Talk:Island country

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The UK and Indonesia etc.[edit]

In the "Composition" section this article says that some island countries are based around one or two main islands and others have many important islands. Where do you draw the line? The UK has Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Anglesey, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, the Falklands, the Hebrides and the other Scottish islands, even Gibraltar. It all gets very complex and complicated. While in Indonesia the situation is actually very similar to the British: Java, like Great Britain, is by far the most populous island in its country and it's where the capital/ largest city is. Is it just because of geographically large islands like Sumatra and Borneo that this article tries to make a distinction? I see no reason to make a distinction, and suggest that tis section be removed. It's all a scale, anywho.

And also: don't you have to be entirely consisting of islands/ parts of islands to be considered an island country? Wouldn't some even exclude all countries which have land borders?

And: Personally I would qualify Australia as an island country (and NOT because of Tasmania, I'll have you know). Where does one draw the line between island country and continental country? What IS a contineent, really (a large ISLAND!)? Is Malaysia an island country? The Republic of China? The Kingdom of Denmark? Equatorial Guinea? ... Greece? The US? Canada? Spain? Italy? Russia? What matters? Geographical size? Human population? Number of islands? Historical reasons? Public perception? What looks reasonable on a map? : I'm confused, and so should you be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:C440:20:1116:E82F:8659:33F1:2A36 (talk) 12:39, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

The Falklands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man aren't part of the U.K. The first two are British Overseas Territories and the latter is a Crown dependency. Zacwill16 (talk) 22:14, 28 March 2014 (UTC)


This article makes me laugh. It reminds me of one guy grabbing a pen and saying, "Right, this is what I think, and this is how it is. I write therefore I am Right!" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Then fix it, or at least be more specific about what's wrong with it. TaintedMustard (talk) 20:41, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


Well, Australia does have a land mass all to itself and has no land boundaries with other countries... it seems to me that makes it an island country. I was going to edit the article, but I didn't really feel like editing the graphic, so I am settling for making a comment here on the tak page for now. I will add that Australia also includes Tasmania and several smaller islands. We are getting too hung up on what is or is not a continent: suffice it to say (in my opinion) that Australia IS one of the land masses commonly designated as a "continent" and that the country of the same name has that land mass all to itself (along with some islands.)Timothy Horrigan (talk) 20:16, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

"Some island nations share their islands with other countries such as Papua New Guinea or the Republic of Ireland."

- by this definition, all countries could be considered island nations... Cogent 20:31, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No, the definition of an island is "any piece of land smaller than a continent" and most countries are located on continents. - SimonP 20:40, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)
So the real definition of and island country is "a country which has most of its land not on a continent". Surely the definition of continental land is a matter of opinion (e.g. Australia). I suppose a continent must mean "one of the 3 main landmasses of the world". N4m3 (talk) 20:48, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

The United Kingdom[edit]

How can theldfmjldskfsldgnf, v c,mdfnsdf The United Kingdom is an Island as it has one government, ruling over 3 non-independent countries.

—The preceding [[Wikipedi-- 16:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)a:Sign your posts on talk pages|unsigned]] comment was added by (talk) 19:40, 15 January 2007 (UTC).

The United Kingdom is a group of islands not one island and it also includes Northern Ireland making 4 non-independent countries not 3! YourPTR! 07:29, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I know I'm being pedantic here, but the territory of Gibraltar is a part of the UK. Since it is situated on the mainland of a continent doesn't that preclude the UK from being an island state?Gerard von Hebel (talk) 14:05, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Gibraltar is a self-governing British Overseas Territory the same as, for example, the Falkland Islands or Bermuda. It is not, and never has been, part of the United Kingdom. However, I believe it's citizens' votes in the European parliamentary elections are included in one of the English regions (the Southwest?) - presumably as it is too small to qualify for an MEP in its own right. (talk) 15:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

This article should be moved to Island states. UN organisations include the Association of Small Island States, for example, and there is also an acronym, SIDS, for Small Island Developing States. There is an important difference between a nation (ethnic or cultural group) and a state (political institution)... The same change for List of island nations and Category:Island nations. Amygdala 09:16, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be moved to Island countries? A country is the geographical area according to the article at: state. -- 11:21, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
It should be Island country (singular). If it was "island state" it would include Hawaii, Tasmania etc and I don't believe this is intended. Transcontinental nation was moved to Transcontinental country for exactly the same reason (see Talk:Transcontinental_country#Transcontinental_nation_or_country). Nurg 23:24, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

coastal states[edit]

Togo has small coast in relation to its land borders, but this is also the case with Benin, Guyana, etc. Togo borders are consequense of colonial policy of a "coast capital + area around it" - as is the case with neighbooring Benin. It is not realy landlocked, it is more like a "coastal nation" (like Belize, Guyana, Suriname - they have bigger inland territories, but don't use them so much). Such coastal states are more similar to island nations. This leads to the question if we should include them in this list also... And remove Togo from paritialy landclocked (its case is much different than Bosnia, Congo, etc.) 08:25, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

I really don't think they can be considered island nations, as they're not on islands, just have a focus on their coastal areas.

