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Island countries in the world

An island country (also island nation) is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands . As of 2008, forty-seven (appoximately 25%) of the world's countries are island countries.


The percentage of island countries that are democratic is higher than that for continental countries, although historically they have been more prone to political instability.


Island countries have often been the target of maritime greed and historical rivalry between other countries.Island countries are more susceptible to attack by large, continental countries due to their size and dependence on sea lines of communication and air lines of communication.Many island nations are also vulnerable to predation by mercenaries and other foreign invaders.

Natural resources

Many island countries rely heavily on fish for their main supply of food.Some are turning to renewable energy—such as wind power, hydropower, geothermal power and biodiesel from copra oil—to combat the rise in oil prices.


Some island nations are more affected by climate change than other nations. Some low-lying Pacific island nations are slowly being submerged by the rising water levels of the Pacific Oceanmarker.Climate change also impacts island countries by causing natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, hurricanes, flash floods and drought.


Many island countries rely heavily on imports and are greatly affected by changes in the global economy.The economies of island nations are usually smaller and more vulnerable to shipping costs, environmental damage to infrastructure, and isolation from other economies than those of larger, continental countries (excluding Japan and the U.K.)The dominant industry for many island nations is tourism.


Many island countries are small with relatively low populations.

Some island countries are centred on one or two major islands, such as the United Kingdommarker, Trinidad and Tobagomarker, New Zealandmarker, and Japanmarker. Others are spread out over hundreds or thousands of smaller islands, such as the Philippinesmarker, Indonesiamarker, and the Maldivesmarker. Some island countries share their islands with other countries; these include the United Kingdom and Irelandmarker, Haitimarker and Dominican Republicmarker, and Indonesiamarker, which shares islands with Papua New Guineamarker, Bruneimarker, East Timormarker and Malaysiamarker.

Australia is geographically considered a continent, not an island, although in the past it was considered an island country. It is sometimes still considered an island country.

See also


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