Share amazing photographs of your vacations.

Largest Islands in the World That are Tremendously Giant

Largest Islands in the World
Ever wondered which are the largest islands in the world? Vacayholics has just the information for you...
Tanmay Tikekar
Last Updated: Jun 1, 2018
Greenland or Greenlands?
It is a widely accepted theory that under the permanent ice sheet Greenland is actually composed of three islands, but the unified landmass is considered a single entity.
Less than 30% of the Earth's surface is occupied by land, seven giant continents make up the overwhelming majority. But a considerable number of islands dot the Earth's surface, and are in fact some of the most populous regions in the world.

The seven continents are technically islands, since they are landmasses surrounded entirely by water. However, they are not usually considered among the largest islands in the world, since even the smallest continent, Australia, is more than four times larger than the largest 'island', Greenland. By the strict definition though, the seven continents are actually the largest islands in the world.
Asia: 44,579,000 sq km (17,210,000 sq mi)
Asia map
Africa: 30,221,532 sq km (11,670,000 sq mi)
Africa map
North America: 24,709,000 sq km (9,540,000 sq mi)
North America map
South America: 17,840,000 sq km (6,890,000 sq mi)
South America map
Antarctica: 14,000,000 sq km (5,405,000 sq mi)
Antarctica map
Europe: 10,180,000 sq km (3,931,000 sq mi)
Europe map
Australia: 8,500,000 sq km (3,270,000 sq mi)
Australia map
Asia is also the most populous continent, and hence the most populous island, in the world.

Moving on to non-continental islands, here are the world's largest islands in order.
Largest Islands in the World
Island Area Country
Greenland (Main Island) 2,130,800 sq km (822, 706 sq mi) Greenland (part of the Kingdom of Denmark)
New Guinea
785, 753 sq km (303, 381 sq mi)
Papua New Guinea (largely within New Guinea), Indonesia
748, 168 sq km (288, 869 sq mi)
Brunei (entirely on Borneo), Indonesia, Malaysia
587, 713 sq km (226, 917 sq mi)
Madagascar (largely within the island)
Baffin Island
507, 451 sq km (195, 928 sq mi)
473, 481 sq km (184, 954 sq mi)
225, 800 sq km (87, 182 sq mi)
Victoria Island
217, 291 sq km (83, 897 sq mi)
Great Britain
209, 331 sq km (80, 823 sq mi)
England, Scotland, Wales (Great Britain)
Ellesmere Island
196, 236 sq km (75, 767 sq mi)
180, 681 sq km (69, 761 sq mi)
South Island
145, 836 sq km (56, 308 sq mi)
New Zealand
136, 794 sq km (53, 589 sq mi)
North Island
112, 583 sq km (43, 082 sq mi)
New Zealand
109, 965 sq km (42, 458 sq mi)
These are the largest islands in the world by area. However, in human terms, just because they are the largest does not mean they are suitable for habitation. Some of the largest islands in the world are also some of the most sparsely populated regions in the world. Greenland and Baffin Island, for instance, lie close to or in the Arctic circle, and hence only have sporadic human habitation. In contrast, tropical islands are some of the most densely populated islands in the world. Here are the largest islands in the world by population.

Note: The numbers are rounded off to the nearest hundred thousand.
Most Populous Islands in the World
  • Java (Indonesia) 135,000,000
  • Honshū (Japan) 103,000,000
  • Great Britain (Great Britain) 61,000,000
  • Luzon (Philippines) 48,500,000
  • Sumatra (Indonesia) 47,000,000
  • Taiwan (Republic of China) 23,000,000
  • Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka) 21,000,000
  • Madagascar (Madagascar) 20,500,000
  • Mindanao (Philippines) 20,300,000
  • Hispaniola (Dominican Republic, Haiti) 20,000,000
  • Borneo (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia) 19,700,000
  • Sulawesi (Indonesia) 17,000,000
  • Salsette Island (India) 15,000,000
  • Kyūshū (Japan) 13,000,000
  • Cuba (Cuba) 11,000,000
  • Hainan (PR China) 8,700,000
At just 619 sq km, Salsette Island is the smallest and most densely populated island in this list. It houses the city of Mumbai, and is, in fact, the ninth most populated island in the world.

USA contains many islands, even excluding the Hawaii archipelago. Many of these are concentrated in Alaska. Here are the 10 largest islands in the US (excluding Puerto Rico).
Largest Islands in the United States
Island Area State
10,456 sq km (4037 sq mi)
Kodiak Island
9,510 sq km (3,672 sq mi)
Prince of Wales Island
6,700 sq km (2,587 sq mi)
Chichagof Island
5,400 sq km (2,085 sq mi)
Saint Lawrence Island
4,430 sq km (1,710 sq mi)
Admiralty Island
4,270 sq km (1,649 sq mi)
Baranof Island
4,237 sq km (1,636 sq mi)
Nunivak Island
4,210 sq km (1,625 sq mi)
Unimak Island
4,160 sq km (1,606 sq mi)
Long Island
3,629 sq km (1,401 sq mi)
New York
Long Island is the largest island in the 48 contiguous states of the US.