Oceania is the smallest continent both by area and population (excluding Antarctica, of course), with just 14 countries making up the area that covers Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and Australasia. Oceania is about 3,291,903 square miles and has over 40 million inhabitannts.
Australia and New Zealand are two of the largest countries on the continent, with populations of 24.7 million and 4.7 million, respectively. However, the island nation of Papua New Guinea is actually more populous than New Zealand, with 8.4 million inhabitants.
Population numbers drop quite dramatically after these three countries. Most of the remaining countries are archipelagos made up of many remote islands. 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. The smallest islands in Oceania are Niue in the South Pacific Ocean, around 2400 km northeast of New Zealand, and Tokelau, a remote group of atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, located between Hawaii and New Zealand, with a tiny population of just 1,319.
While Oceania may be the smallest continent, it is nevertheless a very large area. Australia alone is a huge country – the sixth largest in the world (for comparison, the United States is the fourth largest), covering an area of 7.7 million km2. In fact, it is so big that it has five time zones, and is technically the world's largest island.
Oceania has a wide a variety of life expectancies, economic standings, financial markets, overall life quality, and scores on the Human Development Index released by the United Nations. The most developed nation in Oceania is inarguable Australia, with New Zealand coming in as a close second, but the nations that have much further to go in terms of sustaining a healthy population are countries like Tuvalu and Kiribati.