Island Countries Where No Rivers Flow

One of the many small islands composing the Marshall Islands.

The world has numerous island countries scattered in major water bodies around the world. Most island countries occupy small land areas and have different geological features. Due to their small size and geography, most of these island countries have no rivers flowing through them. Some of the island countries with no rivers include the Bahamas, Comoros, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is one of the riverless island countries. It is an island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The country is comprised of more than 700 islands, islets, and cays. The Bahamas occupies a total land area of 5,358 square miles. The small island country is located north of Cuba, and southeast of the United States. The islands that form the Bahamas mainly have low elevations and flat landscapes. A few ridges that rise to an average height of 66 feet dot the islands. The highest elevation in the Bahamas rise to reach 207 feet above sea level and it is Mount Alvernia. The Bahamas experiences a tropical savanna climate which is characterized by many sunny days and warm temperatures. Due to its low latitude location, the country does not experience winter.


The nation of Comoros is a set of islands that have no rivers running through them. The island country is situated in the Indian Ocean close to the eastern coast of Africa. The three major islands that form Comoros are Anjouan, Grande Comore, and Mohéli. The island nation of Comoros is Africa’s third smallest country and occupies an estimated area of 719 square miles. Neighboring countries to Comoros are Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Seychelles. The three main islands have steep mountains and low ridges. The Comoros Islands have rough terrain consisting of rocky soil. Comoros has a mild tropical climate with warm temperatures on most days.


Kiribati is an independent island country in the central Pacific region. Kiribati has no river that flows through the island. The country is comprised of one main coral island and 32 reef islands. Kiribati has a total land area of approximately 310 square miles. The set of islands that form Kiribati are spread through all the four hemispheres of the world. The main island that forms Kiribati is a coral island referred to as Banaba. The terrain on the island consists of thin soil rich in calcium. Most places in Kiribati have an equatorial oceanic climate.

The Maldives

The Maldives is also listed as an island country with no river. The country is found in the Indian Ocean close to Asia’s southern border. Its neighboring nations are India and Sri Lanka. The Maldives is made of more than 1,000 coral islands spread over an area of 35,000 square miles. As a result, Maldives is listed as one of the most dispersed countries on earth. The Maldives occupies an estimated land area of 115 square miles. The islands have coral reefs throughout their surface. The Maldives have beautiful beaches that support the vibrant tourism industry in the Maldives. The island country has the lowest elevation in the world with average altitude being 4 feet above sea level. 

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands are united to form the island country in the central Pacific Ocean. The more than 1,100 chains of islands have no rivers passing through them. The islands form a combined land area of 70 square miles. The country has very low elevations with an average altitude of 7 feet. Marshall Islands’ neighbors include Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.


Nauru is among the island nations with no rivers that flow through them. The country is a tiny island nation located in the central Pacific Ocean. It neighbors Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Nauru occupies the small area of only 8.1 square miles. Phosphate rocks cover the landscape in Nauru. Intensive mining of phosphate in the island nation has destroyed its terrain. Limited places in the island nation are suitable for farming. Besides rainwater, Nauru has no other natural source of fresh water. The country experiences hot and humid weather conditions all year round.


Tonga is an island country with no river passing through its islands. The country is comprised of 169 islands scattered in the Southern Pacific Ocean. Only 36 islands of Tonga have permanent inhabitants. Tonga’s neighbors include Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, and Vanuatu. Tonga occupies a total area of 289 square miles. The islands of Tonga are largely covered in limestone deposits. The country experiences a tropical climate with minor fluctuations in temperature.


Tuvalu is a small island country without a river flowing through its islands. The country is found in the Pacific Ocean. It is comprised of 3 reef islands and several atolls. Some of the neighboring nations to Tuvalu are Samoa, Kiribati, Fiji, and Nauru. Tuvalu is ranked as the world’s fourth smallest nation. Its total land area is estimated at only 10 square miles. The islands of Tuvalu are vulnerable to the risk of rising sea levels. Additionally, Islands of Tuvalu have limited supply of fresh water. New Zealand and Australia contributed several desalination plants to Tuvalu to help with the fresh water problem.

Characteristics of Riverless Island Countries

The Pacific Ocean has the highest number of island nations with no rivers. The explanation is that most of the island countries in the Pacific consist of numerous small islands that join to form such island countries resulting in small land areas which leave little space for geological features such as a river. These riverless island countries suffer from a limited supply of fresh water and rely on rainwater for their fresh water supply. The territories have also established desalination plants where salty water from the ocean is turned into fresh water.


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