Top 10 Largest Islands Shared Between Nations

Islands are at times divided between countries and nations. Some live peacefully, others have fought bloodily to get what is theirs. Here is just 1 list of Top 10 largest islands divided between 2 or more nation-states.


1. New Guinea

Sharing Countries: Indonesia/Papua New Guinea

Area: 785, 753 Km2

Description: This is the second largest island and is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Anthropologically New Guinea is a part of Melanesia. Politically, the western half of this island is divided into 2 provinces: Papua and West Papua (both Indonesian territories). The eastern half is its own country, Papua New Guinea.


2. Borneo:

Sharing Countries: Indonesia/Malaysia/Brunei

Area: 748, 168 km2

Description: This is the third largest island in the world and is near Java Island, Indonesia. 3 countries currently have a claim to the island. Here one can find the oldest rainforests in the world.


Brunei: 1%

Indonesia: 73%


3. Cuba:

Sharing Countries: Cuba, USA

Area: 110, 861 km2

Description: The Island consists of one main island and several smaller islands. During the Spanish-American War, Spain relinquished its territories to the latter. Then territories included

Puerto Rico, Cuba Philippines and Guam in the Treaty of Paris in 1898. When taking office, Theodore Roosevelt abandoned the treaty and gave Cuba its independence in 1902. The loophole allowed US to retain rights to intervene in Cuban Affairs and allowed US to lease Guantanamo Bay from Cuba (Platt Agreement).


4. Ireland:

Sharing Countries: Ireland/UK

Area: 81,638.1 km2

Description: This is the third largest island in Europe and 20th largest in the world. The Island is split politically between Great Britain (North Ireland) and the Republic of Ireland.


5. Hispaniola

Sharing Countries: Dominican Republic/Haiti

Area: 81, 638 km2

Description: This is a major island in the Caribbean. It recently made news in January of 2010 with a deadly earthquake in Haiti. The Dominican Republic side was unaffected. Both countries are different as Dominicans speak Spanish and Haitians speak French and Creole.


6. Tierra de Fuego:

Sharing Countries: Chile/Argentina

Area: 73, 929 km2

Description: This is an archipelago that is situated in the south of South America. The main island is divided between the two named countries. There are also smaller islands including Cape Horn (which is part of Chile).


7. Timor

Sharing Countries: Indonesia/East Timor

Area: 47, 401 km2

Description: This island is located in Maritime Southeast Asia. It contains the independent state of East Timor and West Timor which belongs to Indonesia. The word is Malay for east.


8. Cyprus

Sharing Countries: Turkey & Greece

Area: 28 418 km2

Description: Political tensions between the Greeks and Turkish factions of the country continue. The Turkish people also created the Turkish Cypriot State, which is not recognized by United Nations and other countries in the world.


9. Sebatik Island

Sharing Countries: Indonesia/Malaysia

Area: 452 km2

Description: The line that divides the two country stops at the eastern edge of Sebatik. Interestingly enough, Unarang Rock and some of the area in the East are disputed. This is especially the case when it comes to oil deposits in the Ambalat region.


10. Usedom

Sharing Countries: Germany/Poland

Area: 445 km2

Description: This is essentially where Poland meets Germany. The island is known as a popular summer attraction ever since the 19th century.


About The Author

7 Responses

  1. anthony christian

    2. The Daintree Forest is located in Australia not Borneo.

    Someone should have been a bit more careful with their cut and paste from Wikipedia.

  2. Frank

    An island split in two by a sea is two islands, just as a continent split in two by the sea is two continents – e.g. Australia and – well, Asia.

  3. michel

    there is an island owned by 3 countries/:England,Scotland,Wales but no name.

  4. John

    How about the Americas? It is a very large island but an island nevertheless.

  5. Flori

    Cyprus -Sharing Countries: Turkey & Greece

    With all due respect, but this is just plain wrong…

  6. Islander

    @Michel, the island is known as “Great Britain”. I’ll explain below. 🙂

    England + Scotland + Wales = Great Britain

    Great Britain = Northern Ireland = The United Kingdom

    Also, to the person who wrote the article, it’s “Northern Ireland” when speaking about the political entity, with “North Ireland” being a geographical term which would include parts of the Republic of Ireland.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.