Island or All water boundary?[edit]

This article makes it very unclear about whether island nations must have either an all water boundary, or must be confirmed to islands. If the former is true, the UK is not an island nation, if the latter is true, Australia isnt. Which should be true? Jamie|C 18:43, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Oppose merge[edit]

Haiti and Dominican Republic are island countries, but they are not borderless. Passer-by 06:57, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Brunei, the UK, and Ireland also fit this category. They are all confined to Islands, but have some land borders on that island. Fishal 06:09, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I, too, oppose this merge; not all island nations are borderless, and not all borderless nations are islands (Australia). Jon Harald Søby 19:59, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
"Borderless country" is quite misleading, and doesn't seem very encylopedic when you consider that regardless of whether there is a land border, many nations do claim waters that border each other. When I did a search back in November (wow, what a long time ago) the current article isn't sourced because (as I've searched) almost all references to "borderless country" appear only on Wikipedia, the two other instances I came across immediately were a fansite about games, and an article talking about a hypothetical "borderless" country "built for peace." Island countries are obvious, they're defined by the fact they are islands. I suggest that the useful information be merged into Island country, and then redirect (or AfD) the "Borderless" article. Radagast83 05:06, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


Greenland is island nation. -- 16:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Nope, Greenland belongs to Denmark, which has land borders with Germany. Jon Harald Søby 19:59, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Dont be a complete loser (Jon Harald Søby)! Of course Greenland is an Island Nation. It is a "SELF GOVERNED territory of Denmark", hence making it an island nation. I get fed up with people getting so big headed and thinking they know everything and going round being rude to people who say something that they think is wrong, you Jon Harald Søby are one of these bullies. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:30, 13 February 2007 (UTC).


Taiwan is an island nation, why isn't it colored in the little picture?--Jerry 00:27, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I meant the Republic of China.--Jerry 00:27, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Because the Republic of China laid claim to the Chinese Mainland. 19:31, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Taiwan is not a country. It is a province of the Republic of China and the Republic of China is not just Taiwan. Luden 04:31, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

No, Taiwan is a separate country. Republic of China refers to Taiwan only and People's Republic of China refers to mainland China itself. The two nations have two different national flags, national anthems and government systems. Since its establishment as a nation by the Nationalists, Taiwan has been using its own non-Communist government system and is NEITHER an autonomy nor a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China . So, my point being, as a result, is that Taiwan should be highlighted as an island nation. --Fantastic4boy (talk) 18:48, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

If it were as simple as "Republic of China refers to Taiwan only and People's Republic of China refers to mainland China itself", this discussion would not be taking place. The problem is that both these countries claim territory which they do not control. The territory claimed by the ROC is far from confined to islands, while the territory controlled by it clearly is. -- Jao (talk) 20:04, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Shared islands[edit]

Island country can fairly clearly refer to countries, such as Ireland, which are located on islands shared with other countries. Why change this article so that it only reflects one definition of the term? - SimonP 13:41, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


