List of islands by area
This list of islands by area includes all islands in the world greater than 2,500 km2 (970 sq mi) and several other islands over 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi), sorted in descending order by area. For comparison, continental landmasses are also shown.
Continental landmasses are not usually defined as islands despite being surrounded by water.[Note 1] However, because the definition of continent varies between geographers, the Americas is sometimes defined as two separate continents while Australia is sometimes defined as an island as well as a continent. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this list, Australia along with the other major landmasses have been listed as continental landmasses for comparison. The figures are approximations and are for the four major continental landmasses only.[Note 2] The man-made Suez and Panama canals are disregarded.
|Rank||Continental landmass[Note 3]||Area
|Countries and territories|
|1||Afro-Eurasia||79,810,726[Note 4]||30,815,094||123 countries, 8 partially recognized states, 2 special administrative regions of China,[Note 5] 1 Spanish overseas tied island, and 1 British overseas territory[Note 6]|
|2||Americas||37,699,623[Note 7]||14,555,906||22 countries and French Guiana[Note 8]|
|3||Antarctica[Note 9]||14,200,000[Note 10]||5,500,000||None (7 countries have made 8 territorial claims)[Note 11])|
|4||Australia[Note 12]||7,591,608[Note 13]||2,931,136||Australia|
Islands 100,000 km2 (38,600 sq mi) and greater
Islands 25,000–99,999 km2 (9,700–38,600 sq mi)
Islands 10,000–24,999 km2 (3,861–9,652 sq mi)
Islands 5,000–9,999 km2 (1,931–3,861 sq mi)
Islands 2,500–4,999 km2 (965–1,930 sq mi)
Islands 1,000–2,499 km2 (386–965 sq mi)
This section of the list might not be complete, but covers almost all of the islands in the world over 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi). The area of some Antarctic islands is uncertain.
- Lake island
- List of Antarctic and subantarctic islands
- List of countries and dependencies by area
- List of countries by largest island
- List of islands by highest point
- List of islands by name
- List of islands by population
- List of islands by population density
- Lists of islands (by continent and country)
- Recursive islands and lakes
- River island
- The United States Geological Survey is a notable exception. The U.S.-based scientific agency considers all landmasses surrounded by ocean waters, including continents, as islands. Under their definition, Africa, mainland Australia, Eurasia, North America, and South America have been classified as continental mainland islands.
- Geographically, there are only four continents (including nearby continental islands which sit on the same continental shelf) that are not separated by sea: Afro-Eurasia (57% of the land surface), the Americas (28.5%), Antarctica (9%), and continental Australia (5%). The remaining 0.5% is made up of remote oceanic islands, mostly scattered within Oceania in the central and south Pacific Ocean.
- Including landmasses which are above water and over 2,500,000 km2. The submerged continent of Zealandia (approx. 5,000,000 km2) is excluded.
- Figure derived from the Global Islands Explorer website, by adding the areas of mainland Africa (29,370,907 km2) and mainland Eurasia (50,439,819 km2).
- Hong Kong and Macao.
- Figure derived from the Global Islands Explorer website, by adding the areas of mainland North America (20,090,075 km2) and mainland South America (17,609,548 km2).
- An overseas department and region of France.
- Antarctica is a special case, for if its ice is considered not as land, but as water, it is not a single landmass, but several landmasses of much smaller area, since the ice-bedrock boundary is below sea level in many regions of the continent. If its ice cover were to be lifted, some rock that is currently below sea level would rise as the weight of the ice would be removed, although this would in part be counteracted, and in some areas of the continent overtaken, by eustatic rises in sea level.
- Figure taken from the CIA World Factbook website, including Antarctic islands (approx. 76,000 km2) and ice shelves (1,561,000 km2).
- All territorial claims in Antarctica are in abeyance under the Antarctic Treaty System.
- Mainland Australia is more than three times the size of Greenland, the largest island. Australia is sometimes dubbed "The Island Continent" or "Earth’s largest island, but its smallest continent".
- Figure derived from the Geoscience Australia website, the area of mainland Tasmania (64,519 km2) has been deducted.
- The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus claims and controls one third of the island of Cyprus, although this is not recognised by any country except Turkey.
- A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. The territory is described as "Falkland Islands (Malvinas)" by the United Nations.
- USGS – Global Islands Explorer
- Stephen Hawking; Lucy Hawking (9 January 2020). "Earth: What's It Made Of?". Unlocking the Universe. p. 62. ISBN 9780241418864.
- GNS Science – Earth's 8th Continent
- Global warming and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Michael Oppenheimer, 1998 (see map of Antarctica showing regions where bedrock is below sea level)
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- What is an ice shelf?
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- Europa Publications, ed. (2003). Africa South of the Sahara 2004. Psychology Press. p. 629. ISBN 9781857431834.
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- Popescu, Gabriel (2015). Agricultural Management Strategies in a Changing Economy. IGI Global. p. 310. ISBN 9781466675223.
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- Öar i Sverige Islands in Sweden
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- The Essential Desk Reference. Oxford University Press. 2002. p. 279. ISBN 9780195128734.
- World Heritage Places - Fraser Island
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