The World Factbook (1990)/Wake Island

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The World Factbook (1990)
United States Central Intelligence Agency
Wake Island

pages 334–335

Wake Island (territory of the US)

World Factbook (1990) Wake Island.jpg

See regional map X


Total area: 6.5 km²; land area: 6.5 km²

Comparative area: about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 19.3 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: claimed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Climate: tropical

Terrain: atoll of three coral islands built up on an underwater volcano; central lagoon is former crater, islands are part of the rim; average elevation less than four meters

Natural resources: none

Land use: 0% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 100% other

Environment: subject to occasional typhoons

Note: strategic location 3,700 km west of Honolulu in the North Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way between Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands; emergency landing location for transpacific flights


Population: 195 (January 1990); no indigenous inhabitants; temporary population consists of 11 US Air Force personnel, 27 US civilians, and 151 Thai contractors

Note: population peaked about 1970 with over 1,600 persons during the Vietnam conflict


Long-form name: none

Type: unincorporated territory of the US administered by the US Air Force (under an agreement with the US Department of Interior) since 24 June 1972

Flag: the US flag is used


Overview: Economic activity is limited to providing services to US military personnel and contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.


Ports: none; because of the reefs, there are only two offshore anchorages for large ships

Airports: 1 with permanent-surface runways 2,987 m

Telecommunications: underwater cables to Guam and through Midway to Honolulu; AFRTS radio and television service provided by satellite; stations—1 AM, no FM, no TV

Note: formerly an important commercial aviation base, now used only by US military and some commercial cargo planes

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the US