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Which country has the most islands?

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The world is home to thousands of islands. Some are huge, like Greenland, while others are tiny and unpopulated. Some are tropical and lush, while others are rocky outpoints. There is something so romantic about an island vacation — maybe because they seem so remote and removed from the stresses of our workaday lives. But which country has the most islands? That is the travel trivia question! Take a look at the options below, take a guess, and then scroll down for the answer.

a) Indonesia
b) Finland
c) United States of America
d) Canada
e) Sweden
f) The Philippines

Which country has the most islands?

(Scroll down for the answer…)

There is some debate about which country has the most islands. But the answer is e) Sweden.


The CIA World Factbook states that Indonesia has 17,508 islands but other sources put the number over 18,000. That's a whole lot of islands, but it's certainly not the most in the world.


Meanwhile, Finland's Official Tourism Board claims that Finland is home to nearly 180,000 islands. As someone who is primarily Finnish in heritage, I would brag about this fact, if Finns ever bragged about anything.


Of course, it makes sense that countries with more landmass boast a large number of islands, too. In the United States, Alaska alone has over 2,600 islands. Take a look at this full list of U.S. islands.


When including land, coastline, lakes and rivers, Canada is much bigger than the United States. In fact, Canada is the second largest country in the world by area. It is estimated there are over 30,000 islands just along the eastern shore of Georgian Bay (a.k.a. The Thirty Thousand Islands). It is unknown exactly how many islands exist within Canada, but here is a partial list.


True island lovers, though, should book a trip to Sweden. This Scandinavian country holds the record as the country with the most islands. In fact, there are over 221,000 islands in Sweden.

The Philippines

The Philippines is no slouch when it comes to counting islands, either. This nation is made up of thousands of islands and that number is growing. In 2016, an additional 534 islands were discovered, bringing the archipelago's total to over 7,600.

More Travel Trivia

If you liked this post, challenge yourself with these additional travel trivia questions!

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Sweden has the most islands then Finland
    then Norway it was a test question on GSN TV today

  2. Smrutee Dash says

    It is indonesia with something 17,000 islands

  3. Bigg E Chees says

    its clearly antarctica guys. with the continent splitting apart, there are approximately 525,125 islands

  4. In Norway we have differen`t names of what`s pops up from the ocen. Is it an iceland if its submerged under the ocean during tide?
    How about a rock thats sticks upp from a river? And when it stops raining? Small Iceland`s in Norway is called holme or skjær dipending on its shape.

  5. Evert Meulie says

    May I suggest Norway? 🙂

  6. Yordan Hasyem says

    nope. still Indonesia

  7. what is an island? surrounded by water with at least one tree. Canada has many surrounded by water land, but the country is so cold that most of its lands are covered with ice and have no tree. So technically, they are not islands.

  8. No country on earth has more islands than Canada. Period.

  9. Jim Athanasiadis says

    Indonesia has 17508 “proper” islands of which around 6000 are inhabited and 922 are permanently inhabited. If Indonesia where to count every rock jutting out of the ocean as an island they would outnumber those of all the other countries mentioned above. Perhaps when judging which country has the most islands, the true measure should be on “permanently inhabited” islands.

  10. Leif Trulsson says

    Well, Sweden has 221 831 islands, but only about 98 400 of these are surrounded by sea water, the rest you’ll find in any of the 95 700 lakes that is larger than 10 000 sq meters. Here’s some official statistics
    It’s a little bit old but I think you get the picture.

  11. تور کیش says

    thanks for sharing. I didn’t think it be Finland

  12. Jeppe Utzon says

    Sweden has 221,800 islands according to a study in 2001. The count was conducted by their official statistics agency. Google it. 🙂

  13. its canada. they have at least 300,000 islands, and several thousand that are not accounted for. the canadian arctic archipelago is considered the largest archipelago in the world, with over 36,000 islands stretched over 1,424,500 km2 . just one relatively small bay in one lake in southern canada has 30,000 islands. its coastline is four times longer than any other country and is completely littered with islands. the problem is that canada is a huge, hulking country, the second largest in the world, but its population is among the lowest in the world. much of the country is uninhabited wilderness, and no one has ever bothered to calculate the enormous number of canadas islands, or lakes, waterfalls, mountains or bays for that matter.

  14. How about Sweden? Maybe over 200000? Or Canada?
    I guess it will change as the seas rise….

  15. Woohoo! Thanks again 🙂

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