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. Many island countries are spread over an archipelago, as is the case with Indonesia and the Philippines—these countries consist of thousands of islands. Others consist of a single island, such as Barbados or Nauru, or part of an island, such as Brunei or the Dominican Republic.
The list also includes two states in free association with New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue, as well as two states with limited diplomatic recognition which have de facto control over territories entirely on the islands, Northern Cyprus and Taiwan. In total, 50 island countries and 44 island territories have been included in the lists. Australia is not included as it is considered a continental country, although it was historically referred to as an island country because of its lack of land borders. Greenland is generally considered as the largest island on Earth and listed among the island territories.
Indonesia is the world's largest island country by area (1,904,569 km2), and by total number of islands (17,504 islands). It is also the world's most populous island country, with a population of over 270 million (the fourth most populous country in the world, after India, China, and the United States).
South America is the only inhabited continent without an island country.[n 1]
UN member states and states with limited recognition
|Name||ISO code||Geographic configuration||Geologic location||Area (km2)||Population ||Population
|Geographical location||Establishment/ Independence|
|UN member states|
|Antigua and Barbuda||AG
|Two main islands (Antigua Island and Barbuda Island)||Continental shelf||442||97,120||220||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1981 November 1|
|Archipelago||Continental shelf||13,939||389,480||28||Atlantic Ocean, Lucayan Archipelago||1973 July 10|
|Archipelago (centered around Bahrain Island)||Continental shelf||778||1,641,170||2,109||Persian Gulf||1971 December 10|
|One island||Continental shelf[n 2]||430||287,020||667||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1966 November 30|
|Part of a larger island (Borneo)||Continental shelf||5,765||433,290||75||Maritime Southeast Asia||1984 January 1|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||4,033||549,930||136||Atlantic Ocean, Macaronesia||1975 July 5|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||1,861||850,890||457||Indian Ocean, Africa, Comoros Islands||1975 July 6|
|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
|Part of a larger island, de jure sovereignty over entire island (Cyprus)||Continental shelf||9,251||888,005||96||Mediterranean Sea||1960 August 16|
|One island||Continental shelf||754||71,810||95||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1978 November 3|
|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
|Part of a larger island (Timor)||Oceanic||14,919||1,293,120||87||Maritime Southeast Asia, Lesser Sunda Islands||2002 May 20|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||18,274||889,950||49||Pacific Ocean, Melanesia||1970 October 10|
|One main island, two dependencies (Carriacou and Petite Martinique)||Continental shelf||344||112,000||326||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1974 February 7|
|Part of a larger island (Hispaniola), and several smaller islands (Gonâve, Tortuga, Les Cayemites, etc.)||Continental shelf||27,750||11,743,017||423||Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles||1804 January 1|
|One main island||Oceanic[n 4]||102,775||361,310||4||Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Circle||1918 December 1 |
1944 June 17
|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|
|Part of a larger island (Ireland), and several smaller islands||Continental shelf||70,273||4,977,400||71||Atlantic Ocean, British Isles||1922 December 6|
|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|
|Archipelago (Japanese Archipelago)||Continental shelf||377,976||126,264,930||334||Pacific Ocean, East Asia||660 BC February 11 [n 6]|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||811||117,610||145||Pacific Ocean, Micronesia||1979 July 12|
|One main island||Continental shelf [n 7]||587,041||26,969,310||46||Indian Ocean, Africa||1960 June 26|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||298||383,976||1,289||Indian Ocean, Laccadive Sea||1965 July 26|
|Two main islands (Malta Island and Gozo) plus other smaller islands||Continental shelf||316||502,650||1,591||Mediterranean Sea||1964 September 21|
|Marshall Islands[n 8]||MH
|Archipelago||Oceanic||181||58,790||325||Pacific Ocean, Micronesia||1979 May 1|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||2,040||1,265,710||620||Indian Ocean, Africa, Mascarene Islands||1968 March 12|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||702||113,810||162||Pacific Ocean, Micronesia||1979 May 10|
|One island||Oceanic||21||12,580||599||Pacific Ocean, Micronesia||1968 January 31|
|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|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||459||18,010||39||Pacific Ocean, Micronesia||1981 January 1|
|Papua New Guinea||PG
|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|
