The Country With the Most Islands in the World
Do you know which country with the most islands in the world? We could think of Greece or Indonesia. In reality, even if the estimates tend to differ from one source to another, the country that offers the largest number of islands remains Sweden with 221,800 pieces of land, according to worldatlas.com. The smallest of these islets, mostly uninhabited, measure barely twenty-five square meters. Even the capital Stockholm is built on an archipelago of 14 islands connected with more than fifty bridges.
10. Thailand – 1,430
Thailand has 1,430 islands located in both the Gulf of Thailand (located mostly near the coast) and the Andaman Sea. Although most of the islands are uninhabited, some are tourist attractions. Just like the Greek islands, the Thai islands are grouped together as Mu Ko Chang National Park, with 52 islands, Phang Nga Bay, with 67 islands, and Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, with 42 islands. In the local language, the word Ko means an island. Most islands in Thailand offer a variety of services to tourists, including accommodation and travel arrangements.
9. Greece – ~6,000
Sources of difference place the number of islands in Greece between 1,600 and 6,000 depending on the minimum size of these sources. Of the total number, over 166 have permanent settlements. Crete is the largest Greek island in the region, followed by Euboea, Lesbos and Rhodes. All the islands are in different groups, namely the Aegean Islands off the west coast of Turkey, the Argo-Saronic Islands near Athens, the Cyclades in the central Aegean, the Dodecanese near Turkey and the Ionian Islands. The Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands have the best sandy beaches, while the Delos Islands are the best for history and culture as it is the birthplace of Apollo. Most of the Greek islands offer a unique experience for tourists.
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8. United Kingdom – 6,289
The UK is an island separated from mainland Europe by the North Sea and the English Channel. Including all Overseas Territories, there are 6,289 islands throughout the UK, most of which are in Scotland. Notable islands include Skye, Orkney, Fair Isle, Lindisfarne, Mersea, Isle of Wight, Herm, Anglesey, Lundy and Bryher.
7. Japan – 6,853
Japan is an archipelago that spans 1,869 miles of 6,853 islands of which more than 430 have inhabitants. The four main islands include Honshu (which is the largest and has the capital of Tokyo), Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu. While most are natural, there are also a few man-made islands. Each of Japan’s inhabited islands has a unique culture and biodiversity. While the uninhabited islands are home to thousands of plant and animal species, including endangered species. The Japanese islands are good ground for research and expedition, as well as fishing grounds. Each year there are about 1,500 nationwide. Four-fifths of Japan is heavily forested and mountainous, with over 200 volcanoes, making it difficult to expand settlements, farms, or industries.
6. The Philippines – 7,107
The Philippines is a tropical country located in maritime Southeast Asia. Many of its 7,107 islands are popular among tourists for their beautiful beaches and turquoise waters. The largest island in the Philippines is Luzon, which is also its most populated island. The largest city in Luzon is Quezon City.
5. Australia – 8,222
According to Tourism Australia, the country has 8,000 islands. The actual number is estimated at 8,222. Of these, 3,747 islands are in Western Australia, 1,955 in Queensland, 1,000 in Tasmania, 887 in the Northern Territory and 346 in South Australia. Melvin Island is the largest of the islands. Australia boasts of various wildlife species including kangaroos and duck-billed platypus. Other attractions include the Great Barrier Reef, lakes, forests and the vast desert.
4. Indonesia – 17,508
The Republic of Indonesia is an archipelago composed mainly of volcanic islands located in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. The CIA’s World Factbook estimates that there are 17,508 islands in the country. Indonesia is the largest country in the world by area. The major Indonesian islands include the Malaku and Sunda island groups. The Sunda Islands are home to the island of Java on which the capital, Jakarta, is located. Indonesian islands are popular for their unique beaches, volcanoes, prehistoric artifacts, limestone cliffs and rich wildlife including forests, elephants, tigers and many more. Indonesia’s wildlife and culture make it one of the top tourist destinations on the planet, one of them is Bali.
3. Canada – 52,455
According to Statistics Canada, Canada has 52,455 islands within its borders. The largest of these is Baffin Island, which covers 195,927.93 square miles. Around 30,000 islands lie Georgian Bay, making it one of the largest freshwater archipelagos. In total, 1,864 islands are found in the St. Lawrence River. Canada has named 129 island groups and 1,016 islets of which 250 are uninhabited. Of this total, seventeen islands have more square kilometers in area. To the north of the Canadian mainland, there is the Canadian archipelago in which the Queen Elizabeth and Manitoulin Islands are located. Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world and has 3861.02 lakes which in turn have smaller islands.
2. Finland – 188,000
The Finnish tourism body recognizes that the country has 179,584 islands, 98,050 of which are in the country’s 188,000 lakes. Only 455 of these islands have permanent settlements and use river connections to the mainland as they do not have connective road services. Over 700 are relatively large at over 0.39 square miles and have road connections to the mainland. The other tens of thousands are used for recreation, expedition, research or other purposes. Various facilities are available for visitors, including horseback riding, kayaking, and fishing.
1. Sweden – 221,800
Sweden has an estimated total of 221,800 islands, the majority of which are uninhabited. This number means that Sweden probably has more islands than anywhere else in the world. Even the capital of the country, Stockholm, is an archipelago of fourteen islands. Stockholm is connected by 50 bridges and also has the medieval town of Gamla Stan, museums and royal palaces. The island of Öland has well-maintained beaches, a castle and structures dating back 5,000 years, making the island a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other islands offer good sites for swimming, fishing and other water sports.