Discover 15 of the Smallest Islands in the World (One has a Tiny House on It!)

Written by Jeremiah Wright
Published: April 17, 2022
Image Credit BakerJarvis/Shutterstock.com
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There are around 900,000 islands worldwide. Norway and Sweden have approximately 230,000 each, while Japan and Chile have about 6,000 each. But the raw number of islands isn’t the significant bit when it comes to islands. After all, we’ve all dreamt of that island getaway that’s secluded and could be yours alone. This is why everybody wants to know what the smallest islands in the world are. It is also the reason why you’re reading this article, right?

Well, rest assured. These are some of the 15 smallest islands in the world. We cover everything from island nations to both inhabited and uninhabited islands. Then we’ll dive into some small islands that are notable for their small size.

The 15 Smallest Islands in the World

Which are the smallest islands in the world?

There are a lot of islands in the world, to say the least. Not all of them are discovered or documented. The definition of the concept doesn’t help either. Every piece of land that is surrounded by water is an island – quite ambiguous, right?

This is why it would be difficult to make a list of the actual smallest islands in the world. The smallest-smallest island might not even be discovered yet! In addition, what qualifies as an island is fluid, are small atolls barely poking above the water islands?

Below we’ll document a few contenders for the crown. One has been recognized by the United Nations while another island claims the title of the smallest inhabited island in the world.

1. Just Room Enough Island

Just Room Enough Island
Just Room Enough Island is a surreal view of the Saint Lawrence River.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
3,300 sq. ft. (0.0001 sq. mi.)United StatesFamily-owned

Just Room Enough is the smallest inhabited island in the world. It was purchased in the 1950s by a wealthy family to serve as a holiday home. There’s a house, a tree, shrubs, and a small beach. It is so small that a single step in the wrong direction can get you swimming. 

The island can be found as a surreal view of the Saint Lawrence River. If you want more to do than just seeing Just Enough Room Island, it’s located in an island chain that contains 1,864 islands with plenty of hotels, campgrounds, and many other spots to soak up the summer sun and enjoy being on the water.

2. Simping Island

Simping Island
Simping Island is located in Indonesia.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
1.23 acres (0.0019 sq. mi.)Indonesia0

The smallest uninhabited island in the world, Simping Island, has only 1.23 acres. You might be wondering how amongst the 900,000 or so islands in the world that include tiny outcroppings this island can claim the title. The simple answer is its claim of being the smallest island in the world has been recognized by the United Nations. It is located on the northern outskirts of Singkawang city. Tour guides are available due to their popularity.

Coral reefs surround the small island. There’re also some trees on the island. Tourists can swim in the water, as it’s usually serene. 

13 Other Small Islands in the World

The following is a list of 13 other islands that are among the smallest in the world. They might not be the smallest, but they are all small and interesting for reasons we’ll explore!

3. Dangar Island

Dangar island
Dangar Island is a small island near Sydney rich in colonial, indigenous, and natural history.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
0.1 sq. mi.Australia303

Dangar Island is a small island near Sydney rich in colonial, indigenous, and natural history. The engravings and the rock shelters spread throughout the island stand as proof. Tourists can easily get there on the ferries departing from Brooklyn. 

The island has a 1.8-mile shoreline, a cafe, a shop, a bowling club, and a community hall. The Hawkesbury River hosts a wide variety of fish species. Dangar Island and its surroundings have over 100 animal species and over 90 plant species. 

4. Wizard Island

Wizard Island
Wizard Island is located in Oregon.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
0.49Oregon

Wizard Island is not much of an island, but a volcanic cinder cone west of Crater Lake, Oregon. William Gladstone Steel is responsible for the naming of the volcanic crater “Witches Cauldron,” and of the island itself.

The island is the highest cone that rose above the lake level and was created by small volcanic eruptions. The violent eruption of Mount Mazama created the caldera in which Wizard Island lies today. 

Wizard Island presents hikers with a great and unique opportunity. It features two hiking trails that cover the entire island.

5. Bryher Island

Bryher Island
Bryher Island consists of five hills that are constantly windswept.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
0.51Isles of Scilly84

Bryher is a part of the Isles of Scilly island group in the United Kingdom. The island consists of five hills that are constantly windswept. The southern part comprises sandy beaches, and the western part is home to the Great Pool, a salty body of water.

Three Sites of Special Scientific Interest can be found on the island. Two of them are located in the southern part of the island and feature rare plants, such as the dwarf pansy. On Bryher, birdwatchers can find seven species of birds (shag, razorbill, herring gull, etc.)

6. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is located in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
1.62Caribbean Sea (Mexico)12,642

Isla Mujeres is located in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The island’s eastern coast opens up to the Caribbean Sea, while the west part allows for a view over the skyline of Cancun. The island features decent beaches and rich forests, mainly in the southernmost part of the island, despite its large population. 

Punta Sur Park is the perfect place for nature and history lovers. It is home to Mayan ruins, cliffs, trails, and iguanas. Snorkelers and divers will have a great time discovering the world’s largest underwater sculpture project on Isla Mujeres.

7. Baltrum

Baltrum Island
Baltrum is located in Germany.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
2.5Germany496

The island of Baltrum can be found in Germany, off the coast of East Frisia. It is part of a seven (inhabited) island chain, the East Frisian Islands. Baltrum is the smallest permanently inhabited island in this chain.

