Australia is considered one of the world’s six continents, although some consider it the world’s largest island. If this is the case, the map above displays Australia’s land area compared with the next largest islands in the world. The next closest (in area) to Australia is Greenland with an area only 27% the size, followed by New Guinea at only 10% the size of Australia. The top 20 largest islands by area are displays and listed on the right.
Of the 193 UN member nations, 46 are island nations. This means that nearly a quarter of the world’s sovereign countries are islands. The largest island nations by population are Indonesia (260 million), Japan (126 m), Philippines (102 m), and the United Kindom (65 m). Of the 46 island nations, 13 are in the Caribbean, 13 are in Oceania, 10 are off the coast of Asia, 6 are off the coast of Africa, and 4 are off the coast of Europe.
For those wondering why Australia is not considered an island due to its status as the world’s smallest continent – The size comparison below shows the world’s largest island by area (Greenland) next to Australia. Australia is 3.5 times larger than Greenland!