World Facts

How Many Islands Does Malaysia Have?

According to government records, the nation of Malaysia includes a total of 878 islands.

According to Malaysia's Department of Survey and Mapping, the nation is made up of 878 islands. 394 of these islands are part of the state of Sabah. The country also has 510 offshore geographical features which are not categorized as islands, such as ridges, sandbanks, or rocks. Most of Sabah's islands are named, but a significant number of islands remain unnamed.

Islands Greater Than 250,000 Square km in Area

Borneo

Although the island of Borneo is not entirely occupied by Malaysia, it is the largest territory on an island that is part of Malaysia. About 26% of the island's area is occupied by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Only 1% of the island’s area belongs to the nation of Brunei, while the remainder of the island of Borneo is part of Indonesia. Sabah is located on the island’s northern part and is bordered by Indonesia’s Kalimantan and Malaysia’s Sarawak to the south and southwest, respectively. Sarawak is situated on the island’s northwest part and is bordered by Sabah and Kalimantan to the northeast and south, respectively. The independent state of Brunei borders Sarawak to the north.

Sebatik Island

Like Borneo, Sebatik Island is also shared by different political entities. The island is divided into Indonesian and Malaysian territories. The island is located about 1 km off Borneo’s eastern coast and occupies an area of 452.2 square km. Sebatik Island’s northern section is part of the Malaysian state of Sabah and has a population of about 25,000 people. The southern section of the island is part of Indonesia’s North Kalimantan and has a population of approximately 80,000 people.

Islands Greater Than 200 Square km in Area

Banggi Island

Located near Marudu Bay and off the northern coast of Sabah, Banggi Island is a Malaysian island that is part of the state of Sabah's Kudat Division. It is the largest island that is exclusively occupied by Malaysia and occupies an area of 440.7 square km. The island has a population of 30,000 people.

Bruit Island

Located in the Rejang Delta, the Malaysian island of Bruit is part of the state of Sarawak. The island has a population of about 30,000 people and is the second largest island that is exclusively occupied by Malaysia. Two ferry points connect the island to mainland Malaysia and other islands. Several fishing villages dot the coast of Bruit, the largest being Kampung Semop.

Langkawi

Langkawi is a Malaysian archipelago located in the Andaman Sea, about 30 km off the coast of mainland Malaysia. The islands of Langkawi are part of the Malaysian state of Kedah. The largest island in the archipelago is Langkawi Island, which has a population of 64,792 people. Of the archipelago's 99 islands, only four are inhabited. In addition to Langkawi, the other inhabited islands include Dayang Bunting, Rebak, and Tuba. The archipelago's total population is about 99,000 people and is a popular tourist destination given its plethora of natural and man-made attractions.

Penang Island

With an area of 293 square km, Penang Island is the fourth largest island that is exclusively occupied by Malaysia. The island is home to George Town, the most populous island city, and the second most populated Malaysian city. The island has a population of about 738,500 and a population density of about 2,372 persons per square km. The Penang Strait separates the island from the Malay Peninsula.

In addition to the islands mentioned above, Malaysia has several islands smaller than 200 square km in size. Examples of these islands include Aman (Penang), Sipadan (Sabah), Malacca (Malacca), and Rawa (Johor).

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