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Pahawang Island
Island - Pahawang Island Indonesia
Image: Fidelia Zheng
Everybody knows what an island is, a piece of land entirely surrounded by water, it should be smaller than a continent, otherwise it would be a continent. With Australia one is not so sure, but the fact that Australia has its own tectonic plate justifies it as a continent.

Geology of Islands.
Some islands sit atop ancient submerged volcanoes rising from the ocean floor. Some low-lying tropical islands were formed from organic material of stony corals and other organic debris. Other islands are unsubmerged parts of the continental shelf, the shallow edge of a continental landmass.

In the list below you can find out which are the most populous island countries, or the largest island nations by area.
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Island Nations, islands that are sovereign states.

List of island nations.

  Country Capital City Population Area
World Region Notes
Indonesia Jakarta 258,705,000
1,904,569 Archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in Maritime Southeast Asia. Most populous island nation, and the most populous country in South-East Asia, and the island nation with the most islands (13,466)
Japan Tokyo 126,920,000 377,915 Island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan in Northeast Asia. Four main islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu (the "Home Islands") - and 6,848 smaller islands and islets.
Philippines Manila 100,981,000 300,000 Archipelago east of Vietnam, between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. More than 7,000 islands, divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
United Kingdom London 66,000,000 243,000 British Isles archipelago, north of France. Two main islands, Great Britain and the island of Ireland.
Madagascar Antananarivo 21,842,000 587,041 Island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique in Southern Africa. One main island, the fourth largest island in the world.
Sri Lanka Colombo 21,203,000 65,610 Island in the Indian Ocean, southeast of the Indian subcontinent. One main island. There was a land connection to the Indian mainland, but now mostly submerged.
Cuba Havana 11,239,000 109,886 One main island in the Greater Antilles archipelago. Largest island in the Caribbean.
Haiti Port-au-Prince 10,912,000 27,750 Haiti occupies the western portion of Hispaniola island. One of the two countries occupying the island of Hispaniola.
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo 9,980,000 48,310 Hispaniola is one of the Greater Antilles islands, it is the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba. One of the two countries occupying the island of Hispaniola.
Papua New Guinea Port Moresby 7,270,000 462,840 Papua New Guinea comprises of the eastern half of New Guinea and several offshore islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Largest islands of PNG besides New Guinea island are New Ireland, New Britain, Manus and Bougainville.
Singapore Singapore 5,535,000 718 Relative small island adjacent to the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia. Singapore is a city-state, the former trading post of the East India Company is today a global financial center.
New Zealand Wellington 4,675,000 270,467 Part of Zealandia, a microcontinent in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, about 1,700km (1,000 mi) south east of Australia. Two long and narrow main islands and several outlying islands.
Republic of Ireland Dublin 4,635,000 70,273 Ireland occupies most of the island of Ireland, separated by the Irish Sea from the island of Great Britain in the north Atlantic Ocean. One main island, the northern part is occupied by Northern Ireland, a province of the United Kingdom.
Jamaica Kingston 2,740,000 10,991 Tropical mountainous Caribbean island nation south of Cuba. It is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494.
Bahrain Manama 1,234,000 741 Kingdom of Bahrain is a small archipelago with more than 30 islands centered around Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia, by the 25 km long King Fahd Causeway.
Trinidad and Tobago Port-of-Spain 1,310,000 5,130 Tropical twin island country north of Venezuela, South America. First colonized by the Spanish, the islands came under British control in 1797.
Mauritius Port Louis 1,286,000 2,040 Tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean, about 900 km east of the coast of Madagascar. British colony since 1810 until independence in 1968. Partially part of the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Rodrigues and French Réunion)
East Timor Dili 1,183,000 14,874 East Timor, or Timor-Leste is a sovereign nation occupying the eastern half of the island of Timor in Maritime Southeast Asia. Portuguese-colonized East Timor became independent in 1975, only to be annexed by Indonesia in 1976 for the next 26 years.
Fiji Suva 861,000 18,274 Tropical group of 330 islands of volcanic origin in the South Pacific Ocean, Oceania. Highest point is Tomanivi (Mount Victoria) at 1,324 m. Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
Cyprus Nicosia 848,300 9,251 Island and Greece related island nation in the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea in southern Europe. The northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus is occupied by Turkey since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
Comoros Moroni 770,000 2,235 The Union of the Comoros is a tropical, volcanic group of islands in the Indian Ocean at the northern entry of the Mozambique Channel, 300 km east off the coast of northern Mozambique. Three major islands, Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Nzwani (Anjouan).
Solomon Islands Honiara 642,000 28,896 A sovereign nation that consists of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands straddling the Solomon Sea, east of Papua New Guinea. Main islands are Choiseul, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Guadalcanal, Malaita, and Makira (San Cristobal).
Cape Verde Praia 525,000 4,033 Cabo Verde is a volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa, about 650 km west of Dakar, Senegal. Cape Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975.
Malta Valletta 429,000 316 Malta is a tiny island nation in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and the North African coast. Main islands are Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan 417,784 5,765 The small Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace is a rich unitary Islamic absolute monarchy on the north coast of Borneo in Maritime Southeast Asia. Brunei gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1984.
Bahamas Nassau 370,000 13,943 The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an independent state within the Lucayan Archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, made up of 700-plus coral islands and cays. Largest islands in the Bahamas are North Andros, Great Inagua, South Andros, Great Abaco, and Grand Bahama.
Maldives Male 341,000 298 A tropical archipelago of 1,190 coral islands, grouped into 26 atolls straddling the Equator in the Indian Ocean, about 900 km southwest of Sri Lanka. Smallest Asian country. The low-lying Maldives are threatened by rising sea-level. Highest point is an unnamed location on Villingilli Island in the Addu Atoll at 2.4 m (8 feet).
Iceland Reykjavik 323,002 103,000 Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 300 km southeast of Greenland. Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althingi, established in 930.
Barbados Bridgetown 285,000 431 Sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles of the eastern Caribbean, an independent British Commonwealth nation. Easternmost island in the Caribbean
Vanuatu Port-Vila 252,763 12,189 The Republic of Vanuatu consists of a group of about 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Named by the Portuguese 'La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo' in the 17th century. As a British–French Condominium the archipelago was known as the New Hebrides.
Samoa Port-Vila


