List of island countries

This is a list of island countries. An island is a landmass (smaller than a continent) that is surrounded by water.[1] Many island countries are spread over an archipelago, as is the case with the Federated States of Micronesia and Indonesia (both of which consist of thousands of islands). Others consist of a single island, such as Barbados or Nauru, or part of an island, such as the Dominican Republic or Brunei. Australia is a continent, although it has historically been referred to as an island, due to it having no land borders.[2] The list also includes states with limited diplomatic recognition which have de facto control over territories entirely on the islands, such as Taiwan.[n 1] Indonesia is the world's largest island country by area (1,904,569 km2), and by total number of islands (more than 18,307), and is also the world's most populous island country, with a population of 267,670,543 (the fourth-largest population in the world, after China, India, and the United States).

Sovereign states and states with limited recognition fully on islands (Australia is regarded a continent): those with land borders shaded green, and those without shaded dark blue

Current nationsEdit

Sovereign states and states with limited recognitionEdit

Name ISO code Geographic configuration Geologic location Area (km2)[3] Population [4] Population
density

(per km2)
Geographic location Establishment/ Independence
  Antigua and Barbuda AG
ATG
Two main islands (Antigua, Barbuda) Continental shelf 442 97,120 220 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1981 November 1
  Bahamas BS
BHS
Archipelago Continental shelf 13,939 389,480 28 Atlantic Ocean, Lucayan Archipelago 1973 July 10
  Bahrain BH
BHR
Archipelago (centered around Bahrain Island) Continental shelf 778 1,641,170 2,109 Persian Gulf 1971 December 10
  Barbados BB
BRB
One island Continental shelf[n 2] 430 287,020 667 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1966 November 30
  Brunei BN
BRN
Part of a larger island (Borneo) Continental shelf 5,765 433,290 75 Maritime Southeast Asia 1984 February 23
  Cape Verde CV
CPV
Archipelago Oceanic 4,033 549,930 136 Atlantic Ocean, Macaronesia 1975 July 5
  Comoros KM
COM
Archipelago Oceanic 1,861 850,890 457 Indian Ocean, Africa, Comoros Islands 1975 July 6
  Cuba CU
CUB
One main island, and several smaller islands (Isla de la Juventud, etc.) Continental shelf 109,884 11,346,346 103 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles 1868 October 10

1902 May 20

  Cyprus[n 3] CY
CYP
Part of a larger island (Cyprus) Continental shelf 9,251 888,005 96 Mediterranean Sea 1960 October 1
  Dominica DM
DMA
One island Continental shelf 754 71,810 95 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1978 November 3
  Dominican Republic DO
DOM
Part of a larger island (Hispaniola), and several smaller islands (Alto Velo, Catalina, Saona, Beata, etc.) Continental shelf 48,671 10,738,960 221 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles 1821 December 1

1844 February 27

  East Timor TL
TLS
Part of a larger island (Timor) Oceanic 14,919 1,293,120 87 Maritime Southeast Asia, Lesser Sunda Islands 2002 May 20
  Fiji FJ
FJI
Archipelago Oceanic 18,274 889,950 49 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia 1970 October 10
  Grenada GD
GRD
One main island, two dependencies (Carriacou, Petite Martinique) Continental shelf 344 112,000 326 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1974 February 7
  Haiti HT
HTI
Part of a larger island (Hispaniola), and several smaller islands (Gonave, Tortuga, Les Cayemites, etc.) Continental shelf 27,750 11,743,017 423 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles 1804 January 1
  Iceland IS
ISL
One main island Oceanic[n 4] 102,775 361,310 4 Atlantic Ocean 1944 June 17
  Indonesia ID
IDN
Archipelago, including parts of larger islands (Borneo, New Guinea, Sebatik, and Timor) Various[n 5] 1,904,569 270,625,570 142 Maritime Southeast Asia, Indian and Pacific oceans 1945 August 17
  Ireland IE
IRL
Part of a larger island (Ireland), and several smaller islands Continental shelf 70,273 4,977,400 71 Atlantic Ocean, British Isles 1919 January 21
  Jamaica JM
JAM
One main island, and several small islands (Port Royal Cays, etc.) Continental shelf 10,991 2,734,092 249 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles 1962 August 6
  Japan JP
JPN
Archipelago (Japanese archipelago) Continental shelf 377,976

