Countries in Oceania

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The continent Oceania includes 14 countries located in the South Pacific areas of Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Despite being the world's smallest continent (excluding Antarctica) in terms of both area and population, Oceania still covers some 3,291,903 square miles and is home to more than 40 million inhabitants. Australia alone is a huge country—the sixth largest in the world (and technically the world's largest island), covering five time zones and an area of 7.7 million km² (3 million mi²).

Sources disagree upon the precise boundaries of Oceania. The broadest definitions consider everything between mainland Asia and the Americas to be part of Oceania, including Japan and the Aleutian Islands. By comparison, the narrowest definitions consider even Australia to be a separate continent and include only the islands of the South Pacific. The most widely accepted definition places the countries of not only Japan but also Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines in Asia (for both cultural and geographical regions), and collects the remaining fourteen countries of the South Pacific region as Oceania.

Countries of Oceania

Country Population 2022 Total Area (km²) Total Area (mi²)
Australia 26,297,846 7,692,024 2,969,907
Fiji 932,668 18,272 7,055
Kiribati 132,683 811 313
Marshall Islands 41,569 181 70
Micronesia 114,164 702 271
Nauru 12,668 21 8.1
New Zealand 5,205,602 270,467 104,428
Palau 18,055 459 177
Papua New Guinea 10,229,679 462,840 178,700
Samoa 223,833 2,842 1,097
Solomon Islands 731,528 28,896 11,157
Tonga 106,858 747 288
Tuvalu 11,312 26 10
Vanuatu 329,642 12,189 4,706

The countries of Oceania display a wide variety of life expectancies, economic standings, financial markets, overall quality of life, and scores on the Human Development Index released by the United Nations. The most developed nations in Oceania are inarguably Australia and New Zealand, which the World Bank ranks as high-income countries. In contrast, countries such as Tuvalu and Kiribati are considered middle-income countries that have much further to go in terms of sustaining a healthy economy and population.

The three most populous countries of Oceania are Australia (24.7 million), Papua New Guinea (8.4 million), and New Zealand (4.7 million). Population numbers drop quite dramatically after these three countries, as most of the remaining countries are small islands and archipelagos. Fiji and the Solomon Islands are relatively well-known and have fairly substantial populations of 912,241 and 623,281, respectively, but other island nations, such as New Caledonia (279,821), Tonga (109,008) and Palau (21,964), are much smaller in scale. The smallest islands in Oceania are Niue, which lies around 2400 km northeast of New Zealand, and Tokelau, a remote group of atolls located between Hawaii and New Zealand, with a tiny population of just 1,319.

Oceania also includes a number of territories which are not recognized as full countries by the United Nations.

Territories of Oceania

Territory Parent Country Population 2022 Total Area (km²) Total Area (mi²)
American Samoa United States 45,443 199 77
Cook Islands New Zealand 17,603 236 91
French Polynesia France 284,876 4,167 1,609
Guam United States 172,396 549 212
New Caledonia France 292,198 18,575 7,172
Niue New Zealand 1,653 260 100
Norfolk Islands Australia 1,748 34.6 13.4
Northern Mariana Islands United States 58,398 464 179
Pitcairn Islands United Kingdom 47 47 18
Tokelau New Zealand 1,398 12 4.6
Wallis and Futuna France 10,759 142 55

Countries in Oceania


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There are 23 Countries & Territories in Oceania.

Countries in Oceania