Tourists come to Baltrum for the countryside views of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park. A viewing platform located on a central coastal dune places you at 63 ft above sea level, allowing for a view of much of the island.

8. Sea Lion Island

Sea Lion Island - Falklands
Sea Lion Island features cliffs to the southwest and sandy bays to the east.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
3.49Falkland Islands

Sea Lion Island is a part of the Sea Lion Island Group located in the Falkland Islands territory. It features cliffs to the southwest and sandy bays to the east. The island is designated as an Important Bird Area, thanks to its variety of waterbirds and seabirds. Birdwatchers can enjoy the sight of gentoo penguins, ruddy-headed geese, Falkland steamer ducks, and southern rockhopper penguins.

Fuegian violet is one of the 56 species of flowering plants on the island. Sea Lion Island is home to breeding colonies of southern elephant seals and southern sea lions.

9. Suwarrow Atoll

Suwarrow Atoll
Suwarrow Atoll is a hotspot for megafauna fans, as it hosts sea turtles, mantas, humpback whales, and sharks.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
3.78Pacific Ocean2

The Suwarrow Atoll can be found in the Pacific Ocean and is part of the Cook Islands group. The corral atoll consists of 20 small islets and a central lagoon. The islets have unique flora and fauna.

Small islets feature shrubs, herbs, and beach heliotrope. Large islets are home to tou, a flowering evergreen tree. Birdwatchers can spot red-tailed tropicbirds and lesser frigatebirds. Suwarrow Atoll is a designated Important Bird Area.

The island is a hotspot for megafauna fans, as it hosts sea turtles, mantas, humpback whales, and sharks.

10. Monhegan

Monhegan Island
Monhegan Island has more water than land.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
4.49United States54

The Plantation of Monhegan Island is located in Lincoln Country, Maine. It can be accessed from Boothbay Harbor via boat service. In 1966, the island was deemed a National Natural Landmark thanks to its coastal and island flora.

Monhegan Island is actually more water than land, with 0.9 square miles being land and 3.7 square miles being water. Much of the island can be freely explored by visitors. It has 17 miles of hiking trails that lead to cliffs and through woods. Cathedral Woods is home to the island’s fairy houses, miniature houses built from forest-found materials.

11. Foula

Foula Island
Foula shelters great skuas, red-throated divers, and Arctic terns.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
4.88Scotland (United Kingdom)30

Foula is the most remote island in the United Kingdom. It can be found in the Shetland archipelago of Scotland, in the Atlantic Ocean. In the west, the island is dominated by cliffs, whereas it consists of low, broken cliffs in the east. Gaada Stack, a natural arch, can be found in the north.

Birdwatchers mainly visit the island. Foula shelters great skuas, red-throated divers, and Arctic terns. Birdwatching tourism is one of Foula’s primary sources of income, alongside sheep farming.

12. Saba

Saba Island
Saba is a Caribbean island located north of the Leeward Islands and south of the Virgin Islands.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
5.0Lesser Antilles (Netherlands)1,933

Saba is a Caribbean island located north of the Leeward Islands and south of the Virgin Islands. It is a special municipality in the Netherlands. Mount Scenery, a potentially active volcano, takes up much of Saba. The terrain is mainly mountainous.

The island features a cloud forest consisting primarily of mountain mahogany. There are 60 species of birds on the island, including the largest colony of red-billed tropicbirds. The largest submarine atoll in the Atlantic Ocean, Saba Bank, is only 2.7 miles southwest.

13. Cocos Islands

Cocos Island
Cocos Islands is a habitat for 35 species of birds.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
5.4Indian Ocean (Australia)596

Cocos Islands is a group of 25 coral islands organized into two atolls. Only two of the 25 islands are currently inhabited. The islands are located in the Indian Ocean, between Australia and Sri Lanka.

Sixty-one species of flora are native to Cocos Islands, and 69 have been introduced so far. The southern islands are home to coconut plantations, while the northern side is part of the Pulu Keeling National Park. There are 35 species of birds (Buff-banded rail, junglefowl), two species of mammals (dugong, bottlenose dolphin), four species of reptiles (gecko, sea krait), and over 500 species of fish in and around the Cocos Islands.

14. Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is known among naturalists for its diverse landscape, oceanic basalts, coral reefs, and Seabirds.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
5.61Australia347

Lord Howe Island is located between New Zealand and Australia in the Tasman Sea. The island’s west coast features a sheltered coral reef lagoon, while the south is abundant with forested hills. The island is part of a 28-island group.

Lord Howe Island is a World Heritage Site consisting of untouched forests. It is known among naturalists for its diverse landscape, oceanic basalts, coral reefs, and seabirds. It is home to untouched flora, astonishing basalt, and stratified calcarenite views.

Only 400 people at a time can visit Lord Howe Island.

15. Fox Island

Fox Island
Fox Island stands between Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.

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Area (Square Miles)LocationPopulation
6.4United States3,918

Fox Island is located in Pierce County, Washington. The name ‘Fox’ was given to it during the 1838-1842 United States Exploring Expedition, and it honors an assistant surgeon, J. L. Fox. The total area of 6.4 square miles consists of 1.2 square miles of water and 5.2 square miles of land.

The island is rich in wildlife and swamps that have been described as wondrous by cartoonist Gary Larson. Fox Island stands between Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains. It features a dock on the north side. Fishing and scuba diving are the main activities here.

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