199 The Samoan Islands are an archipelago in the central South Pacific. The Independent State of Samoa occupies the western half of the islands. Historically the islands were known as the Navigator Islands.
Saint Lucia Castries 172,000 539 Sovereign island nation in the Eastern Caribbean, north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent. The island is a popular cruise destination, famous for the Pitons, two volcanic spires.
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé 178,700 964 African island nation at the equator, about 300 km west of Gabon. Two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé and Príncipe.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Kingstown 110,000 389 Island nation comprising the main island, St. Vincent, and a chain of smaller islands in the southern Caribbean. SVG was an administrative unit of the West Indies Federation, a former federation of ten British West Indian territories established in 1958.
Grenada Saint George's 107,000 344 An island country in the Windward Islands, at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. One main island and six smaller islands. Grenada is known as the "Island of Spice".
Tonga Nuku'alofa 105,323 747 Polynesian kingdom of about 170 islands in the South Pacific. Formerly known as the 'Friendly Islands'. Independence from British 'protection' in 1970.
Federated States of
Nuku'alofa 102,289 702 Micronesian archipelago with more than 600 islands north of the Equator in the western Pacific Ocean. Formerly part of the Caroline Islands. Micronesia consists of four island states Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap.
Kiribati Tarawa 100,000 726 Group of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the Equator west of the International Date Line. Former British protectorate and colony, then known as the Gilbert Islands.
Seychelles Victoria 92,000 455 African archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. Independent since 1976 (from Great Britain)
Antigua and Barbuda Saint John's 89,000 442 Tropical Caribbean twin-island country in the middle of the Leeward Islands archipelago. Two inhabited main islands, and a number of smaller islands, including Redonda.
Dominica Roseau 72,000 751 Sovereign island country in the the Windward archipelago, Caribbean. Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Basseterre 54,191 261 Two islands within the Lesser Antilles, West Indies (Caribbean) Smallest sovereign state in the Americas.
Marshall Islands Majuro 52,634 181 Located in the North Pacific Ocean, about 4,900 km east of Mindanao (Philippines), 4,000 km south west from Hawaii, and 1,300 km west of the International Date Line. Archipelago with two parallel island chains. Internationally probably best known is the Bikini Atoll, where the United States detonated 23 nuclear devices between 1946 and 1958 that left the island contaminated with radioactivity and uninhabitable.
Palau Ngerulmud 17,661 459 Micronesian island country in the southern Philippine Sea (Pacific Ocean), east of Mindanao (Philippines). Archipelago of about 250 islands.
Nauru Yaren District 10,084 21 Micronesian island country in the South Pacific Ocean. Smallest country in Oceania and the world's smallest island nation.
Tuvalu Funafuti 10,000 26 Polynesian island country in the South Pacific Ocean Formerly known as the Ellice Islands.
Related pages:

World's Sovereign States
Countries by Area
Countries by Population
International Calling Codes

Overseas Territories and Dependent Areas

Countries of the Islamic World  
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