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Mapping the World’s Overseas Territories and Dependencies

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overseas territories and dependencies around the world and their sovereign states.

Overseas Territories and Dependencies of the World

An overseas territory or dependency is a region with ties abroad to a sovereign nationโ€”not a completely independent state, but also not a constituent part or administrative subdivision of the parent country.

Their histories vary, but most are tied to either “modern” colonialism from the 1400s onwards, or wars from the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these regions still depend on their parent country to some capacity for economic, military, and diplomatic affairs.

This graphic by Pranav Gavali maps the overseas territories of various countries, using a variety of sources including WorldAtlas, Statista, and official country releases.

Where are the World’s Overseas Territories and Dependencies?

There are a total of 71 overseas territories listed on the map spread across the world.

It excludes territories claims in Antarctica, which are currently governed by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. As an overseas map, it also excludes territories sharing a border, or that are part of a larger state or province (like Germany’s Heligoland, part of the state of Schleswig-Holstein).

Each region has its own unique present-day status. Some are “autonomous territories” or “constituent countries,” while some are administered almost entirely as part of the parent country.

SovereignOverseas Territory / DependencyRegion
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ AustraliaAshmore and Cartier IslandsIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ AustraliaChristmas IslandIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ AustraliaCocos (Keeling) IslandsIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ AustraliaCoral Sea IslandsPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ AustraliaHeard & McDonald IslandsIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ AustraliaNorfolk IslandPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ DenmarkFaroe IslandsAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ DenmarkGreenlandAtlantic Ocean /
Arctic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceBassas da IndiaIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceClipperton IslandPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceEuropa IslandIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceFrench GuianaSouth America
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceFrench PolynesiaPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceGlorioso IslandsIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceGuadeloupeCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceJuan de Nova IslandIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceMartiniqueCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceMayotteIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceNew CaledoniaPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceRรฉunionIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceSaint Barthรฉlemy Caribbean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceSaint Pierre and MiquelonAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceSaint-MartinCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceTromelin IslandIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceWallis and FutunaPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsArubaCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsBonaire Caribbean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsCuraรงao Caribbean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsSaba Caribbean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsSint Eustatius Caribbean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsSint Maarten Caribbean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New ZealandCook IslandsPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New ZealandNiuePacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New ZealandTokelauPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway Bouvet IslandAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด NorwayJan MayenArctic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด NorwayPeter I IslandSouthern Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด NorwaySvalbardArctic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น PortugalAzoresAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น PortugalMadeiraAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomAkrotiri (British Forces)Cyprus /
Mediterranean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomAnguillaCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomBermudaAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryIndian Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomBritish Virgin IslandsCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomCayman IslandsCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomDhekelia (British Forces)Cyprus /
Mediterranean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomFalkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)Atlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomGibraltarEurope
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomGuernsey (Channel Island)Atlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomIsle of ManAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomJersey (Channel Island)Atlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomMontserratCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomPitcairn, Henderson, Ducie & Oeno IslandsPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomSaint Helena, Ascension & Tristan da cunhaAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomSouth Georgia & South Sandwich IslandsAtlantic Ocean
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomTurks & Caicos IslandsCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesAmerican SamoaPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesBaker IslandPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesGuamPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesHowland IslandPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesJarvis IslandPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesJohnston AtollPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesKingman ReefPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesMidway Islands / AtollPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesNavassa IslandCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesNorthern Mariana IslandsPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesPalmyra AtollPacific Ocean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesPuerto RicoCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesU.S. Virgin IslandsCaribbean
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United StatesWake IslandPacific Ocean

More than half of the overseas territories were in either the Pacific Ocean (21) or the Caribbean (18). The United States by itself accounts for 11 of the territories spread out across the North and South Pacific.

Another highlight is that the majority of these regions are islands located quite a distance from their parent countries. One of the furthest is New Caledonia, a French territory around 17,000 km away from European France.

They also vary mightily in terms of size, population, and political apparatus. For example, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has 3 million people, and its own constitution and elected government, while another U.S. territory of Johnston Atoll is tiny and entirely uninhabited.

Hereโ€™s a brief look at some of the best known territories on the list:

Guam

First colonized by Spain in the 16th century, the U.S. occupied the North Pacific islands in the aftermath of the Spanishโ€“American war (along with Puerto Rico and the Philippines). The island was briefly occupied by Japan during World War IIโ€”attacked at the same time as Pearl Harborโ€”before being recaptured by the United States. It currently has an elected legislature and governor and is home to a large U.S. military base.

Bermuda

When Bermuda was first discovered in the 1500s by the Spanish in the Caribbean, and then a century later by the English, there was no Indigenous population documented. At first it was used by passing ships as a replenishment spot, but the English eventually settled it in the 17th century. It now has a constitution, a parliament, and a governor who exercises power on behalf of the British head of state.

Cook Islands

Unlike others on this list, the Cook Islands in the South Pacific is not only self-governing but also runs its own foreign and defense policy and is in โ€œfree associationโ€ with New Zealand. While Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens, with the same monarch as head of state, they are also separate Cook Island nationals.

Rรฉunion

This island in the Indian Ocean 700 km off the coast of Madagascar was first settled by the French in the 17th century, though it was discovered earlier by the Portuguese. It is one of the many French Overseas Territories that together are home to 2.6 million people.

