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How Many Countries Are There In Oceania? Photo Sporcle

Where is Oceania?

Oceania is a region of the South Pacific Ocean that consists of many different island groups. It covers an area of more than 3.3 million square miles (8.5 million sq km). The island groups within Oceania are both countries and dependencies or territories of other foreign nations.

Seafarers from Europe were exploring the region in the 16th century, however, the Polynesians were the first explorers and settlers.

The total human population is estimated at 35 million, with just over 22 million in Australia and 4 million in New Zealand. Approximately 9 million people inhabit the various Pacific Island countries and territories, with differences observed according to the size of the country.

Oceania also contains a diverse range of ecosystems, from coral reefs to kelp forests, mangroves to montane forests, and wetlands to deserts.

Throughout the Pacific, nature supports the daily livelihoods of island communities. Nature is both culturally significant and the primary source of food, water and income. However, increasing pressures from growing populations, extractive industries, infrastructure developments and invasive species are increasing the risk of biodiversity loss in many countries.

How Many Countries Are There In The Oceania?

Photo Tourist Tube
Photo Tourist Tube

There are a total of 14 countries and 9 dependencies in Oceania. More than 43 million people live in the region. Australia is by far the largest and most populous country in Oceania. The countries of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea also have significant land masses and populations in the millions. Oceania’s other countries and dependencies, however, consist of many small islands, and have populations ranging from around 900 thousand to less than 1,500.

#

Country

Population

(2020)

Subregion

1

Australia

25,499,884

Australia and New Zealand

2

Papua New Guinea

8,947,024

Melanesia

3

New Zealand

4,822,233

Australia and New Zealand

4

Fiji

896,445

Melanesia

5

Solomon Islands

686,884

Melanesia

6

Micronesia

548,914

Micronesia

7

Vanuatu

307,145

Melanesia

8

Samoa

198,414

Polynesia

9

Kiribati

119,449

Micronesia

10

Tonga

105,695

Polynesia

11

Marshall Islands

59,190

Micronesia

12

Palau

18,094

Micronesia

13

Tuvalu

11,792

Polynesia

14

Nauru

10,824

Micronesia

Dependencies or other territories

#

Territory

Population

(2020)

Dependency of

1

New Caledonia

285,498

France

2

French Polynesia

280,908

France

3

Guam

168,775

U.S.A.

4

Northern Mariana Islands

57,559

U.S.A.

5

American Samoa

55,191

U.S.A.

6

Cook Islands

17,564

(partly New Zealand)

7

Wallis & Futuna

11,239

France

8

Niue

1,626

(partly New Zealand)

9

Tokelau

1,357

New Zealand

What are the countries In The Oceania?

1.Australia

Area: 2,988,901 square miles (7,741,220 sq km)

Population: 23,232,413

Capital: Canberra

Photo Shutterstock
Photo Shutterstock

The Commonwealth of Australia, as it is known officially, is the largest and most populous country in Oceania. More than 25 million people call Australia home, which means that the country is home to more than half of Oceania’s entire population. Australia has the unique distinction of being both a country and a continent. It is the world’s smallest continent, but is also the largest country in Oceania, encompassing more than 7.6 million km2 of land area. Australia is also home to Oceania’s biggest economy.

Oceania's biggest and most populous city is Sydney. More than 5 million people live in Australia's biggest city. Sydney has the most diverse and multicultural population in Oceania. More than 250 languages are spoken here.

READ MORE: Top 10 Highest Mountains in Australia

2.Papua New Guinea

Photo Doanhnhanplus
Photo Doanhnhanplus

Area: 178,703 square miles (462,840 sq km)

Population: 6,909,701

Capital: Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea is Oceania’s second-most populous country, with a population of approximately 9 million. It is also the biggest and most populous country in the subregion of Melanesia. Papua New Guinea encompasses a total land area of 452,860 km2. Most of its territory is on the island of New Guinea, which it shares with Indonesia. Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world. There are more than 700 languages spoken in the country, though English is the country’s official language.

Palau is a small island country based in the western Caroline Islands, which are located in the North Pacific Ocean. The country is about 700 km east of the Philippines. Palau consists of 20 large islands and 566 smaller islands. The country’s land area is 460 km2, and its population is just over 18,000. The people of Palau are Micronesian, though the population also has Malayan and Melanesian elements. Palau has its own Indigenous language, known as Palauan, but English is the country’s official language. Palau is in free association with the US, which guarantees the country’s external security. The currency of Palau is the US dollar.

