May 28, 2024

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10 Countries With The Most Islands In The World

10 Countries With The Most Islands In The World

These countries house the largest population of islands in the world, from lush tropical getaways to uninhabited archipelagos.

Puerto Princesa, Underground River, Palawan, Philippines

Many people define an island as a land (or archipelago) surrounded by water. There are plenty of islands in the world worth visiting, from Indonesia’s most beautiful islands to the tropical islands of the Maldives. Islands of the world come in various shapes, sizes, and diversity; plenty of islands are teeming with life, while others remain uninhabited. Explore these countries, which boast the largest number of islands worldwide!


10 China

China is not just a large land mass! This populous country has close to 7,000 islands. One of its largest islands, Hainan, encompasses an area of about 36,000 square km. China also has its southernmost islands lined along the South China Sea, named Dongsha, Xisha, Zongsha, and Nansha.

9 Philippines

The “Pearl of the Orient” contains several thousand islands, and only two-fifths of its islands (or islets) have designated names! The Philippines islands include three groups: Luzon in the north and west, the Visayas in its center, and Mindanao in the south. Tourists are familiar with several of the country’s islands, including Bohol and the Philippines’ last frontier of Palawan.

8 Australia

Tourists may be surprised to know that the Land Down Under has over 8,000 islands, with a majority of these islands concentrated in Western Australia. Visitors can check out the country’s largest island at Melville in Northern Territory, which stands at 5,786 square km (or 2,234 square miles). Otherwise, the Land Down Under has other note-worthy islands, like the world’s largest sand island at K’gari or Fraser Island. This stunning island is famous for its soft white sands at Lake McKenzie!

7 Indonesia

This Asian archipelago consists of over 17,000 islands, with around 7,000 islands uninhabited by humans! Travelers know Indonesia’s Greater Sunda Islands like Sulawesi, Sumatra, Java, and Java (of which some are shared with other countries like Borneo and New Guinea). Furthermore, Indonesia’s Bali, Komodo, and Lombok islands experience a high flux of tourists, while about 17,000 smaller islands quietly exist across the country.

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6 United States

The United States is not just a giant land mass in North America. In fact, there are over 18,000 islands in the US, many of them residing in two states. Alaska has 1,800 named islands, while the state of Maine includes 1,846 privately owned islands, 204 islands exempt from registration, and 1,322 under the state’s care. Moreover, travelers can find the US’ largest islands in Hawaii (The Big Island), Alaska’s Kodiak Island, and Puerto Rico.

5 Chile

Chile has 43,471 islands under its belt (though it’s believed there are more islands out there). The country’s largest island is Chiloé in Los Lagos, but many tourists are more familiar with Easter Island’s mysterious and remote nature, home to the ancient moai statues!

4 Canada

The Great White North contains about 52,455 islands which are mapped (but not indexed)! Adventurous travelers won’t find tropical islands in Canada, but they will find the world’s largest freshwater island in Manitoulin, which sits on Lake Huron. The Great White North also has three of the world’s largest islands: Baffin Island in Nunavut, Ellesmere Island in the north, and Victoria in British Columbia.

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3 Finland

Travelers could call Finland the Land of Islands and Waters! This Northern European country has the largest concentrations of water bodies in the world and about 178,947 islands. Many of Finland’s islands reside in four archipelagos: Kotka, Helsinki, the Archipelago Sea, and the Kvarken Archipelago. For instance, there are already 300 islands around Helsinki, the nation’s capital.

2 Norway

Situated in Northern Europe and encompassing the western portion of Scandinavia, travelers love Norway for its ancient fjords and mountainous landscapes. This Scandinavian country is also home to approximately 239,057 registered islands and islets! Well-traveled tourists already know of some Norweigan islands like Svalbard (the northmost island, near the North Pole) and Lofoten (Norway’s most popular island for skiing, fishing, and chasing Northern Lights).

1 Sweden

This Northern European country sits in the vast European region of Scandinavia. Sweden has over 100,000 lakes, a forest area that covers half the country, and over 260,000 estimated islands! Many of these islands reside in Norrbotten County, while others exist in the Stockholm and Västra Götaland counties. Travelers wishing to explore Sweden’s island should visit Öland on Sweden’s southeast coast, famous for its white beaches, windmills, and the Borgholm Castle!