Countries With the Most Overseas Territories and Dependencies

Depending on if you count island territories independently or group them together, the final accounting of overseas territories and dependencies by country can vary.

But by most official designations of territories, the UK and France are tied with 17 overseas territories.

CountryOverseas Territories & Dependences
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France17
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom17
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States14
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia 6
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands6
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway4
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand3
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark2
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal2

Unsurprisingly, two great empires of the pastโ€”Britian and Franceโ€”still have largest remnants of their past breadth. The British still maintain many ties to several territories in the Caribbean (formerly the British West Indies) while French influence stretches from the Pacific to South America.

And consider that this list reflects current status as of 2023. Former colonies that would have been counted in the past include British India (which became India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) and French Indochina (which became Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam).

As for the U.S. at #3, though the majority of its territories are in the Pacific, they were acquired well before World War II. In addition to islands ceded by Spain, the rest were unclaimed islands incorporated as part of the Guano Islands Act of 1856, which sought sources of guanoโ€”feces of bats and seabirds used as agricultural fertilizer and for gunpowder production.

Editor’s note: The original graphic and article included a source which had incorrect sizes and listed Spain as having two territories. The graphic, article, and relevant tables and overall numbers have been updated.

Interested in an overview of who leads countries around the world? Check out Visualized: The Head of State of Each Country, by Age and Generation for the easiest breakdown.
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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Maps

Mapped: Unemployed Workers vs. Job Openings, by U.S. State

On average, there are 75 workers available for every 100 job openings across the country. Here’s how it varies by state.

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map showing best U.S. states for jobs

Mapped: Unemployed Workers vs. Job Openings, by U.S. State

In the United States, there were about 75 workers available for every 100 job openings as of July 2023. This means there is a significant gap between labor and jobs available, but also many opportunities present in some states for potential job seekers.

This map, using data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,ย showcases the number of available workers per 100 job openings in each U.S. state.

Note: Available workers are unemployed workers who are in the labor force but do not have a job, have looked for one in the previous four weeks, and are currently able and available to work. Job openings are simply all unfulfilled positions that offer available work.

Workers and Job Openings by State

The below table lists out the number of unemployed workers per 100 jobs in every state.

Higher ratios, such as 110 workers per 100 job openings, mean there is more competition for each job opening in that state. Lower ratios suggest that it is harder to find workers in a given state.

RankStateAvailable Workers per 100 Job Openings
#T1California110.0
#T1New York110.0
#3New Jersey108.0
#4Connecticut102.0
#5Washington101.0
#6Nevada98.0
#7Texas89.0
#8Pennsylvania88.0
#9Michigan85.0
#10Hawaii79.0
#11Oregon77.0
#12Arizona76.0
#13Illinois75.0
#T14Indiana74.0
#T14Rhode Island74.0
#16Delaware72.0
#17Kentucky66.0
#18Ohio65.0
#T19Alaska63.0
#T19New Mexico63.0
#21Wyoming61.0
#22Louisiana60.0
#T23Florida59.0
#T23Kansas59.0
#T25Missouri58.0
#T25West Virginia58.0
#T27Georgia57.0
#T27Iowa57.0
#T29Idaho56.0
#T29Tennessee56.0
#T31District of Columbia55.0
#T31Mississippi55.0
#T31North Carolina55.0
#T34Colorado54.0
#T34Minnesota54.0
#36South Carolina53.0
#37Wisconsin52.0
#38Virginia51.0
#T39Maine50.0
#T39Oklahoma50.0
#41Utah48.0
#42Montana46.0
#43Alabama45.0
#T44Arkansas44.0
#T44Massachusetts44.0
#T44Vermont44.0
#47New Hampshire41.0
#48Maryland40.0
#49Nebraska40.0
#50North Dakota35.0
#51South Dakota35.0
U.S. Total 75.0

While states like New Jersey and California have more workers that they know what to do with, states like North Dakota have a 0.35 ratio of people to jobs, potentially tipping the balance of power to job seekers.

Over the last three years, job openings have increased the most in the state of Georgia, where there were only 0.57 people available for every open role in July. But despite growth in open positions, unemployment has hardly changed over the last year, wavering around 3%.

The Reason for the Gap

“If every unemployed person in the country found a job, we would still have 4 million open jobs.”– U.S. Chamber of Commerce

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the main driver of the current labor shortage was the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing more than 100,000 businesses to close temporarily and resulting in millions losing their jobs.

Subsequent government support for those who lost work and other subsidies made it easier for people to stay home and out of the workforce. A Chamber of Commerce survey found that 1-in-5 people have changed their work style since the pandemic, with 17% having retired, 19% having transitioned to a homemaker role, and another 14% working only part time.

The industries with the highest unemployment rates are also those that have added the most jobs, with leisure and hospitality experiencing the highest rates (5.1%) just ahead of wholesale and retail trade (4.4%).

Overall, though the job marker has started to cool somewhat, hiring is still outpacing quit rates. The national quit rate in July 2023 was 3.8%, compared to a hiring rate of 4%. And with 9.8 million job openings in the U.S., there should be ample opportunities for job seekers.

Where does this data come from?

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Notes/Definitions:ย Hire rates are calculated by dividing the number of hires by employment and multiplying that quotient by 100. Quit rates are calculated by estimating the number of quits for a reference period, then dividing quits by employment and multiplying by 100. The labor force participation rate is the share of the population that is either working or actively looking for work. ย Unemployment rates are calculated as theย share of the labor force that is unemployed.ย 

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