Greater Antilles

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Greater Antilles
Grandes Antilles (French)
Antillas Mayores (Spanish)
Region of the Caribbean
Location within the Caribbean.
Location within the Caribbean.
Island States
 • Total 207,435 km2 (80,069 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 37,582,088
 • Density 169.05/km2 (437.8/sq mi)
Demonym Greater Antillean
Time zones EST: UTC-5/EDT: UTC-4

The Greater Antilles are one of the island groups in the Caribbean Sea. Comprising the islands of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola (containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, the Greater Antilles constitute over 94% of the land mass of the entire West Indies,[1] as well as over 90% of its population. To the east lies the archipelago of the Lesser Antilles which is a chain of islands to the east (running north-south and encompassing the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea where it meets the Atlantic Ocean) and south (running east-west off the northern coast of South America).

The word Antilles originated in the period before the European conquest of the New World - Europeans used the term Antilia as one of the mysterious lands featured on medieval charts, sometimes as an archipelago, sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, its location fluctuating in mid-ocean between the Canary Islands and Eurasia.


Country with flag Area
(1 July 2005 est.)
Population density
(per km²)
Cuba Cuba 110,860 11,346,670 102.4 Havana
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands (UK) 264 54,878 207.9 George Town
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 48,730 8,950,034 183.7 Santo Domingo
Haiti Haiti 27,750 8,121,622 292.7 Port-au-Prince
Jamaica Jamaica 10,991 2,731,832 248.6 Kingston
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (USA) 9,104 3,916,632 430.2 San Juan
Total 207,435 35,066,790 169.05

See also[edit]



  • Rogozinski, Jan. A Brief History of the Caribbean. New York: Facts on File, 1992.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°59′N 79°02′W / 21.983°N 79.033°W / 21.983; -79.033