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The Top 9 Territories of the United States of America

Updated on August 13, 2012

Our picks

At the risk of being identified as substandard, we present our list of the Top 9 United States of America territories. We rank them in no particular order. You may have your favorite US protectorates, commonwealths, reservations, and territories: we do not presume to change your opinion. Keep an open mind.

Territories come and go, but they mostly go: much of the continental United States was classified territorial before statehood was granted. Probably the most famous example was the Louisiana Territory, unless you lived in Alaska when it became a territory often referred to as "Seward's Folly." Fully 31 states passed through territory status on their way to becoming subservient to Washington DC.

This is it. This is the list.

Midway Islands : Officially, it's unorganized and unincorporated and it's actually 2/3 of the way from Tokyo to Hawaii. We still like it.

Puerto Rico : Puerto doesn't pass our spell-checker but Rico does and Christopher Columbus claimed it for Spain before the United States discovered it.

American Samoa : The United States includes it in their census (about 50K people), so they get to keep it. Many US professional and college football players come from there.

Virgin Islands : Like the Midway Islands, this place is unincorporated but unlike the Midway Islands it is organized. You can't tell the territories without a scorecard these days.

Federated States of Micronesia : Territorialized by the U.S. in 1947, they since got organized and incorporated. Today they submit to the U.S. under a Compact of Free Association, which you can probably get on

Marshall Islands : Another former territory currently operating as a presidential republic and cooperating under a free association agreement with the U.S, they freely accept defense, funding grants, and access to social services. It's a great deal if you can get it.

Northern Mariana Islands : It's precisely an Insular Area Commonwealth and we like it anyway. Territories are problematic to pin down these days.

Palau Koror : The good folks of Palau Koror gained independence in 1994 and still do not have a Wikipedia page. We're as horrified as you are.

Guam : It's the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands. This cannot be disputed.


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    • Niteriter profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      I enjoyed reading this informative and entertaining article in between periods of mental anguish caused by the ad capsules I didn't see... oh wait! Here's one down below the page line.


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      So many territories, nicomp, and so little time to visit them.


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