The Channel Islands are an archipelago located in the English Channel. The archipelago features several islands, islets, and rock features, including the two Crown Dependencies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. Seven islands in the archipelago are inhabited and are mentioned in the table below. Several uninhabited islands also exist in the archipelago. The five most populous islands in the archipelago are listed below:
Jersey is the southernmost and most populous island of the Channel Islands. The island is located off the coast of Normandy. Jersey has a total area of 118.2 square km and had a population of 100,080 in 2014, giving it a population density of 819 people per square km. Politically, Jersey is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom, and Saint Helier is its capital. The highest elevation on Jersey is 143 m. Tourism, hospitality, and financial services are the biggest sectors of Jersey's economy.
Also a Crown dependency, Guernsey is the second largest island in the Channel Islands archipelago. The island occupies an area of 65 square km and had an estimated population of 63,026 in 2016, giving it a population density is 965 people per square km. The highest elevation on Guernsey is 360 ft. Several small rocks, reefs, islands and islets dot the offshore waters of Guernsey, making sailing a dangerous activity in the region. St Peter Port is the island's capital.
Alderney is the northernmost inhabited island in the Channel Islands archipelago. The island occupies an area of 7.8 square km and has an estimated population of 2,020. St. Anne is the capital of the island. The highest elevation on Alderney is 296 ft. The island is characterized by sandy beaches and dunes with sheer cliffs in between. The waters around the island are full of rocks, which have resulted in hundreds of shipwrecks. The island also supports rich flora and fauna, and several wetlands in the area are designated as Ramsar wetlands that are of international importance.
The small island of Sark is the fourth most populous island in the archipelago. Politically, the island is a royal fief and is part of the Crown dependency of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The island encompasses an area of 5.45 square km and has a population of only 600. The island has two parts, the Greater Sark and the Little Sark, which are connected by a narrow isthmus named La Coupée. The highest elevation on the island is 374 ft above sea-level. Cars are banned from the island’s roads, making it one of the few places in the world with such a law.
Herm is the fifth most populated island in the Channel Islands archipelago. Located to the east of the Guernsey island, Herm covers an area of 2 square km and had a population of only 60 in 2002. Politically, it is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The northern coastline of the island is sandy, while the southern part is rocky. Tourism is a popular, and the island received about 100,000 visitors during the summer season.