have been abandoned. It also has acquired territories since 1856 under other circumstances, such as under the Treaty of Paris (1898) which ended the Spanish–American War. The Supreme Court considered the constitutional position of these unincorporated territories in ''Balzac v. Porto Rico, Balzac v. People of Porto Rico'', and said the following about a U.S. court in Puerto Rico: In ''Glidden Co. v. Zdanok, Glidden Company v. Zdanok'', the Court cited ''Balzac'' and said about courts in unincorporated territories: "Upon like considerations, Article III has been viewed as inapplicable to courts created in unincorporated territories outside the mainland... and to the consular courts established by concessions from foreign countries..." The judiciary determined that incorporation involves express declaration or an implication strong enough to exclude any other view, raising questions about Puerto Rico's status. In 1966, Congress made the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico an Article Three of the United States Constitution, Article III United States district court, district court. This (the only district court in a U.S. territory) sets Puerto Rico apart judicially from the other unincorporated territories, and U.S. district judge Gustavo Gelpi express the opinion that Puerto Rico is no longer unincorporated: In ''Balzac'', the Court defined "implied": On June 5, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled 3–0 in ''Tuaua v. United States'' to deny birthright citizenship to American Samoans, ruling that the guarantee of such citizenship to citizens in the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to unincorporated U.S. territories. In 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the appellate court's decision. In 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld the District Court decision in ''Segovia v. United States'', which ruled that former Illinois residents living in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not qualify to cast overseas ballots according to their last registered address on the U.S. mainland. (Residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Northern Marianas and
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
, however, were still allowed to cast such ballots.) In October 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the 7th Circuit's decision. In analyzing the Insular Cases, Christina Duffy Ponsa of the New York Times said the following: "To be an unincorporated territory is to be caught in limbo: although unquestionably subject to American sovereignty, they are not considered part of the United States for certain purposes but not others. Whether they are part of the United States for purposes of the Citizenship Clause remains unresolved."


Supreme Court decisions about current territories

The 2016 Supreme Court case ''Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle'' ruled that territories do not have their own sovereignty. That year, the Supreme Court declined to rule on a lower-court ruling in ''Tuaua v. United States'' that American Samoans are not U.S. citizens at birth. ''Supreme Court rejects citizenship for American Samoans.'' David G. Savage. June 13, 2016. Latimes.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018. ''About Tuaua v. United States.'' Equalrightsnow.org. Retrieved 30 January 2018.


Supreme Court decisions about former territories

In ''Rassmussen v. U.S.'', the Supreme Court quoted from Article III of the 1867 treaty for the purchase of Alaska: The act of incorporation affects the people of the territory more than the territory per se by extending the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Constitution to them, such as its extension to Puerto Rico in 1947; however, Puerto Rico remains unincorporated.


Alaska Territory

''Rassmussen'' arose from a criminal conviction by a six-person jury in Alaska under federal law. The court held that Alaska had been incorporated into the U.S. in the treaty of cession with Russia, and the congressional implication was strong enough to exclude any other view: Concurring justice Henry Billings Brown, Henry Brown agreed:


Florida Territory

In ''Dorr v. U.S.'', the court quoted Chief Justice John Marshall from an earlier case: In ''Downes v. Bidwell'', the court said: "The same construction was adhered to in the treaty with Spain for the purchase of Florida... the 6th article of which provided that the inhabitants should 'be incorporated into the Union of the United States, as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution'."


Southwest Territory

Justice Brown first mentioned incorporation in ''Downes'':


Louisiana Territory

In ''Downes'', the court said:


Modern Puerto Rico

Scholars agreed as of 2009 in the ''Boston College Law Review'', "Regardless of how Puerto Rico looked in 1901 when the Insular Cases were decided, or in 1922, today, Puerto Rico seems to be the paradigm of an incorporated territory as modern jurisprudence understands that legal term of art". In November 2008 a district court judge ruled that a sequence of prior Congressional actions had the cumulative effect of changing Puerto Rico's status to incorporated.


Former territories and administered areas


Formerly unorganized territories

At various times during the 19th century, large parts of the Great Plains were unorganized territory. After the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from French First Republic, Napoleonic France in 1803. In retur ...