3.New Zealand

Area: 103,363 square miles (267,710 sq km)

Population: 4,510,327

Capital: Wellington

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

The larger island of New Zealand, South Island, is the 14th largest island in the world. North Island, though, is where about 75 percent of the population lives.

Oceania's Tallest Point Is In New Zealand

The highest mountain in Oceania is Aoraki/Mount Cook which is located in New Zealand. Also known as Aoraki, at its highest point, this towering mountain reaches a maximum elevation of 12,316 feet. The Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park was opened in 1953 and is home to 19 mountain peaks measuring over 9,840 feet as well as 72 glaciers. The local South Island Maori refer to the mountain as Aoraki which can be translated to "cloud piercer."

Do you know?

Oceania is home to more than 43 million people.

More than half of Oceania's population live in Australia.

4.Fiji

Photo Shutterstock
Photo Shutterstock

Area: 7,055 square miles (18,274 sq km)

Population: 920,938

Capital: Suva

Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands, though just 100 of them are inhabited. The country’s two main islands are Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, the latter of which is where the country’s capital, Suva, is located. The country comprises a land area of 18,270 km2. About 900,000 people live in Fiji. Most of them are of either Indian origin or members of the country’s Indigenous community. Fijian politics is largely dominated by the conflict between these two groups.

5.Solomon Islands

Area: 11,157 square miles (28,896 sq km)

Population: 647,581

Capital: Honiara

The Solomon Islands contain more than 1,000 islands in the archipelago, and some of the nastiest ​fighting of World War II occurred there.

6.Federated States of Micronesia

Area: 271 square miles (702 sq km)

Population: 104,196

Capital: Palikir

Micronesia's archipelago has four main groups among its 607 islands. Most people live ​in the coastal areas of the high islands; the mountainous interiors are largely uninhabited

7.Vanuatu

Area: 4,706 square miles (12,189 sq km)

Population: 282,814

Capital: Port-Villa

Sixty-five of Vanuatu's 80 islands are inhabited, and about 75 percent of the population lives in rural areas.

Vanuatu is a country consisting of about 80 islands in the South Pacific subregion of Melanesia, northeast of New Caledonia, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji. The total land area of the country is 12,190 km2. Because of where it is situated, Vanuatu is a hotspot for various natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. The country is home to approximately 312,000 people. The official languages of Vanuatu are English, French, and Bislama, which is an English-based creole.

8.Samoa

Photo Enchanting Travel
Photo Enchanting Travel

Area: 1,093 square miles (2,831 sq km)

Population: 200,108

Capital: Apia

Western Samoa gained its independence in 1962, the first in Polynesia to do so in the 20th century. The country officially dropped "Western" from its name in 1997.

9.Kiribati

Area: 313 square miles (811 sq km)

Population: 108,145

Capital: Tarawa

Straddling the equator, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is the island country of Kiribati. Kiribati encompasses three island groups, the Gilbert Islands, the Line Islands, and the Phoenix Islands. The country’s total land area is 810 km2, and its population is about 120,000 people. The people of Kiribati call themselves I-Kiribati, and are mostly of Micronesian descent.

10.Tonga

Area: 288 square miles (747 sq km)

Population: 106,479

Capital: Nuku'alofa

Tonga was devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita, a category 4 hurricane, the biggest storm ever to hit it, in February 2018. The country is home to about 106,000 people on 45 of 171 islands. Early estimates suggested that 75 percent of homes in the capital (population about 25,000) were destroyed.

11.Marshall Islands

Area: 70 square miles (181 sq km)

Population: 74,539

Capital: Majuro

The Marshall Islands contain historically significant World War II battlegrounds, and Bikini and Enewetak islands are where atomic bomb testing took place in the 1940s and 1950s.

12.Palau

Photo Shutterstock
Photo Shutterstock

Area: 177 square miles (459 sq km)

Population: 21,431

Capital: Melekeok

Palau is a small island country based in the western Caroline Islands, which are located in the North Pacific Ocean. The country is about 700 km east of the Philippines. Palau consists of 20 large islands and 566 smaller islands. The country’s land area is 460 km2, and its population is just over 18,000. The people of Palau are Micronesian, though the population also has Malayan and Melanesian elements. Palau has its own Indigenous language, known as Palauan, but English is the country’s official language. Palau is in free association with the US, which guarantees the country’s external security. The currency of Palau is the US dollar.

