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The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Oceanmarker. Those islands lying south of the tropic of Cancermarker are traditionally grouped into three divisions: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.


Pacific islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania (although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago),

The region's islands are classified into two groups, high islands and low islands. Volcanoes form high islands, which generally can support more people and have a more fertile soil. Low islands are reefs or atolls, and are relatively small and infertile. Melanesia, the most populous of the three regions, contains mainly high islands, while most of Micronesia and Polynesia are low islands.

In addition, there are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islandsmarker of Ecuadormarker; the Aleutian Islandsmarker in Alaskamarker; the Russianmarker islands of Sakhalinmarker and Kuril Islandsmarker; Taiwanmarker; the Philippinesmarker; the South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesiamarker; and the island nation of Japanmarker, which includes the Ryukyu Islandsmarker. The inhabitants of these islands are not considered to be Pacific Islanders and are usually identified with their nearest continent.

List of islands

This is a list of many of the major Pacific islands, organized by archipelago or political unit. In order to keep this list of moderate size, links are given to more complete lists for countries with large numbers of small or uninhabited islands.

Note: many Polynesian languages have a glottal stop, which in most of them is seldomly written, however. If a name with a > cannot be found, try to rewrite it without it. See 'okina for more info.

  • Niuemarker (Savage Island)

See also



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