Pacific Islands

The Pacifc Islands are the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Three major groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean are Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.

Depending on the context, Pacific Islands may refer to countries and islands with common Austronesian origins, islands once or currently colonized, or Oceania. The indigenous inhabitants of the Pacific Islands are referred to as Pacific Islanders.

Name ambiguity

In English, the umbrella term Pacific Islands may take on several meanings. Sometimes it refers to only those islands covered by the continent of Oceania.[1][2] In some common uses, the term "Pacific Islands" refers to the islands of the Pacific Ocean once colonized by the British, French, Dutch, United States, and Japanese, such as the Pitcairn Islands, Taiwan, and Borneo.[3] In other uses it may refer to islands with Austronesian heritage like Taiwan, Indonesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Myanmar islands, which found their genesis in the Neolithic cultures of the island of Taiwan.[4] There are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, United States; Vancouver Island in Canada; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; the island nation of Taiwan and other islands of the Republic of China; the Philippines; islands in the South China Sea, which includes the disputed South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which comprises the Japanese Archipelago.

Pacific islands by area (over 10,000 square kilometers)

This list includes all islands found in the geographic Pacific Ocean, with an area larger than 10,000 square kilometers.

Name Area (km2) Country/Countries Population Population density Notes
New Guinea785,753Indonesia & Papua New Guinea7,500,0009.544
Honshu227,960Japan103,000,000451.8
Sulawesi174,600Indonesia18,455,000105.7
South Island145,836New Zealand1,038,6007.122
North Island111,583New Zealand3,393,90030.42
Luzon109,965Philippines48,520,000441.2
Mindanao104,530Philippines25,281,000241.9
Tasmania90,758Australia514,7005.671
Hokkaido77,981Japan5,474,00070.2
Sakhalin72,493Russia580,0008.001
Taiwan35,883Taiwan23,000,000641
Kyushu35,640Japan13,231,000371.2
Hainan35,400People's Republic of China8,900,000251.4
New Britain35,145Papua New Guinea513,92614.62
Vancouver Island31,285Canada759,36624.27
Shikoku18,800Japan4,141,955220.3
New Caledonia16,648France208,70912.54
Palawan12,189Philippines430,00035.28
Viti Levu10,531Fiji600,00056.97
Hawaii10,434United States of America185,07917.74

List of islands

Pacific islands by region

Antarctica

Asia

North America

Oceania

South America

See also

Footnotes

  1. D'Arcy, Paul (March 2006). The People of the Sea: Environment, Identity, and History in Oceania. University Of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3297-1. Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  2. Rapaport, Moshe (April 2013). The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society, Revised Edition. University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-6584-9. JSTOR j.ctt6wqh08. This is the only contemporary text on the Pacific Islands that covers both environment and sociocultural issues and will thus be indispensable for any serious student of the region. Unlike other reviews, it treats the entirety of Oceania (with the exception of Australia) and is well illustrated with numerous photos and maps, including a regional atlas.  via JSTOR (subscription required)
  3. Wright, John K. (July 1942). "Pacific Islands". Geographical Review. 32 (3): 481–486. doi:10.2307/210391. JSTOR 210391.  via JSTOR (subscription required)
  4. Blundell, David (January 2011). "Taiwan Austronesian Language Heritage Connecting Pacific Island Peoples: Diplomacy and Values" (PDF). International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies. 7 (1): 75–91. Retrieved 2 May 2015.

References

  • William Collins Sons & Co Ltd (1983), Collins Atlas of the World (revised 1995 ed.), London W6 8JB: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-448227-1 
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