[5]

126,264,930 334 Pacific Ocean, East Asia 660 BC February 11 [n 6]
  Kiribati KI
KIR
Archipelago Oceanic 811 117,610 145 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia 1979 July 12
  Madagascar MG
MDG
One main island Continental shelf [n 7] 587,041 26,969,310 46 Indian Ocean, Africa 1960 June 26
  Maldives MV
MDV
Archipelago Oceanic 298 383,976 1,289 Indian Ocean, Laccadive Sea 1965 July 26
  Malta MT
MLT
Archipelago Continental shelf 316 502,650 1,591 Mediterranean Sea 1964 September 21
  Marshall Islands[n 8] MH
MHL
Archipelago Oceanic 181 58,790 325 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia 1979 May 1
  Mauritius MU
MUS
Archipelago Oceanic 2,040 1,265,710 620 Indian Ocean, Africa, Mascarene Islands 1968 March 12
  Micronesia, Federated States of[n 8] FM
FSM
Archipelago Oceanic 702 113,810 162 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia 1979 May 10
  Nauru NR
NRU
One island Oceanic 21 12,580 599 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia 1968 January 31
  New Zealand NZ
NZL
Two main islands (North Island and South Island) plus other smaller islands Continental shelf [n 9] 270,467 5,125,451 19 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia 1907 September 26
  Northern Cyprus[n 10] CY
CYP
Part of a larger island (Cyprus) Continental shelf 3,355 313,626[6] 93 Mediterranean Sea 1974 July 20
  Palau[n 8] PW
PLW
Archipelago Oceanic 459 18,010 39 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia 1981 January 1
  Papua New Guinea PG
PNG
Part of a larger island (New Guinea), and several smaller islands Continental shelf 462,840 8,776,110 19 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia 1975 September 16
  Philippines PH
PHL
Archipelago Continental shelf 300,000 108,116,620 360 Maritime Southeast Asia 1898 June 12

1946 July 4

  Saint Kitts and Nevis KN
KNA
Two main islands (St. Kitts, Nevis) Continental shelf 261 52,830 202 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1983 September 19
  Saint Lucia LC
LCA
One main island Continental shelf 616 182,790 297 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1979 February 22
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines VC
VCT
Archipelago Continental shelf 389 110,590 284 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1979 October 27
  Samoa WS
WSM
Archipelago Oceanic 2,842 197,100 69 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia 1962 June 1
  São Tomé and Príncipe ST
STP
Two main islands (São Tomé Island, Príncipe) Continental shelf 1,001 215,060 215 Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Guinea, Africa 1975 July 12
  Seychelles SC
SYC
Archipelago Various[n 11] 455 97,630 215 Indian Ocean, Africa 1976 June 29
  Singapore SG
SGP
One main island, plus other smaller islands Continental shelf 728 5,703,570 7,831 Maritime Southeast Asia 1965 August 9
  Solomon Islands SB
SLB
Archipelago Oceanic 28,400 669,820 24 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia 1978 July 7
  Sri Lanka LK
LKA
One main island, plus other small islands Continental shelf 65,610 21,803,000 332 Indian Ocean, South Asia 1948 February 4
  Republic of China (Taiwan)[n 1] TW
TWN
One main island, and several smaller islands Continental shelf 36,193 23,603,121 652 Pacific Ocean, East Asia 1912 January 1

