Islands That Are Shared By More Than One Country

The island of Papua is shared by Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The island of Papua is shared by Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

An island is a portion of dry land that is surrounded by water which can either be a lake, a river or an ocean. While most islands are considered territories of one country, several other islands are shared by more than one country.

Examples Of Shared Islands

New Guinea

New Guinea Island is shared between Papua New Guinea in the east and Indonesia in the west. It has been referred to by various names including Papua that was derived from Malay. The island is located to the north of Australia. It comes second after Greenland as the largest island in the world, covering a portion of about 303,381 square miles. New Guinea Island is divided across the north line into two equal halves. The Island is occupied with the current population at approximately eleven million people. The island is also known for its volcanic records and higher rainfall levels with its peak point at about 16023 feet.


Cyprus Island, which is the third largest Island, is found in the Eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea. It is shared in four sections with the Republic of Cyprus taking 60% of the southern portion of the Island, the Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus occupying 37% of the northern portion of the Island, the United Nation Green Line coming in between the two and occupies about 4%. The two sections of Akrotiri and Dhekelia under the British sovereignty are located on the southern coast of the Island forming about 2.8% of the Island. Cyprus has natural vegetation which includes broad-leaved trees and conifers. The Island covers a total area of 3,572 square miles.

Adam's Bridge

Adam's Bridge, also referred to as Rama's Bridge, lies off the Southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. Two theories exist that try to explain the origin of this Island. One is that it was as a result of the separation of Sri Lanka from India and the other describing it as a result of growth in the organic bodies and rising of the land. The bridge is 50km long with the sea level measuring between one to ten meters deep. There is a challenge with navigation as the waters are not deep hence big ships cannot travel. It was reportedly passable on foot in the 15th century until the channel was deepened by a storm. The island was completely above the sea level until cyclone of 1480.

Who Controls The Shared Islands

Most countries are ruled by different governments. However, the control of shared Islands is a responsibility of more than one country. The countries are responsible for the welfare of the islands since the islands are considered shared territories. Other islands shared by more than one international border includes Usedom which is shared by Germany and Poland but under different governments, Market Island shared equally between Finland and Sweden, Koiluoto Island also shared equally between Russia and Finland, Borneo shared among three continents which are Indonesia Malaysia and Brunei. A more comprehensive list is provided below.

Islands That Are Shared By More Than One Country

Rank´╗┐Island Name Countries
1New GuineaIndonesia, Papua New Guinea
2BorneoIndonesia, Malaysia, Brunei
3IrelandIreland, United Kingdom
4HispaniolaDominican Republic, Haiti
5Tierra del FuegoChile, Argentina
6TimorIndonesia, East Timor
7CyprusCyprus, United Kingdom
8Dall IslandUnited States, Canada
9Sebatik IslandIndonesia, Malaysia
10UsedomGermany, Poland
11Saint MartinFrance, the Netherlands
12KatajaFinland, Sweden
13Passport IslandSaudi Arabia, Bahrain
14MarketFinland, Sweden
15KoiluotoFinland, Russia
16Musura IslandUkraine, Romania
17Rotten Sea IslandsRussia, Ukraine
18Adam's BridgeSri Lanka, India

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