Portal:United States Territories

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Introduction

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Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions directly overseen by the United States Federal Government. Unlike U.S. states and Native American tribes which exercise limited sovereignty alongside the federal government, territories are without sovereignty. The territories are classified by whether they are incorporated and whether they have an "organized" government through an Organic Act passed by the U.S. Congress.

The U.S. has sixteen territories in the Caribbean Sea, the south Pacific Ocean, and the western portion of the north Pacific Ocean. Five of the territories are permanently inhabited and are classified as unincorporated territories — they are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The other eleven territories are small islands, atolls, and reefs with no native or permanent population. Of those eleven, only one is classified as an incorporated territory. Two territories (Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank) are administered by Colombia.

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