World Facts

How Many Islands are There in the World?

It is impossible to quantify the numbers of islands in the world.

An island is broadly defined as an area of land surrounded by a water body, such an ocean, sea, lake, or river and that is smaller than a continent. When there are several islands in the same geographical area they are referred to as an archipelago. The largest island is Greenland Island at around 840,004 square miles, located between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean, north-east of Canada. The island is popular for its vast ice covering which is around 85% of the total island area. Bishop Rock is the smallest island in the world located in the Atlantic Ocean; the island is popular for its well-built lighthouse.

Islands Around the World

It is almost impossible to put a figure to the total number of islands in the world because of the different kinds in the water bodies. There are around two thousand islands in oceans in the world. It has not been possible to come up with the total number of islands around other water bodies such as lakes due to the wide and varying definitions of what makes an island. The human population inhabiting the islands is approximated at over six hundred million.

Some of the Best Islands for Vacations

Islands are a favorite destination for many tourists due to their scenic views and unique setting. Some of the most popular holiday destination islands around the world include St. Kitts & Nevis Islands, a combination of two islands located in the West Indies in the Caribbean, covering an area of 270 square kilometers. St. Kitts is the larger one covering 180 square kilometers, while Nevis is smaller covering 93 square kilometers. Some of the greatest attractions in the islands are Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, with its panoramic water views and scenic nature sites, and Mount Liamuiga, from which one can view the whole island and the Caribbean Sea. Santorini Greece is an island located in the southern Aegean Sea, 120 miles from Greece. The beauty of the island is exquisite and it is a popular wedding location. The island is also popular for its wonderful culinary experience.

Uninhabited Islands in the World

Several islands around the world remain uninhabited. It is estimated that only 11,000 of the millions of islands have permanent residents. The largest uninhabited island is Devon Island in Baffin Bay. The extreme cold climatic conditions accompanied by very strong winds in the area make it very hard for people to live there. Jaco Island located in East Timor is also another island that does not have permanent residents. This is because the local residents consider the island a sacred place. However, they take trips and camp on the island for a few days. Clipperton Island is another one that does not have any residents. It has been abandoned since the end of World War II. In the previous years, a British company operated a Guano mining company on the Island.

Hashima Island was previously home to a good number of families with a total population of around five thousand individuals. Coal mining was done on the island from the year 1887 to 1974. However, after the coal business ended, the residents moved out. It was opened for tourism in 1999. Tree Island in the South China Sea is another island that does not host permanent residents. Military troops are deployed there temporarily.

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