CIA World Factbook 2002: Wake Island
The following is reproduced from the CIA World Factbook
(where additional information is available). It is compiled and published annually by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States government.
The text is unchanged, except that the "Map Reference" section is omitted. Otherwise, only the layout and order was adapted for this website.
This entry in the original Factbook for the year 2002 was last updated by the CIA on 19 March 2003.
Background: 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 and some commercial cargo planes, as well as for emergency landings. There are over 700 landings a year on the island.
Economic Overview: Economic activity is limited to providing services to contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
|Location:||Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to the Northern Mariana Islands|
|Geographic coordinates:||19 17 N, 166 36 E|
|Area:||Total: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 6.5 sq km|
|Area - comparative:||About 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC|
|Land boundaries:||0 km|
|Maritime claims:||Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM|
|Terrain:||Atoll of three coral islands built up on an underwater volcano; central lagoon is former crater, islands are part of the rim|
|Elevation extremes:||Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 6 m|
|Land use:||Arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)|
|Irrigated land:||0 sq km (1998 est.)|
|Natural hazards:||Occasional typhoons|
|Environment - current issues:||NA|
|Geography - note:||Strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean; emergency landing location for transpacific flights|
|Population:||No indigenous inhabitants
note: US military personnel have left the island, but contractor personnel remain; as of October 2001, 200 contractor personnel were present (January 2003)|
|Country name:||Conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Wake Island|
|Dependency status:||Unincorporated territory of the US; administered from Washington, DC, by the Department of the Interior; activities on the island are managed by the US Air Force|
|Legal system:||The laws of the US, where applicable, apply|
|Flag description:||The flag of the US is used|
|Electricity - production:||NA kWh|
|Telephone system:||General assessment: satellite communications; 1 DSN circuit off the Overseas Telephone System (OTS)
|Radio broadcast stations:||AM 0, FM NA, shortwave NA
note: Armed Forces Radio/Television Service (AFRTS) radio service provided by satellite (1998)|
|Television broadcast stations:||0 (1997)|
|Ports and harbors:||None; two offshore anchorages for large ships|
|Airports - with paved runways:||Total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2002)|
|Transportation - note:||Formerly an important commercial aviation base, now used by US military, some commercial cargo planes, and for emergency landings|
|Military - note:||Defense is the responsibility of the US|
|Disputes - international:||Claimed by Marshall Islands|
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