Louisiana Purchase
from France in 1803, the entire region was part of the Louisiana Territory until 1812 and the
Missouri Territory The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821. In 1819, the Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of its southern area. In 1821, a southeas ...
until 1821. In 1821 the Missouri Compromise created the Missouri, State of Missouri from the territory, and the rest of the region was left unorganized. The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the Kansas Territory, Kansas and Nebraska Territory, Nebraska Territories, bringing organized government to the region once again. The creation of Kansas and Nebraska left the Indian Territory as the only unorganized territory in the Great Plains. In 1858, the western part of the Minnesota Territory became unorganized when it was not included in the new state of Minnesota; this area was organized in 1861 as part of the Dakota Territory. On May 2, 1890, the western half of the Indian Territory was organized as Oklahoma Territory, Oklahoma. The remainder was incorporated into the Oklahoma, State of Oklahoma upon its admission to the union in 1907. Alaska was an unorganized territory between its acquisition from Empire of Russia, Russia in 1867 and the creation of Alaska Territory in 1912.
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
was as well from the time of its annexation by the U.S. in 1898 until organized as Hawaii Territory in 1900.


Former organized incorporated territories

:(All areas that have become U.S. states outside of the Thirteen Colonies)


Former unincorporated territories

* Corn Islands (1914–1971): leased for 99 years under the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty, but returned to Nicaragua after the treaty was annulled in 1970 * Line Islands: disputed claim with the United Kingdom. U.S. claim to most of the islands was ceded to Kiribati upon its independence in 1979, but the U.S. retained Kingman Reef,
Palmyra Atoll Palmyra Atoll (), also referred to as Palmyra Island, is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific ...

Palmyra Atoll
and Jarvis Island * (1903–1979): sovereignty returned to Panama under the Torrijos–Carter Treaties of 1978. The U.S. retained a military base and control of the canal until December 31, 1999. * History of the Philippines (1898–1946), Philippines (1898–1946): United States Military Government of the Philippine Islands, military government, 1898–1902; Insular Government of the Philippine Islands, insular government, 1901–1935; Commonwealth of the Philippines, commonwealth government, 1935–1942 and 1945–1946 (islands under Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Japanese occupation, 1942–1945 and Second Philippine Republic, puppet state, 1943-1945); granted independence on July 4, 1946 * Phoenix Islands: disputed claim with the United Kingdom; U.S. claim ceded to Kiribati upon its independence in 1979 (Baker and Howland Islands, sometimes considered part of this group, are retained by the U.S.) * Quita Sueño Bank (1869–1981): claimed under the Guano Islands Act; claim abandoned in a treaty ratified September 7, 1981 * Roncador Bank (1856–1981): claimed under the Guano Islands Act; ceded to Colombia in treaty ratified September 7, 1981 * Serrana Bank: claimed under the Guano Islands Act; ceded to Colombia in treaty ratified September 7, 1981 * Swan Islands, Honduras, Swan Islands (1863–1972): claimed under the Guano Islands Act; ceded to Honduras in a 1972 treaty


Former U.S.-administered areas

* Cuba (United States Military Government in Cuba, 1899–1902, Second Occupation of Cuba, 1906–1909, and Sugar Intervention, 1917–1922) * Dominican Republic (United States occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916–1924), 1916–1924 and Dominican Civil War, 1965–66) * Haiti (United States occupation of Haiti, 1915–1934, Operation Uphold Democracy, 1994–1995) * Nanpō Islands and Minami-Tori-shima, Marcus Island (1945–1968): Occupied after World War II, and returned to Japan by mutual agreement * Nicaragua (United States occupation of Nicaragua, 1912–1933) * United States invasion of Panama, Panama, 1989–1990 * Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa (United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, 1952–1972): returned to Japan in an agreement including the Daitō Islands * (1947–1986): United Nations trust territories, U.N. trust territory administered by the U.S.; included the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
, the
Federated States of Micronesia The Federated States of Micronesia (; abbreviated FSM), or simply Micronesia, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is oft ...
, and
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
, which are
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
s (that have entered into a Compact of Free Association with the U.S.), along with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. * Veracruz (United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914): after the Tampico Affair during the Mexican Revolution


Former U.S. military occupations

* Participation in the Occupation of the Rhineland (1918–1921) * Participation in the Occupation of Constantinople (1918–1923) * Participation in the 332nd Infantry Regiment (United States), Occupation of Austria-Hungary (1918–1919) * Occupation of Greenland in World War II (1941–1945) * Occupation of Iceland in World War II (1941–1946); military base retained until 2006. * Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories, in Allied-controlled sections of Italy from the July 1943 invasion of Sicily until the September armistice with Italy. AMGOT continued in newly liberated areas of Italy until the end of the war, and also existed in France. * Clipperton Island (1944–1945): occupied territory, returned to France on October 23, 1945. * United States Army Military Government in Korea: Occupation south of the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel from 1945 to 1948. * American zones of Allied-occupied Germany (1945–1949) * Occupation of Japan (1945–1952) after World War II * American occupation zones in Allied-occupied Austria and Vienna (1945–1955) * American occupation zone in West Berlin (1945–1990) * Free Territory of Trieste (1947–1954): The U.S. co-administered a portion of the territory (between the Kingdom of Italy and the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia) with the United Kingdom. * United States invasion of Grenada, Grenada invasion and occupation (1983) * Coalition Provisional Authority (Iraq, 2003–2004) * Green Zone, Iraq (March 20, 2003December 31, 2008)


Flora and fauna

The territories of the United States have many plant and animal species found nowhere else in the United States. All U.S. territories have tropical climates and ecosystems.