1949 December 7 [n 12]

  Tonga TO
TON
Archipelago Oceanic 748 104,490 140 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia 1970 June 4
  Trinidad and Tobago TT
TTO
Two main islands (Trinidad, Tobago) plus other smaller islands Continental shelf 5,131 1,394,970 272 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles 1962 August 31
  Tuvalu TV
TUV
Archipelago Oceanic 26 11,650 448 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia 1978 October 1
  United Kingdom[n 13][7] GB or UK
GBR
One main island, part of second island (Ireland), plus several minor islands Continental shelf 244,820 67,886,004 277 Atlantic Ocean, British Isles 1707 May 1
  Vanuatu VU
VUT
Archipelago Oceanic 12,189 299,880 25 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia 1980 July 30

Associated states, dependencies, and other notable territoriesEdit

Name Geographic configuration Geologic location Sovereign state Area (km2) Population Density
(per km2)
Geographic location
  Åland Islands Archipelago[n 14] Continental shelf   Finland 1,580 28,355 17.9 Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia
  American Samoa[n 15] Archipelago Oceanic   United States 199 54,947 276 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Anguilla One main island Continental shelf   United Kingdom 91 15,423 169 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Aruba One main island Continental shelf   Netherlands 180 107,635 598 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Bermuda Archipelago Oceanic   United Kingdom 53.3 62,500 1,170 Atlantic Ocean, North America
  British Indian Ocean Territory Archipelago Oceanic   United Kingdom 60 3,000 50 Indian Ocean
  British Virgin Islands Archipelago Continental shelf   United Kingdom 151 31,148 206 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Caribbean Netherlands Three main islands Continental shelf   Netherlands 127 21,133 166 Caribbean Sea
  Cayman Islands Three islands Continental shelf   United Kingdom 264 52,560 199 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles
  Christmas Island One main island Oceanic   Australia 135 1,496 11.1 Indian Ocean, Australasia
  Cocos (Keeling) Islands Archipelago Oceanic   Australia 14 596 42.6 Indian Ocean, Australasia
  Cook Islands[n 16] Archipelago Oceanic   New Zealand 236 10,777 45.7 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Curaçao One main island Continental shelf   Netherlands 444 145,834 328 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Easter Island One Island Oceanic   Chile 163.6 6,148 37.5 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Falkland Islands Two main islands Continental shelf   United Kingdom[n 17] 12,173 3,140 0.26 Atlantic Ocean, South America
  Faroe Islands Archipelago Continental shelf   Denmark 1,393 49,483 35.5 Atlantic Ocean
  French Polynesia Archipelago Oceanic   France 3,827 274,512 71.7 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Greenland One main island with archipelagos Continental shelf   Denmark 2,166,086 57,695 0.03 North America
  Guadeloupe One main island Continental Shelf   France 1,628 405,500 250 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Guam[n 15] One main island Oceanic   United States 544 159,914 293 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia
  Guernsey[n 18][8] Three main islands Continental shelf   United Kingdom 78 65,849 844 English Channel, Channel Islands
  Isle of Man[n 18][8] One main island Continental shelf   United Kingdom 572 85,421 149 Irish Sea, British Isles
  Jersey[n 18][8] One main island Continental shelf   United Kingdom 116 94,949 819 English Channel, Channel Islands
  Martinique One island Continental shelf   France 1,128 403,795 360 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Mayotte One main island Oceanic   France 374 194,000 498.5 Indian Ocean, Africa, Comoros Islands
  Montserrat One main island Continental shelf   United Kingdom 102 5,164 50.6 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  New Caledonia One main island Continental shelf[n 9]   France 18,275 260,166 14.2 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia
  Niue[n 16] One main island Oceanic   New Zealand 260 1,269 4.9 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Norfolk Island One main island Continental shelf[n 9]   Australia 36 2,182 60.6 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia
  Northern Mariana Islands[n 15] Archipelago Oceanic   United States 464 51,395 111 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia
  Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands Archipelago Oceanic   United Kingdom 47 48 1.0 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Puerto Rico[n 15] One main island, archipelago Continental shelf   United States 8,870 3,690,923 416 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles
  Réunion One main island Oceanic   France 2,512 893,500 330 Indian Ocean, Africa, Mascarene Islands
  Saint Barthélemy One main island Continental shelf   France 21 7,332 349 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Three main islands distant from each other Oceanic   United Kingdom 308 7,728 25.1 Atlantic Ocean
  Saint Martin Part of a larger island (Saint Martin) Continental shelf   France 54.4 30,959 569 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Saint Pierre and Miquelon Two main islands Continental shelf   France 242 5,831 24.1 North America
  Sint Maarten Part of a larger island (Saint Martin) Continental shelf   Netherlands 34 39,088 1,150 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Archipelago Continental shelf   United Kingdom[n 17] 3,903 30 0.008 Atlantic Ocean
  Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Part of a larger island (Cyprus) Continental shelf   United Kingdom 254 15,700 61.8 Mediterranean Sea
  Svalbard[n 19] Archipelago Continental shelf   Norway 62,045 2,752 0.03 Arctic Ocean
  Tokelau[n 16] Archipelago Oceanic   New Zealand 12 1,368 114 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
  Turks and Caicos Islands Archipelago Continental shelf   United Kingdom 948 46,335 48.9 Atlantic Ocean, Lucayan Archipelago
  U.S. Virgin Islands[n 15] Archipelago Continental shelf   United States 346 105,275 304 Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles
  Wallis and Futuna Three main islands Oceanic   France 264 15,289 57.9 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia

