With 221,831 named islands (and an estimated 267,570 total), Sweden has the most islands of all countries. But, only 1,000 of them are inhabited. Below are some of the main islands you can find in the country.
# of Islands 🔽
Gothland is the largest island in Sweden, covering close to 2,994 square km of landmass. It has a population of 58,003 people, with 23,600 living in Visby. The island is a province, municipality, diocese, and county of Sweden. It features two smaller islands in the north, including Faro and Gotska Sandon.
Its economy revolves around tourism, food processing, information technology, and design industries that utilize the island workforce.
Visitors to the Gothland island enjoy various water activities, including diving, sailing, kayaking, fishing, etc. They can also enjoy exploring the island via its network of walking trails.
Oland is the second biggest island but the smallest province in Sweden, covering 1,347 square km. It is a permanent residence for approximately 26,000 people. It is based in the Baltic Sea, off the shoreline of Smaland province.
When it comes to administration, Oland is considered part of Kalmar county and is subject to its administration. However, the island features Borgholm and Morbylanga municipalities that offer the locals minor government services.
The main economic activities on the island include farming and fishing. Visitors can enter and leave the island via the three and a half miles Oland bridge.
Orust island comes third, after Oland, covering close to 346 square km. However, the country authorities declared the island the fourth-largest, following the country’s 2014 statistics.
The island is a municipality, with Henan being its largest town and municipal capital. It boasts more than 15,160 inhabitants living in its fishing villages, including Ellos, Halleviksstrand, Strioken, and Svanvik.
The orust municipality contributes significantly to Vastra Gotland from its numerous shipyards, including Hallberg-Rassy and Najad Varvet shipyards.
Covering 199 square km, the Hisingen Island is the fifth-largest in Sweden. It homes more than 130,000 inhabitants, making it the most populous island in the country.
Hisingen is a river Island bordering the Gota Alv river to the East and South and Nordre Alv and Kattegat to the North and West.
The island is part of Vastra Gotaland county. It features the Volvo Group Company and the port of Gothenburg, which contribute to the health economy of the island and Vastra Gotaland county in general.
With 148 square km, Tjorn is the sixth-largest island in Sweden. It is located in Bohuslan province, on the Swedish west coast. It is home to more than 15,774 people. The neighboring areas to the island include the Stenungsund town to the East and Orust island to the north.
The island is a municipality, with Skarhamn being the largest town and municipal capital. The primary economic activity on the island is fishing. This explains why Tjorn is made up of fishing communities like Kyrkesund, Rönnäng, and Klädesholmen.
The island is also frequented by tourists who come to swim, dive, sail or hike around the island as they enjoy attractions along the Tjorn trails.
# of Islands
# of Inhabited Islands
|Sweden||267,570||984||3,218||The vast majority of Sweden's islands are uninhabited. However, more than 1.6 million (17% of population) Swedes lived on an island in 2013, thanks largely to several densely populated islands located inside large cities.|
|Norway||239,057||60||25,148||Number of inhabited islands is minimum estimate.|
|Canada||52,455||202,080||Canada has several large inhabited islands, including Prince Edward Island, a founding province, Vancouver Island, with British Columbia's capital of Victoria, Montreal, and Manitoulin Island.|
|Chile||43,471||2,324||6,435||3,739 islands (above 9,000 m²/97,000 ft²) and 2180 islets (above 3,000 m²/32,000 ft²).|
|Indonesia||17,504||6,000||54,716||Largest archipelagic state. 5 major islands and about 30 smaller groups, about 6,000 are inhabited.|
|Philippines||7,641||2,000||36,289||Thousands of islands are unnamed and tiny.|
|China||6,961||433||14,500||500 m² / 5,400 ft² only. Excludes Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.|
|Japan||6,852||430||29,751||14,125 islands with a circumference of at least 0.1 km.|
|United Kingdom||6,346||129||12,429||Includes all offshore islands marked on Ordnance Survey maps. England, Scotland & Wales: 6289; Northern Ireland: 57. (Not included: Isle of Man: 30; Bailiwick of Guernsey: 57; Bailiwick of Jersey: 274; overseas dependencies.) Inhabited islands. England: 24; Scotland: 93; Wales: 9; Northern Ireland: 2|
|Greece||6,000||227||13,676||Depending on inclusion criteria counts vary from 1,200 to 6,000.The number inhabited is variously cited as between 166 and 227.|
|Papua New Guinea||1,400||5,152|
|Marshall Islands||1,225||24||370||29 atolls and 5 isolated islands|
|Maldives||1,196||187||644||1,192 islands in total of 10 atolls; 187 islands are inhabited|
|United Arab Emirates||700||1,318|
|Micronesia||607||65||6,112||Four major island groups|
|New Zealand||600||15,134||Approximate number within about 50 km (31 mi) of the two main islands; excludes associated states and Antarctic islands|
|Venezuela||479||2,800||Most of them are virgin lands and Margarita Island is the largest island of Venezuela.|
|Algeria||240||1,200||32 islands and 208 islets; coastal islands/islets only.|
|Poland||203||770||Usedom (shared with Germany) and Wolin are barrier islands; the rest are either lagoon, lake or river islands|
|Tonga||169||36||419||The total surface area of the archipelago is about 750 km² / 290 mi², scattered over 700,000 km² / 270,000 mi² of the southern Pacific Ocean|
|Sri Lanka||61||3||1,340||Most of the islands are situated in the north and eastern parts of the from the main land. The most prominent islets are west of the Jaffna Peninsula in the Northern Province|
|Antigua and Barbuda||54||2||153||3 main islands (Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda) and 51 offshore islands|
|Kiribati||33||21||1,143||32 atolls and 1 limestone island; 21 islands are inhabited|
|Iceland||31||3||4,970||1 large and "about 30 smaller islands, and thousands of rocks and skerries"|
|Portugal||23||23||1,794||All of their 23 islands are inhabited|
|Malta||21||3||219||3 inhabited (Malta, Gozo and Comino), 3 islets and 12 "large rocks"|
|Cape Verde||15||9||965||10 islands and 5 islets|
|Pakistan||12||7||1,046||Pakistan's largest island, Astola|
|Tuvalu||9||9||24||6 atolls and 3 reef islands|
|Barbados||4||1||97||There are currently two islands and two banks in Barbados. An additional historical island (Pelican Island) no longer exists|
Island categories differ by country and can include atolls, cayes, keys, and sandy outcrops. Sweden has the most islands worldwide, with an estimated 267,570.
At least 50 countries worldwide count islands as part of their land mass. Some are island nations, and some are part of extensive archipelagos.