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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Those islands lying south of the tropic of Cancer are traditionally grouped into three divisions: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.



Pacific islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania [1] (although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago),

The region's islands are classified into two groups, high islands and low islands. Volcanoes form high islands, which generally can support more people and have a more fertile soil. Low islands are reefs or atolls, and are relatively small and infertile. Melanesia, the most populous of the three regions, contains mainly high islands, while most of Micronesia and Polynesia are low islands.

In addition, there are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; Taiwan; the Philippines; the South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which includes the Ryukyu Islands. The inhabitants of these islands are not considered to be Pacific Islanders and are usually identified with their nearest continent.

List of islands

This is a list of many of the major Pacific islands, organized by archipelago or political unit. In order to keep this list of moderate size, links are given to more complete lists for countries with large numbers of small or uninhabited islands.

Note: many Polynesian languages have a glottal stop, which in most of them is seldom written, however. If a name with a < ʻ > cannot be found, try to rewrite it without it. See 'okina for more info.

  • Niue (Savage Island)

See also


  1. ^ Collins Atlas of the World, Page 83


  • William Collins Sons & Co Ltd (1983), Collins Atlas of the World (revised 1995 ed.), London W6 8JB: HarperCollins, ISBN 0 00 448227 1 

Simple English

Pacific Islands are islands that are in the Pacific Ocean. There are about 20,000 or 30,000 of them. These islands are sometimes called Oceania. The Pacific Islands are in three groups. These groups are Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. People who live on these islands are sometimes called Pacific Islanders. These islands can be made by Volcanoes or made on coral reefs. The islands made by volcanoes are bigger, and more people can live on them. The islands made on coral reefs are smaller, and fewer people can live on them.


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