Forests

The USDA says the following about the U.S. territories (plus
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
): Forests in the U.S. territories are vulnerable to invasive species and new housing developments. El Yunque National Forest in
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest system.
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
has 80.84% forest cover and the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
has 80.37% forest cover—these are among the Forest cover by state and territory in the United States, highest forest cover percentages in the United States (only Maine and New Hampshire are higher).


Birds

U.S. territories have many bird species that are endemic (not found in any other location). Introduction of the invasive brown tree snake has harmed Guam's native bird population—nine of twelve endemic species have become extinct, and the territorial bird (the Guam rail) is extinct in the wild.
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
has several endemic bird species, such as the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot, the Puerto Rican flycatcher, and the Puerto Rican spindalis. The
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
has the Mariana swiftlet, Mariana crow, Tinian monarch and golden white-eye (all endemic). Birds found in
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
include the many-colored fruit dove, the blue-crowned lorikeet, and the Samoan starling. The Wake Island rail (now extinct) was endemic to Wake Island, and the Laysan duck is endemic to Midway Atoll and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
Palmyra Atoll Palmyra Atoll (), also referred to as Palmyra Island, is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific ...

Palmyra Atoll
has the second-largest red-footed booby colony in the world, and Midway Atoll has the largest breeding colony of Laysan albatross in the world. The American Birding Association currently excludes the U.S. territories from their "ABA Area" checklist.


Other animals

American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
has several reptile species, such as the Pacific boa (on the island of Ta‘ū) and Pacific slender-toed gecko. American Samoa has only a few mammal species, such as the Pacific sheath-tailed bat, Pacific (Polynesian) sheath-tailed bat, as well as oceanic mammals such as the Humpback whale.
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
and the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
also have a small number of mammals, such as the Mariana fruit bat; oceanic mammals include Fraser's dolphin and the Sperm whale. The fauna of Puerto Rico includes the common coquí (frog), while the fauna of the U.S. Virgin Islands includes species found in Virgin Islands National Park (including 302 species of fish). American Samoa has a location called Turtle and Shark which is important in Samoan culture and mythology.


Protected areas

There are two List of national parks of the United States, National Parks in the U.S. territories: the National Park of American Samoa, and Virgin Islands National Park. The National Park Service also manages War in the Pacific National Historical Park on Guam. There are also National Natural Landmarks, National Wildlife Refuges (such as Guam National Wildlife Refuge), El Yunque National Forest in
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (which includes the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands).


Public image

In ''The Not-Quite States of America'', his book about the U.S. territories, Doug Mack said: Organizations such as Facebook view U.S. territories as not being part of the United States—instead, they are viewed as equivalent to foreign countries. Pacific Island Times. Facebook: US territories aren't part of the US. November 26, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2019. In response to Facebook's view, former Guam representative Madeleine Bordallo said, "It is an injustice that Americans living in the U.S. territories are not treated as other Americans living in the states. [...] Treating residents of Guam and other U.S. territories as living outside the United States and excluding them from programs perpetuates misconceptions and injustices that have long had a negative impact on our communities". Representative Stephanie Murphy of Florida said about a 2018 bill to make Puerto Rico the 51st state, "The hard truth is that Puerto Rico's lack of political power allows Washington to treat Puerto Rico like an afterthought." According to Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló, "Because we don't have political power, because we don't have representatives, [no] senators, no vote for president, we are treated as an afterthought." Rosselló called Puerto Rico the "oldest, most populous colony in the world". Rosselló and others have referred to the U.S. territories as American "colonies".
''Puerto Rico's Governor Ramps Up Push For Statehood On Anniversary Of Maria.'' Washington Post. John Wagner. September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
''The Guardian''—How the US Has Hidden Its Empire. Daniel Immerwahr. February 15, 2019. Retrieved July 4, 2019. David Vine of the Washington Post said the following: "The people of [the U.S. territories] are all too accustomed to being forgotten except in times of crisis. But being forgotten is not the worst of their problems. They are trapped in a state of third-class citizenship, unable to access full democratic rights because politicians have long favored the military's freedom of operation over protecting the freedoms of certain U.S. citizens." The Washington Post. ''Most countries have given up their colonies. Why hasn't America?'' David Vine. September 28, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2019. In his article ''How the U.S. Has Hidden Its Empire'', Daniel Immerwahr of The Guardian writes, "The confusion and shoulder-shrugging indifference that mainlanders displayed [toward territories] at the time of Pearl Harbor hasn't changed much at all. [...] [Maps of the contiguous U.S.] give [mainlanders] a truncated view of their own history, one that excludes part of their country." The 2020 United States Census, 2020 U.S. Census excludes non-citizen U.S. nationals in American Samoa—in response to this, Mark Stern of Slate.com said, "The Census Bureau's total exclusion of American Samoans provides a pertinent reminder that, until the courts step in, the federal government will continue to treat these Americans with startling indifference." Slate.com. The Census's New Citizenship Question Excludes An Entire Category of Americans. Mark Joseph Stern. March 30, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2019.


