How Many Islands Are There in the US: 20 Largest, The Best and Full List
According to the WorldAtlas website and the U.S. Geological Survey, the United States claims ownership of 18,617 islands, including well-known locations like the Hawaiian Archipelago. Census data is gathered from some of these island regions as well as its 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are among these islands. The Corn Islands, Navassa Island, Quita Sueo Bank, Roncador Cay, Serrana Bank, Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, Canton and Enderbury Islands, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, The Midway Islands, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island are among the additional smaller island regions that are included. There are more than 2,600 islands in Alaska alone.
The Virgin Islands were next counted in 1917, and Puerto Rico was counted for the first time in 1899. Economic census programs were introduced in 1963 and 1958, respectively. Due to its crucial role in World War II, Wake Island has a distinguished past. It was purchased by Americans in 1898, listed as being populated in the US Census of 1950, and has been under US Air Force administration since 1962.
16 territories outside of the United States are governed by the United States of America. These include uninhabited (and disputed) areas like Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island, Serranilla Bank, and Wake Island as well as Puerto Rico, which has over 140 smaller islands and over 3 million residents.
American Samoa: 5 volcanic islands and 2 coral atolls make up this group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, which is roughly halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. Southeast of the Independent State of Samoa, from which American Samoa was split off in 1899, is where American Samoa is located. American Samoa is home to over 50,000 people, and those born there are regarded as non-citizen nationals of the United States.
Guam: An island in the North Pacific Ocean. It is the southernmost and largest island in the Mariana Islands archipelago. It has a population of approximately 162,000. People born in Guam are granted U.S. citizenship.
Northern Mariana Islands: a collection of fifteen islands in the North Pacific. The Northern Mariana Islands are home to over 50,000 people, the majority of whom reside on the island of Saipan. Citizenship in the United States is granted to people born in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Puerto Rico: Includes the main island of Puerto Rico and over 140 smaller islands in the Caribbean Sea. Puerto Rico is the largest and most populous of the U.S. territories, with over 3 million residents. People born in Puerto Rico are granted U.S. citizenship.
U.S. Virgin Islands: located to the east of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea. They comprise the eighty or so nearby smaller islands in addition to the three main islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. The USVI is home to more than 100,000 people. Citizenship in the US is conferred upon those born there.
Baker Island: An atoll in the Pacific Ocean. It lies just north of the equator, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. It is a National Wildlife Refuge for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife such as turtles.
Howland Island: a Pacific coral island that is a little to the northwest of Baker Island. Amelia Earhart planned to stop at Howland Island to refuel during her 1937 round-the-world flight, but she and her aircraft mysteriously vanished before they could get to the island. Howland Island is a National Wildlife Refuge at the moment.
Jarvis Island: A coral island in the Pacific Ocean, located just south of the equator and about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. It is a National Wildlife Refuge for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.
Johnston Atoll: consisting of four islands perched atop a platform of coral reef. About 860 miles southwest of Hawaii is where it is situated. Johnston Island was expanded by a factor of four, and Sand Island by a factor of two, using coral dredging. Coral dredging was also used to make the man-made islands of Akau and Hikina. Even though Johnston Atoll was governed by the American military for a long time, it is now a National Wildlife Refuge.
Kingman Reef: A partially submerged reef located about one-third of the way between Hawaii and American Samoa in the North Pacific Ocean. Above sea level, the reef is often awash and cannot support permanent plant and animal life. However, it is a National Wildlife Refuge for a diverse variety of marine wildlife.
Midway Atoll: Its name refers to the atoll’s location roughly halfway between Asia and North America. Furthermore, it is roughly halfway around the globe from the prime meridian. Despite not being a part of the state of Hawaii, Midway Atoll is a part of the Hawaiian archipelago. Although there are no permanent residents, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees have access to housing. Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, squid, octopus, crustaceans, fish, various seabirds, and the largest colony of Laysan albatrosses in the world can all be found on the atoll, which is a National Wildlife Refuge.
Palmyra Atoll: located southeast of Kingman Reef in the North Pacific Ocean, this group of about 50 islets. There aren’t any permanent residents, but there are accommodations and a research station for visitors like scientists and academics. A National Wildlife Refuge is the atoll.
Wake Island as seen from an airplane. Public domain photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo of the U.S. Air Force.
Bajo Nuevo Bank, also known as the Petrel Islands: Two coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, located about 150 miles southwest of Jamaica. Administered by Colombia but claimed by the United States and Jamaica.
Navassa Island: A small island about 35 miles west of the southwest peninsula of Haiti. Claimed by Haiti and the United States.
Serranilla Bank: A former atoll, now mostly submerged, located in the Caribbean Sea about 200 miles southwest of Jamaica. Administered by Colombia but claimed by the United States and Honduras. Colombia maintains naval facilities on the islet of Beacon Cay.
Wake Island: about 2,000 miles southeast of Tokyo, Japan, in the Pacific Ocean, a remote coral atoll. An airfield, a missile launch facility, and housing for American military personnel are all located on the main island. Although the Marshall Islands claim it, the United States manages Wake Island.
(By CNN readers)
Voters selected their preferred American islands for the 34th annual CNN Readers’ Choice Awards. More than 800,000 of you responded to our survey, and while we are always interested in where you have been and where you are headed, we are especially excited by the truly memorable places that captured your attention and stayed with you even when traveling may have seemed out of reach.
The top 15 islands today are listed below.
15. San Juan Islands, Washington
14. Florida Keys
13. Block Island, Rhode Island
12. Nantucket, Massachusetts
11. Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida
10. Key West, Florida
9. Marco Island, Florida
8. Big Island, Hawaii
7. Kauai, Hawaii
6. Mackinac Island, Michigan
5. Oahu, Hawaii
4. Maui, Hawaii
3. Lanai, Hawaii
2. Kiawah Island, South Carolina
1. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Forget about blue waters, cloudless skies and warm, sandy beaches when you think of “islands”. There are top 10 weirdest ones that are anything but …