- Island country
An island country is a
countrythat is wholly confined to an island, several islands, an island groupor several island groups, and has no territory on the mainlandof a continent. Forty-seven of the world's countries are island countries (2008), including most of the smallest ones. Australiais not included as it is geographically considered a continent.
Island countries can be divided in two approximate groups. A group of large, relatively populous nations which are usually close to a
continentincluding Japan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Madagascar, and Indonesia. These countries typically share cultural and political similarities with their continental neighbours, although there are differences. Island locations have frequently been advantageous, providing isolation from invasion and the maritime abilities of the population gave advantage in regional and international trade.
The other group comprises smaller island countries such as
Malta, Cyprus, the Comoros, the Bahamas, Tonga, and the Maldives. These countries tend to be very different from continental countries. Their small size usually means there is little agricultural land and rarely many natural resources. However, in modern times, smaller island countries around the world have become centres for tourism, which in many is the dominant industry.
Some island countries are centered on one or two major islands, such as the
United Kingdom, New Zealandor Japan. Others are spread out over hundreds or thousands of smaller islands, such as the Philippines, Indonesiaor the Maldives. Some island countries share their islands with other countries; these include the United Kingdom and Ireland, Haitiand Dominican Republic, and Indonesia, which shares islands with Papua New Guinea, Brunei, East Timorand Malaysia.
List of island countries
List of islands(by country)
List of countries
List of island countries by population density
Small Island Developing States
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