Greenland, one of the largest islands in the world

Largest Islands in the World

List of the Largest Island in the World – What is an Island?

There is endless debate on what actually constitutes an island. In theory, the continental landmasses could be considered huge islands because they are surrounded by sea. For example, if Australia were to be counted among the largest islands in the world it would easily take first place – because it’s three times bigger than Greenland. But it isn’t, so it’s not included in this list of the 25 biggest, officially recognised, islands on Earth.

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Largest islands in the worldSize km2Size sq. milesSovereigntyLocationPopulationCapital (bold) or Largest City
Greenland2,166,086836,326DenmarkNorth Atlantic / Arctic56,750Nuuk
New Guinea786,000303,475Papua New Guinea, IndonesiaPacific7,500,000Port Moresby is capital of Papua New Guinea and largest city on the island
Borneo752,000290,347Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, Malaysia & IndonesiaIndian Ocean16,500,000Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital of Brunei, Kuching is the state capital of Sarawak, Malaysia.
Madagascar587,041226,597Republic of MadagascarIndian Ocean22,000,000Antananarivo
Baffin Island470,000181,467CanadaArctic / Arctic Ocean11,000Iqaluit
Sumatra425,000164,093IndonesiaIndian Ocean51,000,000Medan
Honshu231,09089,224JapanPacific100,000,000Tokyo is largest city and capital of Japan BUT the island of Honshu does not have its own capital.
Great Britain219,33084,683United KingdomAtlantic / North Sea60,500,000London
Victoria Island217,29083,896CanadaCanadian Arctic / Arctic Ocean1900Cambridge Bay
Ellesmere Island196,23575,766CanadaArctic / Arctic Ocean146Grise Fiord
Sulawesi
(formerly Celebes)
179,40069,266IndonesiaIndian Ocean16,000,000Makassar is the capital of the province of South Sulawesi
South Island
153,75759,366New ZealandPacific1,000,000Christchurch
Java126,65048,900IndonesiaIndian Ocean130,000,000Jakarta
North Island
114,72944,297New ZealandPacific3,330,000Auckland is the largest city. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand is also on the north island.
Newfoundland Island
108,86042,030CanadaNorth Atlantic480,000St. John’s is largest city and capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Cuba109,88442,426Republic of CubaCaribbean11,200,000Havana
Luzon108,17241,765PhilippinesWest Pacific46,500,000Manila is the capital of Philippines and the largest city on the island.
Iceland103,00039,770IcelandNorth Atlantic318,200Reykjavik
Mindanao94,59436,523PhilippinesPacific14,100,000Davao City
Ireland84,42632,597Republic of Ireland / UK of GB & NI*Atlantic / North Sea6,200,000Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland and largest city in Ireland.
Hokkaido83,45032,220JapanPacific5,500,000Sapporo is the largest city and capital of the prefecture of Hokkaido.
Hispaniola76,48029,529Haiti / Dominican RepublicCaribbean / Atlantic19,442,012Port-au-Prince / Santo Domingo
Sakhalin72,49227,989RussiaNorth Pacific580,000Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Banks Island70,02827,038CanadaCanadian Arctic Ocean136Sachs Harbor
Tasmania68,40026,409AustraliaPacific502,600Hobart is the largest city and the state capital of Tasmania
Sri Lanka
(formerly Ceylon)
65,61025,332Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri LankaIndian Ocean20,500,000Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo is the largest city.
* United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

John Donne (English poet and cleric) said “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent” – at a time when some of the world’s largest islands had not even been discovered.

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