When I first moved to Hawaii I assumed that Hawaii, which is part of the Polynesian Island chain, was part of the Pacific Island chain. However, I’ve discovered that there is more than one Pacific Island chain. There are three island chains – Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.
Polynesian Islands include: Hawaii, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Pitcarin Islands, Rotuma, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Wallis & Futuna.
Melanesian Islands include: Bismarck Arch, Solomon Islands, Santa Cruz, Vantuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea.
Micronesian Islands include: Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Marshall Island, Kiribati, and Wake Island. The Caroline Islands are now known as the Federated States of Micronesia which is not to be confused with Commonwealth of Northern Mariana.
There are lots of legal policies, pacts, and treaties; however, the easiest way to remember it is as follows: (a) all persons born in Guam (a territory of the United States) after August 1, 1950 are United States citizens; (b) all persons born in the Northern Mariana Islands (a commonwealth of the United States) after November 4, 1986 are United States citizens; and (c) all persons born in American Samoa, or Swains Island (outlying possessions of the United States) are United States nationals.
So, now you know that when you go to Fiji, you are going to the Melanesian Island chain; and when you go to Guam, you’re going to the Micronesian Islands, where, United States citizens are born.