Former sovereign island nations and primarily island-based countriesEdit

AfricaEdit

AmericasEdit

AsiaEdit

EuropeEdit

OceaniaEdit

Former colonies, possessions, protectorates, and other territoriesEdit

Island countries with man-made fixed links to continentsEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Since the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War, the Republic of China (ROC) retains actual rule over the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, the Matsu, and other minor islands, all of which are collectively known as "Free Area" or Taiwan Area in contrast to Mainland China being under communist rule, thus making it a de facto island nation, and has become known colloquially as simply "Taiwan" due to the island of Taiwan forming the majority of the ROC-controlled territories; nonetheless, the ROC has not officially renounced its constitutional-defined territories which include areas effectively controlled by the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, Tuva (a Russian republic) etc. If claimed territories were taken into account, the ROC would not be a borderless country, nor a country centred around a major island. The ROC-controlled territories are also claimed by the People's Republic of China. See: Political status of Taiwan, Two Chinas, One-China policy, and Cross-strait relations.
  2. ^ A microcontinent on continental crust.
  3. ^ The northern part of the island of Cyprus is the de facto independent state of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey. In the south of the island are the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, controlled by the United Kingdom.
  4. ^ The largest oceanic island in the world.
  5. ^ The western portion of the country is on the continental shelf of Asia while the eastern portion of the country is on the continental shelf of Australia. The central portion of the country consists of oceanic islands in Wallacea.
  6. ^ In Japanese tradition, 11st of February in 660 B.C. is regarded as the accession date of the first Emperor of Japan in legendary, Emperor Jimmu, marking the establishment of Yamato Dynasty. However, no historical evidence that Jimmu actually existed and his story was largely narrated by Japanese mythology. February 11 was also the day when the Constitution of the Empire of Japan was proclaimed in 1889. See: National Foundation Day
  7. ^ The largest microcontinent in the world.
  8. ^ a b c The Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau are in free association with the United States, under the Compact of Free Association.
  9. ^ a b c A part of the submerged continent of Zealandia.
  10. ^ In 1983, Northern Cyprus declared independence from Cyprus. Northern Cyprus' sovereignty has been recognized by only one United Nations member state (Turkey). It is not a member state of the United Nations. Most states recognize Cyprus' claim to sovereignty over Northern Cyprus.
  11. ^ The Granitic Seychelles is a part of the Seychelles microcontinent. The Coralline Seychelles consists of oceanic islands.
  12. ^ The Republic of China (ROC) was formally established on 1 January 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution, which succeeded the former Qing dynasty's territories on mainland China, while the islands of Taiwan and Penghu were under Japanese rule at the time. The ROC gained control over the latter after the surrender of Japan in 1945, but soon lost its control of mainland to the communists due to the Chinese Civil War. The ROC government was relocated to Taipei in 7th December 1949 as its provisional capital. Constitutionally, the ROC on Taiwan still views itself as the continuation of former Chinese republic, with legitimate sovereignty over mainland China despite no actual control. 7th December 1949 is listed as the date of formation of its governing authority fully established on the islands. See: Political status of Taiwan, Retreat of the Republic of China to Taiwan and Four-Stage Theory of the Republic of China.