Why is Australia not highlighted on the map? -- 05:47, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Australia is a continent Jamie|C 18:57, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
No, the "Australian continent" is a continent. The Commonwealth of Australia is a country. That's why the "Australian continent" is now scientifically referred to as Oceania. If you don't agree, look up New Zealand, a country, along with dozens more, which shares the Oceanic continent. Hence Oceania is the smallest continent, and Australia is an island country (spread across several islands, like Japan) within it. Hope this makes sense - otherwise, I'll make a Venn Diagram. (talk) 14:02, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Oceania is not a continent. It is a grouping of countries ( including colonies such as Tahiti and New Caledonia ), most of which are not part of any continent (with the obvious exception of Australia).Eregli bob (talk) 12:21, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't think a Venn diagram is necessary. The problem is not with understanding, but with actual differing terminology: while your system makes sense, it is not in universal use. See Australia (continent)#Geography and nomenclature and Oceania#Interpretative details and controversies. -- Jao (talk) 17:59, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I acknowledge that there is an issue with terminology. However, to put it totally clearly, without any terminology;
1. there are more than one nations on the said continent (like Japan),
2. the nation shares no island with another nation (like Japan),
3. since no islands are shared (thus removing the nation from "Island Country" status), and since the nation does not occupy the whole continent (thus removing the nation from "Island Country" status), it is thus an "Island country", just like Japan.
I fail to see how Australia (nation) is any different from Japan. Claiming that the Australian nation occupies the entire continent cannot be true, because one would then have to provide an answer for where the neighbouring nations are continentally. Is New Zealand then part of Asia, or America, while Australia is its own continent? :S211.30.58.23 (talk) 09:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that there are two concepts, which I personally would like to call "island country" (country with no mainland territory) and "borderless country" (country with no land borders), but which are constantly mixed up here. Japan, of course, is both. Ireland is only the former. Australia is the latter regardless of continentology, but not the former if mainland Australia is considered the mainland of a continent (regardless of whether that continent is called Australia, Australasia, or Oceania). If Australia belongs to Asia, or if it belongs to Oceania and Oceania is considered a mainland-less continent, then Australia is an island country as well as a borderless one. -- Jao (talk) 12:25, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The point is that the CoA is situated on what is considered to be the mainland of the continent of Australia or Oceania, whatever you call it. That is what makes it different from Japan.Gerard von Hebel (talk) 14:09, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Please add a new section about advantages/disadvantages[edit]

Maybe you can add a section about the pros and cons on living in an island country. Dangers, limited amount of space, etc? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

A Single Reference?[edit]

This article doesn't have a single reference on it to support its existence. References please. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:55, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Island country is not a neologism, 1, 2, 3. --J.Mundo (talk) 16:46, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Reference 1 above is a reference from 1816 which refers to things like any "island, country, or place". Hardly a reference for island country. This article defines a term. The term has been occasionally used, but so have many terms which are not generally accepted definitions. This article is creating a neologism in the same way as if there were an article "Green and pleasant lands" where any and all places that are green and pleasant were listed. Wotapalaver (talk) 00:15, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
The definition used in this article is unreferenced. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:13, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Japan has lots of mountains,rivers, and lakes etc......! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:27, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

De facto, not de jure[edit]

It appears that some people here (read above re Greenland and Taiwan) are really picky about the de jure (according to the law, that is) standards for countries. Going by that standard, however, means calling Britain a dictatorship, as according to the law, the Queen is supreme and can dissolve parliament any time she wants. De facto (according to the facts) is the standard we should apply. Thus, both Greenland and Taiwan should be colored as island nations, since according to the facts, they are (despite the ridiculous ceremonial laws that say otherwise). D O N D E groovily Talk to me 02:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I won't get into a debate about the dejure status of government of the UK, I suggest you raise that at the United Kingdom talk page if you really want it to say dictatorship. On topic, I have no idea how you could conflate Greenland and Taiwan, completely different situations. Taiwan, you'll notice, is actually already coloured in on both maps on the page. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 02:30, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Global warming[edit]

According to

this map

, allot of island countries are vulnerable to climate change; also allot of them seem to be so low that they will be submerged soon,; perhaps a list can be given at this page ? (talk) 14:10, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

See Alliance of Small Island States / Small Island Developing States with Mohamed Nasheed President the Republic of Maldives getting coverage in recent years (for example in the United Nations and with The Age of Stupid and with ... see Current sea level rise, but remember the Earth isn't a smooth sphere, that is spinning, so ocean level changes are not simple. Best wishes. (talk) 22:41, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
What is this sea of blue in aid of? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:53, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you, Art? (talk) 19:11, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
You're not supposed to ask, but no. He's promoting a particular image for multiple articles. I've never looked for that image. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:44, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
It appears to be a rhetorical question, Art. (talk) 02:19, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


I changed the line "approximately 25%" to "approximately 24%" since 47 is 24.352% of 193, much closer to 24% than 25%. - Acorn Cat (talk) 03:34, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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The “War” section[edit]

Island countries have often been the basis of maritime conquest and historical rivalry between other countries.[2] Island countries are more susceptible to attack by large, continental countries due to their size and dependence on sea and air lines of communication.[3]

That must refer to Caribbean islands. The UK (during WW2), Japan, and Australia are clearly far from this statement and the sea has rather protected them from invasion. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 06:16, 3 June 2017 (UTC)