|Archipelago||Continental shelf||300,000||108,116,620||360||Maritime Southeast Asia||1898 June 12 |
1946 July 4
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||KN
|Two main islands (Saint Kitts Island and Nevis Island)||Continental shelf||261||52,830||202||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1983 September 19|
|One main island||Continental shelf||616||182,790||297||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1979 February 22|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||VC
|Archipelago||Continental shelf||389||110,590||284||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1979 October 27|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||2,842||197,100||69||Pacific Ocean, Polynesia||1962 January 1|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||ST
|Two main islands (São Tomé Island and Príncipe Island)||Continental shelf||1,001||215,060||215||Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Guinea, Africa||1975 July 12|
|Archipelago||Various[n 10]||455||97,630||215||Indian Ocean, Africa||1976 June 29|
|One main island, plus other smaller islands||Continental shelf||728||5,703,570||7,831||Maritime Southeast Asia||1965 August 9|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||28,400||669,820||24||Pacific Ocean, Melanesia||1978 July 7|
|One main island, plus other small islands||Continental shelf||65,610||21,803,000||332||Indian Ocean, South Asia||1948 February 4|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||748||104,490||140||Pacific Ocean, Polynesia||1970 June 4|
|Trinidad and Tobago||TT
|Two main islands (Trinidad Island and Tobago Island) plus other smaller islands||Continental shelf||5,131||1,394,970||272||Caribbean Sea, Lesser Antilles||1962 August 31|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||26||11,650||448||Pacific Ocean, Polynesia||1978 October 1|
|United Kingdom[n 11][discuss]||GB or UK
|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|
|Archipelago||Oceanic||12,189||299,880||25||Pacific Ocean, Melanesia||1980 July 30|
|States with limited recognition|
|Northern Cyprus[n 12]||CY
|Part of a larger island (Cyprus)||Continental shelf||3,355||313,626||93||Mediterranean Sea||1974 July 20|
|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 14]
|Name||ISO code||Geographic configuration||Geologic location||Associated with||Area (km2)||Population||Density
|Cook Islands[n 15]||CK
|Archipelago||Oceanic||New Zealand||236||10,777||45.7||Pacific Ocean, Polynesia|
|One island||Oceanic||New Zealand||260||1,269||4.9||Pacific Ocean, Polynesia|
Dependencies and other territories
Former sovereign island nations and primarily island-based countries
- State of Anjouan (1997-2008)
- Sultanate of Bambao (Ngazidja, 1886–1908)
- Merina Kingdom
- Mohéli (1997-1998)
- Mwali Sultanate
- Sultanate of Ndzuwani
- Sultanate of Zanzibar
- East Asia
- Southeast Asia
- Aceh Sultanate
- Aru Kingdom
- Bali Kingdom
- Sultanate of Banjar
- Banten Sultanate
- Blambangan Kingdom
- Sultanate of Brunei
- Buton Sultanate
- Rajahnate of Butuan
- Sultanate of Cirebon
- Sultanate of Deli
- Demak Sultanate
- Galuh Kingdom
- Sultanate of Gowa
- Kediri Kingdom
- Lanfang Republic
- Sultanate of Maguindanao
- Mataram Kingdom
- Mataram Sultanate
- Melayu Kingdom
- Pagaruyung Kingdom
- First Philippine Republic
- Pontianak Sultanate
- Riau-Lingga Sultanate
- Sultanate of Sambas
- Raj of Sarawak
- Sultanate of Siak
- Kingdom of Singapura
- Sultanate of Sulu
- Sunda Kingdom
- Sultanate of Ternate
- Sultanate of Tidore
- South Asia
- Western Asia
- Mediterranean Sea
- Archaic Greek city-states
- Kingdom of Corsica (1736)
- Corsican Republic
- Anglo-Corsican Kingdom
- Emirate of Crete
- Cretan State
- Kingdom of Cyprus
- Duchy of the Archipelago
- Gozo (independent state)
- Hospitaller Malta
- Hospitaller Rhodes
- Kingdom of Majorca
- Triarchy of Negroponte
- Sardinian Judicati
- Republic of Sassari
- Emirate of Sicily
- Kingdom of Sicily, (1282-1816) [n 23]
- North Europe/West Europe
- Dál Riata
- Commonwealth of England / Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
- Kingdom of England
- Kingdom of Great Britain
- Heptarchy (seven kingdoms before the unification of England )
- Kingdom of Mann and the Isles
- Commonwealth of Iceland
- Kingdom of Iceland
- Gaelic Ireland
- Norman Ireland
- Kingdom of Ireland
- Irish Free State[n 24]
- Soviet Republic of Naissaar
- Kingdom of Scotland (Kingdom of Alba before the First War of Scottish Independence)
- Kingdom of Strathclyde
- Principality of Wales
Former colonies, possessions, protectorates, and other territories
- Annobón (1474-1778)
- Bay Islands, now a department of Honduras
- Cape Breton Island, now part of Nova Scotia, Canada
- Danish West Indies, now the United States Virgin Islands
- Elobey, Annobón and Corisco (1843–1926) unified with the rest of Spanish Guinea
- Fernando Po (1778-1926)
- The Territory of Hawaii, now Hawaii, a state of the United States
- Heligoland (1807–1890)
- Hong Kong Island (1841–1860), now a part of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China[n 26]
- United States of the Ionian Islands, protectorate of the United Kingdom.
