An island is a piece of land in the subcontinent that is surrounded by water. The islands on the list are ranked by area. Some are in single countries, while others are shared by multiple countries. Indonesia (the world’s largest island country), Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Malaysia, and many other island countries are located on the islands. Although the landmasses known as Afro-Eurasia, the Americas, Antarctica, and Australia are not commonly referred to as “islands,” each landmark is surrounded by water, and the islands are distinguished by their size and surroundings. So, what is the world’s largest island? The following is a list of the world’s largest islands, as classified by category.
Continental landmasses were excluded from the list of islands below because they are not normally referred to as islands.
1. Kalaallit Nanaat (Greenland)
Greenland is located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. The island is massive, covered by the current ice sheet, and extremely difficult to live in. The people who live here have a history that dates back about 4500 years. Greenlandic is the official language, and Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland, with a population of 16,464 in 2013.
Population: 56,370 (2013)
Area: 2,166,086 km2
Continent: North America
2. New Guinea
Papua New Guinea, historically known as Papua New Guinea, is the world’s second-largest island and home to several highest peaks rising up to 4,884 meters. The island is rich in natural diversity, with caves, thick rainforest, and many unexplored caves. The island has been inhabited for thousands of years, and some of the tribes continue to live here in their traditional manner.
Population: 7.5 million (2005)
Area: 786,000 km²
Continent: Greater Australia
Borneo is the world’s third-largest island and the largest in Asia; it is home to three countries: Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The highest point on the island is Kinabalu in Malaysia, which stands at 13,435 feet. The island has significant river and cave systems. The Borneo rainforest is over 130 million years old, and the island is home to thousands of plants, trees, mammals, and bird species.
Population: 18.59 million (2009)
Area: 743,330 km²
Madagascar’s fourth-largest island is located in the Indian Ocean; the island is a biodiversity hotspot, home to more than 90 percent of the world’s wildlife. Antananarivo is Madagascar’s capital and largest city; Malagasy is the official language.
Population: 22.29 million (2012)
Area: 587,041 km2
5. Baffin Island
Baffin Island, located in Canadian territory, is the world’s fifth-largest island and the largest in Canada. Iqaluit is the largest city on Baffin Island, and many of the highest peaks rise more than 2,000 meters above sea level. The island is home to some of the largest lakes, and the majority of the island is covered in ice sheets all year long.
Population: 10,745 (2006)
Area: 507,451 km2
The island is entirely in Indonesia and is the world’s sixth-largest. The largest city is Medan, and the highest point is Kerinci. The climate is hot and tropical, and the rainforest is home to thousands of different species of flora and fauna.
Population: 50,365,538 (2010)
Area: 473,481 km2
Honshu is Japan’s main and most populous island, measuring 130 kilometers long and 50 to 230 kilometers wide, with a coastline of 5450 kilometers. Honshu is one of the most earthquake-prone and volcanically active areas on the planet; Tokyo, the world’s largest city, is located on this island, and Mount Fuji, at 3,776 meters, is the highest point.
Population: 103 million (2005)
Area: 230,500 km²
Victoria Island, located in northern Canada, is the eighth largest island in the world and the second-largest in Canada after Baffin Island. The largest city in Victoria is Cambridge Bay. The Shaler Mountains have the highest point at 655 meters. The climate is mild, and the ice sheet covers the majority of the island in some seasons.
Population: 1,875 (2006)
Area: 217,291 km2
It is the ninth-largest island on the European continent, surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands. England, Scotland, and Wales make up the United Kingdom, and the majority ethnic group is British. This island’s highest point is 1,344 meters.
Population: 63 million (2009)
Area: 209,331 km2
Ellesmere Island is very close to Greenland due to its proximity to the north pole, but it is completely covered by ice sheets and is not an ideal place to live. The island has only 146 inhabitants, 141 of whom live in Grise Fiord (the largest city in Ellesmere), and the highest point is Barbeau Peak, which stands at 2,616 meters.
Population: 146 (2006)
Area: 196,236 km²
Other Largest Islands in the World
|Rank||Islands||Area (km2)||Area (square miles)||Country|
|12||South Island||145,836||56,308||New Zealand|
|14||North Island||111,583||43,082||New Zealand|
|17||Cuba (main island)||104,556||40,369||Cuba|
|18||Iceland (main island)||101,826||39,315||Iceland|
|20||Ireland||84,421||32,595||Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom|
|22||Hispaniola||73,929||28,544||The Dominican Republic and Haiti|
|25||Sri Lanka (main island)||65,268||25,200||Sri Lanka|
|26||Tasmania (main island)||65,022||25,105||Australia|
|28||Alexander Island||49,070||18,946||Antarctic territorial|
|29||Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego||47,401||18,302||Argentina|
|30||Severny Island (Novaya Zemlya, North)||47,079||18,177||Russia|