Galleries


Members of the House of Representatives (non-voting)

File:Aumua Amata Radewagen congressional photo.jpg, alt=Official photo, with American flag, Amata Coleman Radewagen (R), (American Samoa) File:Michael_San_Nicolas_official_portrait,_116th_Congress.jpg, alt=Official photo, Michael San Nicolas (D), (Guam) File:Gregorio_Kilili_Camacho_Sablan.jpg, alt=Official photo,
Gregorio Sablan Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (born January 19, 1955) is a Northern Mariana Islander politician and former election commissioner. Elected in 2008 2008 was designated as: * International Year of Languages *International Year of Planet Ear ...
(I), (Northern Mariana Islands) File:Official portrait of Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez.jpg, alt=Official photo,
Jenniffer González Jenniffer Aydin González Colón (born August 5, 1976) is a Puerto Rican politician who currently serves as the 20th Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. González has served in leadership positions in the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (P ...
(R), (Puerto Rico) File:Rep._Stacey_E._Plaskett_(VI).jpg, alt=Official photo,
Stacey Plaskett Stacey Elizabeth Plaskett (; born May 13, 1966) is an American politician, attorney, and commentator. She is a delegate Delegate or delegates may refer to: * Delegate, New South Wales, a town in Australia * Delegate (CLI), a computer programming ...
(D), (U.S. Virgin Islands)


Territorial governors

File:Lemanu Peleti Mauga.jpg, alt=Lemanu Peleti Mauga,
Lemanu Peleti Mauga Lemanu Palepoi Sialega "Peleti" Mauga (born January 1, 1949) is an American Samoan politician and the 58th List of governors of American Samoa, governor of American Samoa since January 3, 2021. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democ ...

Lemanu Peleti Mauga
(NP-D), (
American Samoa #REDIRECT American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) ...
) File:Lou Leon Guerrero in 2018.jpeg, alt=Lou Leon Guerrero,
Lou Leon Guerrero Lourdes Aflague "Lou" Leon Guerrero (born November 8, 1950) is an American politician serving as the ninth Governor of Guam The Governor (United States), Governor of Guam (Chamorro language, Chamorro: ''I Maga'låhen/Maga'håga Guåhan'' ) is th ...
(D), (
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousa ...
) File:NMI-Ralph-Torres.jpg, alt=A smiling Ralph Torres,
Ralph Torres Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres (born August 6, 1979) is an American Republican politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, ...

Ralph Torres
(R), (
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...
) File:Pedro-Pierluisi-cropped.jpg, alt=Pedro Pierluisi, Pedro Pierluisi (New Progressive Party (Puerto Rico), PNP-D), (Governor of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico) File:Governor_Albert_Bryan_Jr..jpg, alt=Albert Bryan, Albert Bryan (politician), Albert Bryan (D), (List of Governors of the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands)


Satellite images


Inhabited territories

File:TutuilaFromSpace.jpg, Tutuila and Aunuʻu, Aunu'u (
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
) File:Guam ali 2011364 lrg.jpg,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
File:Saipan from ISS 2.png,
Saipan Saipan ( ch, Sa’ipan, formerly in es, Saipán, and in ja, 彩帆島, Saipan-tō) is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Commonwealth (U.S. insular area), commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. Acc ...

Saipan
(
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
) File:STS034-76-88.jpg,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
File:US Virgin Islands.png,
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...


