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Guam People

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Racial Diversity

Guam is a melting pot, with many different races. All, for the most part living in harmony together. There has also been a significant amount of mixing. Approximately 10% of Guam’s population are now of mixed race. Making a mix of two or more races the third largest population segment.

Guam’s Racial Makeup

Percentage From Most to Least

  • Chamorro
  • Filipino
  • Mixed Race
  • Chuukese
  • White
  • Japanene
  • Korean
  • Palauan
  • Chinese
  • Pohnpeian
  • Black
  • Hispanic or Latin
  • Samoan

There are also some Carolinian, Tongan, Yapese and other Pacific Islanders on Guam.

Most of the white population is from the mainland US. Some are also from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Russia.

Ancient Inhabitants

Chamorros are the native people of the Mariana Island chain. With Guam being the largest island in the island chain.

Two major lineages

There was a study of Chamorro matrilineal mitochondrial DNA. According to that study there are two main ancient lineages. With evidence of two prehistoric migrations.
  1. The first migration seems to have been from Eastern Indonesia 4 to 5 thousand years ago. This DNA link to Eastern Indonesia is also found in the Philippines.
  2. The second migration occurred approximately 1 thousand years ago. So far there is no exact match for the DNA of the second migratory wave. It does coincide to the time when latte stones and rice cultivation appear on Guam though. The Marianas are the only known Pacific islands that rice was grown in a prehistoric time.

A Unique People

So, it seems that some people from East Indonesia migrated to Guam. With links to the Sulawesi, and the Maluku Islands area in Indonesia. These people are believe to have become the original ancient inhabitants of Guam. The first people’s genes seem to have then diverged onto a path of their own. Making the early Chamorros a distinct people, who are different from other groups. Including being different from other Micronesians, and others throughout the pacific region.

Read more about the History of Guam’s People on the Guam History page.


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