The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Insular area

An insular area of the United States is a jurisdiction that is neither a part of one of the fifty states nor a part of the District of Columbia, the nation's federal district.

Insular area is the current generic term used by the U.S. State Department to refer to any commonwealth, freely associated state, possession or territory. In other contexts, U.S. insular areas may be described as dependencies, protectorates or dependent areas. (Dependent areas need not be under the formal jurisdiction of the United States.)

Residents of insular areas are U.S. citizens, although they cannot participate in the U.S. presidential election nor elect voting members of the U.S. Congress.


List and status of insular areas

Several islands in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea are considered insular areas of the United States:



Except for Navassa Island and Wake Island, all of the following are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:


See also

External links

  • Department of the Interior Definitions of Insular Area Political Types
  • Rubin, Richard, "The Lost Islands" , The Atlantic Monthly, February 2001

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Federal district District of Columbia
Insular areas American Samoa | Baker Island | Guam | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Northern Mariana Islands | Palmyra Atoll | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Wake Island

Last updated: 02-06-2005 20:24:33
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55