An island is a land mass that is smaller in size than a continent and surrounded by water. An island country is a sovereign state located or encompassing an island or group of islands. The nine independent island nations in Asia are mentioned below.
The archipelago of the Philippines is made of up 7,641 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The sovereign nation has a total land area of 343,448 square km and a population of 100,981,437 in 2015. The Philippines has the world’s fifth longest coastline and is surrounded by the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, and the Celebes Sea to the east, west, and south. It has maritime borders with Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
Sri Lanka is an island country in Asia, located on the Bay of Bengal, where it occupies an area of 65,610 square km and has a population of 21,444,000 people. The Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar separate the island nation from mainland Asia. According to Hindu mythology, Sri Lanka was once connected with India by a land bridge that could be traversed on foot. Although no such bridge exists today, a chain of limestone shoals stretch between the two landmasses and is relatively shallow in some parts.
Located in the Arabian Sea to the southwest of India and Sri Lanka, the Maldives is an island nation that occupies an area of only 298 square km. It had an estimated population of 427,756 in 2016. It is the smallest country in Asia in terms of both area and population. The Maldives has 26 atolls, which together have 1,192 coral islands. These islands are distributed over an area of about 90,000 square km, making the Maldives one of the world's most dispersed countries. It is also the lowest country in the world.
The East Asian island nation of Japan encompasses an area of 377,972 square km and had a population of 126,672,000 people in 2017. Japan is located in the Pacific Ocean off the eastern coast of mainland Asia. The islands of Japan are located between the Sea of Okhotsk and the East China Sea to the north and south, respectively. The country includes about 6,852 islands. Large parts of Japan are heavily forested and mountainous, and settlements are mainly located in the coastal regions and are densely populated.
Singapore is a city-state and sovereign island nation in Asia. Geopolitically, Singapore is part of Southeast Asia. Peninsular Malaysia and the Riau Islands of Indonesia are located north and south of Singapore, respectively. The city-state includes one large island that is surrounded by 62 smaller islands. The total covers a total area of 721.5 square km and had an estimated population of 5,612,30 in 2017.
With over 13,000 islands scattered on either side of the equator, Indonesia is the largest island country in the world. The country is generally considered to be a part of Southeast Asia, but some of its territory is located in Oceania. Indonesia covers a total area of 1,904,569 square km and had an estimated suggest population of 261,115,456 in 2016. The Indonesian island of Java is the most populous island in the world. More than 6,000 of Indonesia's islands are inhabited.
East Timor is a small sovereign nation in Southeast Asia that is located in the Pacific Ocean on the eastern half of the island of Timor. East Timor's territory also includes various nearby smaller islands. East Timor covers a total area of 15,410 square km and had a population of 1,167,242 people in 2015. Large parts of the country are mountainous and sparsely populated.
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is an island country in Asia that occupies a total area of 36,197 square km and has an estimated population of 23,550,077 people. Located approximately 180 km southeast of China, Taiwan is separated from mainland Asia by the Taiwan Strait.
The Southeast Asian country of Brunei Darussalam occupies an area of 5,765 square km and has a population of about 417,200 people. Although the country does not occupy an entire island, it is part of the island of Borneo, which also includes parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei is located on the north coast of Borneo and is surrounded on all three sides by Sarawak, a Malaysian state. On the northern side, the country has coastline on the South China Sea.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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