Oceania is a geographical area which spans the western and eastern hemispheres. Oceania is made up of the four sub-regions of Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Australasia. The region occupies an area of about 3,291,903 sq miles. Oceania has a population of approximately 40 million people. It is the second least populous continental grouping on earth and smallest by area. Oceania encompasses fourteen nations with some of the islands located on the geographical extreme of the region including Campbell islands, Juan Fernandez Islands, Clipperton Island, Hawaii, and Bonin islands.
Countries In Oceania
Australia is the biggest country in Oceania comprising of mainland Australia and numerous islands including Tasmania. Australia occupies an area of about 2,969,907 sq miles and has a population of approximately 25,146,100 people. Canberra is the capital city of Australia while Sydney is the biggest city in Oceania. Australia is surrounded by Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Indonesia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, and East Timor. Australia is a regional power in Oceania.
Fiji is an island state in Melanesia which occupies an area of about 7,056 sq miles. Fiji is an archipelago comprising of over 330 islands and 500 islets. Only 110 islands in Fiji are inhabited. Fiji’s closest neighbors include Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, Samoas, Tonga, Kermadec Islands, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu. Most of the islands in Fiji were created over 150 million years ago through volcanic activity.
New Zealand is an independent state comprising of South Islands, North Island, and over 600 smaller islets. It is located about 900 miles to the eastern side of Australia and 600 miles to the south of the Pacific islands (Tonga, Fiji, and Caledonia). New Zealand was one of the last places to be settled by human beings. New Zealand occupies an area of about 103,483 sq miles and has a population of approximately 4.9 million people. Auckland is the country’s populous city while Wellington is its capital city.
Papua New Guinea
The sovereign country of Papua New Guinea occupies an area of about 178,700 sq miles. The country is on the eastern parts of the island of New Guinea, and it has numerous islands in Melanesia. It is one of the most culturally diverse states on earth with a population of about 8 million. It is quite a rural state, with 18% of its citizen living in urban centers. Papua New Guinea has over 852 known languages which represent about 12% of the total dialects on earth. The official language of Papua New Guinea is English. Twelve of these indigenous languages have no living speaker while some of them have less than 1,000 speakers.
The Four Sub-Regions of Oceania
Oceania is split into four areas including Australasia, Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Australasia is on the southernmost part of the Indo-Australian Plate, and it is made up of New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia among other smaller islands. Polynesia extends from New Zealand to Hawaii, and it encompasses Easter, Tuamotu, Mangareva, Marquesas, Austral, Society, Cook, Kermadec, Samoa, Tokelau, and Tuvalu islands among others. Melanesia is on the southwestern side of Oceania, and it is made up of New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Santa Cruz. Micronesia is made up of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, and Mariana islands.