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Geographic Terms and Concepts - Island Areas of the United States

The Island Areas of the United States are American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Northern Mariana Islands), and the United States Virgin Islands.

The Census Bureau treats the Island Areas as entities that are statistically equivalent to states for data presentation purposes; data for the Island Areas, however, are presented separately from data for the United States and Puerto Rico.  Geographic definitions specific to the Island Areas are shown in the appropriate publications and documentation that accompany the data products for the Island Areas.  Sometimes the Island Areas are referred to as "Island Territories" or "Insular Areas."  For the 1990 and previous censuses, the U.S. Census Bureau referred to the entities as "Outlying Areas."

Separate from the Island Areas is the term "U.S. Minor Outlying Islands."  The U.S. Minor Outlying Islands refers to certain small islands under U.S. jurisdiction in the Caribbean and Pacific:  Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island.  These areas usually are not part of standard data products.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Geography | (301) 763-1128 |  Last Revised: December 06, 2012