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Wake Island
(territory of the US)

 
Flag of Wake Island
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Coordinates:
19.28 N  166.65 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Wake Island

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Wake Island Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The US annexed Wake Island in 1899 for a cable station. An important air and naval base was constructed in 1940-41. In December 1941, the island was captured by the Japanese and held until the end of World War II. In subsequent years, Wake was developed as a stopover and refueling site for military and commercial aircraft transiting the Pacific. Since 1974, the island's airstrip has been used by the US military, as well as for emergency landings. Currently, access to the atoll is restricted to official government business.
   Geography    Wake Island Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to the Northern Mariana Islands
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
19 17 N, 166 39 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 6.5 sq km
land: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
19.3 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
atoll of three low coral islands, Peale, Wake, and Wilkes, built up on an underwater volcano; central lagoon is former crater, islands are part of the rim
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 6 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
none
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
0 sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasional typhoons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean; emergency landing location for transpacific flights
   People    Wake Island Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
no indigenous inhabitants
note: US military personnel have left the island, but contractor personnel remain; as of October 2001, 200 contractor personnel were present (July 2006 est.)
   Government    Wake Island Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Wake Island
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
unincorporated territory of the US; administered from Washington, DC, by the Department of the Interior; activities on the island are conducted by the US Air Force
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of the US is used
   Economy    Wake Island Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Economic activity is limited to providing services to military personnel and contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA kWh
   Communications    Wake Island Top of Page
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: satellite communications; 1 DSN circuit off the Overseas Telephone System (OTS)
domestic: NA
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 0, shortwave 0
note: Armed Forces Radio/Television Service (AFRTS) radio service provided by satellite (2005)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
0
note: Armed Forces Radio/Television Service (AFRTS) radio service provided by satellite (2005)
   Transportation    Wake Island Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
none; two offshore anchorages for large ships
Transportation - note:
Definition Field Listing
there are no commercial or civilian flights to and from Wake Island, except in direct support of island missions; emergency landing is available
   Military    Wake Island Top of Page
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US; launch support facility is part of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site (RTS) administered by US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC)
   Transnational Issues    Wake Island Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claimed by Marshall Islands

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook