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Despite the end of the Cold War, Guam still has an economy that is heavily dependent on the presence of the more than 6,000 US servicemen and their families. They spend a lot of money and therefore keep the economy going to a large extent. Indeed, Guam is still a very important support base for the US Navy and Air Force. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the number of military personnel has been drastically reduced and with it the revenues. The gross national product per capita is currently (2017) around $35,600 per year.

The largest employer on Guam is the government, with 14,000 civil servants. This, of course, is bureaucracy at its finest and Guam therefore has the highest concentration of government employees in the United States.

The banking industry also has good opportunities there. Guam is also a free trade zone. The harbour is at Apra. Near the capital Hågatña is the international airport Won Pat, from where about 100 flights per week depart to the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, among others.

Although fruit and vegetables are grown on the island (sweet potatoes, cucumber, watermelon and beans), much is imported due to the high standard of living. Guam has about 650 cattle, 120 pigs and 33,000 poultry. Aided by protectionist US trade policies, the country also has its own textile industry and petroleum refining.


Galbraith, K. / Micronesia
Lonely Planet

Levy, N. / Micronesia handbook

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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