Kingman Reef


Australia-Oceania :: Kingman Reef (territory of the US)

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The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge.


Oceania, reef in the North Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and American Samoa

Geographic coordinates:
6 24 N, 162 22 W

Map references:

Total: 1 sq km
Land: 1 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
about 1.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

3 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

tropical; moderated by prevailing winds

low and nearly level

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: unnamed location 1 m

Natural resources:
terrestrial and aquatic wildlife

Land use:
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (2011)

Natural hazards:
wet or awash most of the time, maximum elevation of about 1 meter makes Kingman Reef a maritime hazard

Environment - current issues:

Geography - note:
barren coral atoll with deep interior lagoon; closed to the public

People and Society

uninhabited (July 2007 est.)


Country name:
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Kingman Reef

Dependency status:
unincorporated territory of the US; administered from Washington, DC, by the US Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior
note: on 1 September 2000, the Department of the Interior accepted restoration of its administrative jurisdiction over Kingman Reef from the Department of the Navy; Executive Order 3223 signed 18 January 2001 established Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge to be administered by the Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service; this refuge is managed to protect the terrestrial and aquatic wildlife of Kingman Reef out to the 12 nm territorial sea limit

Legal system:
the laws of the US, where applicable, apply


Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only


Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

Flag of Kingman Reef

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Flag description:
the flag of the US is used