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An orthographic projectiion of Oceania.

Oceania (sometimes Oceanica) is a geographical, often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term "Oceania" was coined in 1831 by French explorer Dumont d'Urville. The term is used today in many languages to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate Pacific islands, and is one of eight terrestrial ecozones.

The boundaries of Oceania are defined in a number of ways. Most definitions recognize parts of Australasia such as Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and part of Maritime Southeast Asia as being parts of Oceania. Ethnologically, the islands that are included in Oceania are divided into the subregions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.


Oceania is traditionally understood as being composed of three regions: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. As with any region, however, interpretations vary; increasingly, geographers and scientists divide Oceania into Near Oceania and Remote Oceania.

Most of Oceania consists of island nations comprising thousands of coral atolls and volcanic islands, with small human populations. Australia is the only continental country but Indonesia has land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. If the Australia-New Guinea continent is included then the highest point is Puncak Jaya in Papua at and the lowest point is Lake Eyre, Australia at below sea level.

Territories and regions

Descriptions of the regions and constituents of Oceania vary according to source. The table below shows the subregions and countries of Oceania as broadly categorised according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations. The information shown follows sources in cross-referenced articles; where sources differ, provisos have been clearly indicated. These territories and regions are subject to various additional categorisations, of course, depending on the source and purpose of each description.

{| border="1" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="border:1px solid #aaa; border-collapse:collapse; font-size:90%;"
|- bgcolor="#ECECEC"|
! Name of region, followed by countries
and their flagsRegions and constituents as per UN categorisations/map except notes 2-3, 6. Depending on definitions, various territories cited below (notes 3, 5-7, 9) may be in one or both of Oceania and Asia or North America.

! Area
! Population
! Population density
(per km²)
! Capital
! ISO 3166-1
| colspan=6 style="background:#eee;" |AustralasiaThe use and scope of this term varies. The UN designation for this subregion is "Australia and New Zealand."
| align="right" | 7,686,850
| align="right" | 21,828,704
| align="right" | 2.7
| Canberra
| AU
| New Zealand is often considered part of Polynesia rather than Australasia.

| align="right" | 268,680
| align="right" | 4,108,037
| align="right" | 14.5
| Wellington
| NZ
|colspan=6|Dependencies/Territories of Australia:
| Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are Australian external territories in the Indian Ocean southwest of Indonesia.

| align="right" | 135
| align="right" | 1,493
| align="right" | 3.5
| Flying Fish Cove
| CX
| align="right" | 14
| align="right" | 632
| align="right" | 45.1
| West Island
| CC
| Coral Sea Islands
| align="right" | 3
| align="right" |
| align="right" |
| align="right" | 35
| align="right" | 1,866
| align="right" | 53.3
| Kingston
| NF
| colspan=6 style="background:#eee;" | MelanesiaExcludes parts of Indonesia, island territories in Southeast Asia (UN region) frequently reckoned in this region.

| align="right" | 18,270
| align="right" | 856,346
| align="right" | 46.9
| Suva
| FJ
| (Oceanian part only)
Source: Wikipedia