Uninhabited territories (minor outlying islands)

File:BakerIsland_ISS010.jpg, alt=Satellite photo, Baker Island File:Howland_island_nasa.jpg, alt=Satellite photo, Howland Island File:JarvisISS008-E-14052.PNG, alt=Satellite photo, Jarvis Island File:Johnston_Atoll.png, alt=Satellite photo, Johnston Atoll File:Kingman_Reef_-_2014-02-18_-_Landsat_8_-_15m.png, alt=Satellite photo, Kingman Reef File:Midway_Atoll_aerial_photo_2008.JPG, alt=Satellite photo, Midway Atoll File:Navassa_ISS014.jpg, alt=Satellite photo, Navassa Island File:Palmyra_Atoll_2010-03-18,_EO-1_ALI_bands_5-4-3-1,_15m_resolution.png, alt=Satellite photo, Palmyra Atoll File:Wake_Island.png, alt=Satellite photo, Wake Island


Maps

File:Aq-map.png, American Samoa File:Guam - Location Map (2013) - GUM - UNOCHA.svg, Guam File:Northern Mariana Islands map.gif, Northern Mariana Islands File:Rico (1).png, Puerto Rico File:Virgin Islands-CIA WFB Map.png, U.S. Virgin Islands File:US.EEZ_Pacific_centered_NOAA_map.png, U.S. exclusive economic zone


See also


More detail on all current territories

* Article indexes: Index of American Samoa-related articles, AS, Index of Guam-related articles, GU, Index of Northern Mariana Islands-related articles, MP, Index of Puerto Rico-related articles, PR, Index of United States Virgin Islands-related articles, VI * Congressional districts: American Samoa's at-large congressional district, AS, Guam's at-large congressional district, GU, Northern Mariana Islands's at-large congressional district, MP, Puerto Rico's at-large congressional district, PR, United States Virgin Islands's at-large congressional district, VI * Geography: Geography of American Samoa, AS, Geography of Guam, GU, Geography of the Northern Mariana Islands, MP, Geography of Puerto Rico, PR, Geography of the United States Virgin Islands, VI * Geology: Geology of American Samoa, AS, Geology of Guam, GU, Geology of the Northern Mariana Islands, MP, Geology of Puerto Rico, PR, Geology of the United States Virgin Islands, VI * List of museums in the U.S. territories * List of United States National Historic Landmarks in United States commonwealths and territories, associated states, and foreign states, List of U.S. National Historic Landmarks in the U.S. territories * Per capita income: List of American Samoa locations by per capita income, AS, List of Guam locations by per capita income, GU, List of Northern Mariana Islands locations by per capita income, MP, List of Puerto Rico locations by per capita income, PR, List of U.S. Virgin Islands locations by per capita income, VI * Outlines: Outline of American Samoa, AS, Outline of Guam, GU, Outline of the Northern Mariana Islands, MP, Outline of Puerto Rico, PR, Outline of the United States Virgin Islands, VI * Territories of the United States on stamps * United States National Register of Historic Places listings, U.S. National Historic Places: National Register of Historic Places listings in American Samoa, AS, National Register of Historic Places listings in Guam, GU, National Register of Historic Places listings in the Northern Mariana Islands, MP, National Register of Historic Places listings in Puerto Rico, PR, National Register of Historic Places listings in the United States Virgin Islands, VI, National Register of Historic Places listings in the United States Minor Outlying Islands, UM


Related topics

* Colony of Liberia, established by Americans but never under administration of the United States * Enabling act (United States) * Extreme points of the United States * Historic regions of the United States * Insular area * Organic Acts * Organized incorporated territories of the United States * Political divisions of the United States * Territorial evolution of the United States * U.S. territorial sovereignty


Notes


References


External links


FindLaw: ''Downes v. Bidwell'', 182 U.S. 244 (1901)
regarding the distinction between incorporated and unincorporated territories
FindLaw: ''People of Puerto Rico v. Shell Co.'', 302 U.S. 253 (1937)
regarding the application of U.S. law to organized but unincorporated territories
FindLaw: ''United States v. Standard Oil Company'', 404 U.S. 558 (1972)
regarding the application of U.S. law to unorganized unincorporated territories


Application of the U.S. Constitution in U.S. Insular Areas


Definitions of Insular Area Political Organizations
United States District Court decision addressing the distinction between Incorporated vs Unincorporated territories

USDA—Islands on the Edge: Housing Development and Other Threats to America's Pacific and Caribbean Island Forests

Harvard Law Review—U.S. Territories: Introduction

The Washington Post—Most countries have given up their colonies. Why hasn't America?

LGBT issues in the U.S. territories
(includes background information about the U.S. territories) {{DEFAULTSORT:Territories Of The United States Territories of the United States, Political divisions of the United States United States federal territory and statehood legislation, Insular areas of the United States, Colonization history of the United States