APAC countries are those located within the APAC geographical region. The APAC region is loosely defined but generally considered to encompass the area in and around the western Pacific Ocean.
What does APAC stand for?
APAC stands for Asia-Pacific (A-sia PAC-ific). The term rose to favor during the 1980s and is used most often in a political or commerce-related context. On occastion, the APAC region may be alternately referred to as the Asia-Pac, AsPac, or APJ/APEJ (for "Asia-Pacific and Japan" or "Asia-Pacific Excluding Japan") region.
Which countries are APAC countries?
As a rule, most countries located throughout eastern and southern Asia—particularly those that touch the Pacific Ocean—and Oceania are usually considered APAC countries.
That said, because there is no official definition of the Asia Pacific region and its boundaries, the list of APAC countries can vary depending upon the context.
- Some lists include Russia, which lies to the north but is nonetheless technically part of East Asia.
- Some lists include the United States, Canada, Chile, and other countries in the Americas that lie along the Pacific Ocean's eastern coast.
- Some lists include countries with dependent territories in the region, such as the U.S. (American Samoa, the state of Hawaii, etc.), France (French Polynesia, New Caledonia), and the U.K. (Pitcairn Island, British Indian Ocean Territory).
- Some lists include only full countries and leave off dependent territories such as Niue (New Zealand), Guam (United States), and Norfolk Island (Australia)
- Other lists leave out the U.S. and Canada but include all of Asia alongside Australasia, Oceania, and the Pacific island nations.
What are the largest and smallest APAC countries?
By area, China is the largest country in the APAC region (unless one's list also includes Canada, Russia, or the U.S.), followed by Australia, India, Indonesia, and Mongolia. The smallest APAC country (not including dependent territories such as Tokelau, which is considered part of New Zealand) is Nauru, with an area of barely 21 km2(8 mi2).
The APAC region is also home to some of the world's most populous countries. China is the most populous nation in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, with about 1.44 billion people. India follows closely behind, with 1.39 billion. The third-most populous country in the region and the fourth-most populous in the world is Indonesia, with some 276.3 million people. The smallest country by population (again, not counting dependent territories) is either Tuvalu or Nauru, whose projected populations vary depending upon the source consulted, but which always fall between 10,000-12,000 people.
For a comparative list of the countries that various organizations consider part of APAC, scroll to the table below.