13.Tuvalu

Area: 10 square miles (26 sq km)

Population: 11,052

Capital: Funafuti

Rain catchment and wells provide the low-elevation island's only potable water.

Tuvalu - The Drowning Nation

Tuvalu is the smallest country in the world, only 26 Although the whole world is feeling the effects of climate change, the people dwelling on the small islands of Oceania do have something serious and imminent to worry about: the complete loss of their homes. Eventually, entire islands could be consumed by the expanding sea. What sounds like tiny changes in the sea level, often talked about in inches or millimeters, is very real to these islands and the people who live there (as well as the U.S. military installations there) because the warmer, expanding oceans have more devastating storms and storm surges, more flooding, and more erosion.

14.Nauru

Area: 8 square miles (21 sq km)

Population: 11,359

Capital: No capital; the government offices are in the Yaren District.

Extensive mining of phosphate has made 90 percent of Nauru unsuited to agriculture.

Climate Change Effects for Oceania's Small Islands

Best places to visit in the Oceania

1.Fraser Island (Australia), the largest sand island in the world

Located close to the Queensland Coast, approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world that is above 120 km.

The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forest and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. Of course, it also boasts beautiful white sand beaches with clear blue waters, perfect for those looking for a relaxing time away from it all. This place is definitely a must when traveling to Oceania.

2.Ayers Rock/Urulu, the most famous tourist centers in Australia

Australia’s most famous natural landmark has two names – Uluru and Ayers Rock. Located close to Alice Springs in Australia, it is a big sandstone monolith in the northern part of the country. It is a red rock dome and is regarded as one of the most famous tourist centers in Australia. It is also a World Heritage site and t is believed to have started around 550 million years ago.

It´s one of the most important natural wonders in the world and it is as well one of the best tourist attractions in Oceania. The Great Barrier Reef is so big that it can be seen from space and it is considered the largest living organism on the planet.

3.Kangaroo Island ,distinctly evolved and abundant wildlife

Photo The Islander
Photo The Islander

This island is also known as the “Galápagos of Australia” due to its distinctly evolved and abundant wildlife that includes kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, penguins and sea lions. The most scenic way to get here is by driving south from Adelaide to Cape Jervis and then taking a short ferry ride across the Backstairs Passage.

Opened in 2016 by National Parks South Australia, the Wilderness Trail took more than five years and AUS$5 million (£3 million) to complete. It had a mission to create “a great Australian walk” that makes the most of the spectacular scenery in this south-west corner of Kangaroo Island.

4.Bay of Islands, one of the most popular Oceania tourist attractions

One of the most popular New Zealand and Oceania tourist attractions, The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region well-known for its stunning beauty & history. For those looking for beaches and water activities, it's a true paradise. You can kayak along the coast, hike the island trails, enjoy in secluded coves, and explore unspoilt forests.

Another main attraction is its abundant marine life, that includes dolphins, whales, big marlins, and penguins which make for a popular fishing spot too.

5.Nelson National Park, New Zealand

The Nelson National Park is located in the Southern island of New Zealand. Established in 1956, it protects 102,000 hectares of the northern most Southern Alps. The park offers quiet beech forest, craggy mountains, clear streams and lakes of all sizes.

The Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project is working to restore 5000 hectares of this beech forest on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. If you take one of the many walks through the project, you will discover the results of this work by yourself; a stunning forest that is alive with the sights and sounds of birds.

6.The Stunning Landscapes Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Photo VisaGov
Photo VisaGov

The country of New Zealand is known for its stunning landscapes and sharp contrasts and the Lake Tekapo is the perfect example of the country’s amazingly beautiful natural sites. About three hours’ drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin, this stunning lake gets its intense ‘milky’ turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour which is suspended in the water. Truly spectacular!

7.Tahiti,a popular and luxury destination for honeymooners

As the largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is a very popular luxury vacation destination, also among honeymooners. Visitors are lured by its turquoise-water beaches, its peacefulness, its extinct volcanoes, its lagoons, and its waterfalls.

Tahiti’s natural beauty and interesting culture was immortalized by the famous artist Paul Gaugin in numerous paintings, which has contributed to its perception as a paradisal land.

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