  13. ^ The British overseas territory of Gibraltar is a peninsular exclave which shares a land border with Spain and can thus be regarded as a part of continental Europe, with the UK retaining the full authority for its defence and foreign relations. However, Gibraltar as well as other BOTs are considered as dependent territories of the British Crown with varying degrees of self-governance, not parts of the United Kingdom itself nor of any of its four constituent countries.
  14. ^ Finland and Sweden share a border over the small island of Märket; however, the property including the lighthouse is owned by the Finnish rather than Åland government.
  15. ^ a b c d e An insular area of the US. See Territories of the United States.
  16. ^ a b c The Cook Islands and Niue are in free association with New Zealand. See Niue Constitution Act. Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand.
  17. ^ a b The Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are also claimed by Argentina.
  18. ^ a b c The Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, and the Isle of Man are peculiars of the British Crown and not part of the United Kingdom; foreign relations and defence are provided by the UK.
  19. ^ Administered by Norway under the Svalbard Treaty.
  20. ^ Dissolved in 1962 and then divided into Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  21. ^ By 1910, the Empire of Japan was restricted to the majority of the Japanese archipelago and Taiwan before its official annexation of Korea.
  22. ^ Before the outbreak of Sicilian Vespers in 1282, the Kingdom of Sicily encompassed both the island of Sicily and south Italy; the war resulted the division of the kingdom into two parts as "Kingdom of Trinacria" (island part), and Kingdom of Naples (mainland part) which still officially called itself "Kingdom of Sicily". The two Sicilian kingdoms had since remained separate until 1816, when they remerged to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  23. ^ Under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State included all of the island of Ireland but Northern Ireland exercised its option to leave the Irish Free State and rejoin the United Kingdom on 8 December 1922. Therefore, from 6 December 1922 to 8 December 1922, the Irish Free State was a borderless island country.
  24. ^ The Crown Colony of Hong Kong covered only Hong Kong Island from 1841 to 1860. Kowloon, south of Boundary Street on the continent, was added in 1860, and extended to include the New Territories in 1898.
  25. ^ The colony covered the island of Newfoundland before 1809. In 1809, part of the Labrador Peninsula was transferred to Newfoundland from Lower Canada. In other words, before 1809, Newfoundland was an island colony. From 1809 onwards, the Colony of Newfoundland and, since 1907, the Dominion of Newfoundland had been an island plus Labrador (an area on the continent of North America).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Definition of island". Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Löffler, Ernst; A.J. Rose, Anneliese Löffler & Denis Warner (1983). Australia:Portrait of a Continent. Richmond, Victoria: Hutchinson Group. p. 17. ISBN 0-09-130460-1.
  3. ^ "Island Countries Of The World". WorldAtlas.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
  4. ^ "Total Population Estimates 2015-2019". data.worldbank.org. The World Bank. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  5. ^ "令和元年全国都道府県市区町村別面積調(10月1日時点)2020年" (in Japanese). 国土地理院. 25 December 2020. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  6. ^ TRNC SPO, Economic and Social Indicators 2014, pages=2–3
  7. ^ "The Overseas Territories" (PDF). Foreign and Commonwealth Office. June 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Channel Islands". Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2013.

External linksEdit