- Septinsular Republic, protectorate in the Ionian Islands under nominal Russo-Ottoman joint sovereignty.
- Labuan, briefly part of British North Borneo, the Straits Settlements and Sabah, now a federal territory of Malaysia
- Mayotte, now an overseas department and region of France
- Minorca (1713–1802)
- Colony of Newfoundland (1583–1907) [n 27]
- New Hebrides, now Vanuatu
- British North Borneo
- Prince of Wales Island between 1786 and 1800, at that point joined by Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai). Now as the state of Penang in the Malaysian federation.
- Prince Edward Island, now a province of Canada
- The Providence Island colony
- Queen Charlotte Islands
- Réunion, now an overseas department and region of France
- Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, former British overseas territory dissolved in 1983.
- Socotra Archipelago, now a governorate of Yemen
- Tasmania, now a state of Australia, shares a land boundary with Victoria on Boundary Islet
- Vancouver Island, now a part of British Columbia, Canada
- People's Republic of Zanzibar, now a member of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Island countries with man-made fixed links to continents
- Bahrain to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway
- Singapore to Malaysia via the Johor–Singapore Causeway since 1924, with the Tuas Second Link added in 1998
- United Kingdom to France via the Channel Tunnel
- Archipelagic state
- List of archipelagos
- List of Caribbean countries by population
- List of countries that border only one other country
- List of divided islands
- Lists of islands
- List of islands by area
- List of islands by population
- List of islands by population density
- List of Oceanian countries by population
- List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Oceania
- List of sovereign states and dependent territories in the Indian Ocean
- Small Island Developing States
- ^ Unless Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean island country located on the northern portion of the South American continental shelf, is considered a South American country.
- ^ A microcontinent on continental crust.
- ^ 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.
- ^ The largest oceanic island in the world.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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 the 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
- ^ The largest microcontinent in the world.
- ^ a b c The Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau are states in free association with the United States, under the Compact of Free Association.
- ^ a b c A part of the submerged continent of Zealandia.
- ^ The Granitic Seychelles is a part of the Seychelles microcontinent. The Coralline Seychelles consists of oceanic islands.
- ^ 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 United Kingdom retaining the full authority for its defence and foreign relations. However, Gibraltar and other BOTs are considered to be dependent territories of the British Crown with varying degrees of self-governance, not parts of the United Kingdom proper nor of any of its four constituent countries.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Since the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War, the Republic of China (ROC) retains actual rule over the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands, all of which are collectively known as the "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 an island country, nor a country centred around a major island. The ROC-controlled territories are also claimed by the People's Republic of China. See: Cross-Strait relations, One China, Political status of Taiwan, and Two Chinas.
- ^ 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 relocated to Taipei on 7 December 1949 and named the city its provisional capital. Constitutionally, the Republic of China on Taiwan still views itself as the continuation of the former Chinese republic, with legitimate sovereignty over Mainland China despite having no actual control. 7 December 1949 is listed as the date of formation of its governing authority fully established on the islands. See: Four-Stage Theory of the Republic of China, Kuomintang's retreat to Taiwan, and Political status of Taiwan.
- ^ a b The political status of the Cook Islands and Niue is defined as states in free association with New Zealand. The Cook Islands and Niue are internally self-governing, with New Zealand retaining responsibility for their defence and for some foreign affairs. However, these responsibilities confer New Zealand no rights of control and can only be exercised at the request of the Cook Islands and Niue. See: Constitution of the Cook Islands and Niue Constitution Act.
- ^ 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.
- ^ a b c d e An insular area of the United States. See Territories of the United States.
- ^ a b The Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are also claimed by Argentina.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Administered by Norway under the Svalbard Treaty.
- ^ Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand.
- ^ By 1910, the Empire of Japan was restricted to the majority of the Japanese archipelago and Taiwan before its official annexation of Korea.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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).
- ^ "Definition of island". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012.
- ^ The Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") only controls the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu etc. after the Chinese Civil War, but has not renounced claim on areas currently under control of the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, Tuva (a Russian republic) etc. If those territories are taken into account, the Republic of China is not an island country or a country centered with a major island. The area under ROC control is also claimed by the People's Republic of China. See: One China and Political status of Taiwan.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Which Countries Have The Most Islands?
- ^ "Island Countries Of The World". WorldAtlas.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
- ^ "Total Population Estimates 2015-2019". data.worldbank.org. The World Bank. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
- ^ "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). Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. 25 December 2020. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
- ^ "The Overseas Territories" (PDF). Foreign and Commonwealth Office. June 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
- ^ TRNC SPO, Economic and Social Indicators 2014, pages=2–3
- ^ a b c "Channel Islands". Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2013.