I hope you've enjoyed this series. I'm taking 2013 off from the weekly series but will be back with a new one in 2014.
Washington, District of Columbia
The District has more people than the state of Wyoming, but fewer than the state of Vermont, the 49th most populous state in the Union. It is, of course, the nation's capital and the primary "industry" is the United States government, which in part governs the district in financial matters.
The site was chosen by George Washington (and named in his honor) - the city was laid out by Pierre Charles L'Enfant. I have the sketch of a book in the Brave Astronaut brain about the road scheme (why certain state roads are where they are and the naming convention of the "letter" streets) that I might get around to writing someday.
- Area - 68.3 sq mi
- Population (2011 est.) - 632,323
- dc.gov - the Official Website of the District, Mayor Vincent Gray (D)
- The DC Tourism site - washington.org
- DC Guide from the Library of Congress
Puerto Rico was "discovered" by Christopher Columbus and stayed in Spanish hands for several centuries. Ceded to the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War, it has been a territory of the United States since the beginning of the 20th Century.
- Area - 3,515 sq mi
- Population (2012 est.) - 3,667,084
- Capital - San Juan
- pr.gov (in Spanish) - the Official Website of Puerto Rico, Governor Luis Fortuno (R), although he was defeated for reelection and will be replaced by Alejandro Padilla (D)
- Informational site - Welcome to Puerto Rico
- The Puerto Rico Tourism site - See Puerto Rico
- CIA Factbook for Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Guide from the Library of Congress
The United States Virgin Islands are comprised primarily of three main islands, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. The islands were formerly known as the Danish West Indies, and were ceded to the United States in 1916.
- Area - 133.73 sq mi
- Population (2010 census) - 109,750
- Capital - Charlotte Amalie
- vi.gov - the Official Website of the USVI, Governor John P. DeJongh, Jr. (D)
- The USVI Tourism site - Visit USVI
- CIA Factbook for the USVI
This territory in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Cook Islands chain has been a protectorate of the United States since the days just prior to World War I.
- Area - 76.10 sq mi
- Population (2010 census) - 55,519
- Capital - Pago Pago
- americansamoa.gov - the Official Website of American Samoa, Governor Togiola Tulafono (D)
- The American SamoaTourism site - American Samoa Travel
- CIA Factbook for the USVI
Like Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana are a commonwealth. It is located in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines.
- Area - 179.01 sq mi
- Population (2010 census) - 53,833
- Capital - Saipan (the entire island is incorporated as a municipality)
- gov.mp - the Official Website of the Northern Mariana, Governor Benigno Fitial (R)
- The Northern Mariana Tourism site - My Marianas
- CIA Factbook for the Northern Mariana
Guam is the 32nd largest island of the United States. Like most of the US territories, it became part of the United States as a result of the treaty ending the Spanish American War.
It gets the majority of its income from tourism, primarily from Japanese tourists. Its second major source of revenue is from the United States military, which has a large presence on the island.