Explore the U.S.’s 155 Islands

While just about any vacation is appreciated, many consider an island getaway as the pinnacle of relaxation. Islands like The Hawaiian Islands are a frequent vacation or wedding destination for a reason. But the U.S. has more islands to offer than just Hawaii (which is actually eight islands) when you’re in the mood for domestic island-hopping.

We’ll cover the U.S.’s 155 islands—from the largest to the smallest (sometimes called islets)—and every island in between. We’ll also see which state or states have the most islands versus those without the isolated getaways, all on the map below.

View U.S. Islands in a full screen map

Based on Wikipedia’s list of U.S. islands ordered by area, the map includes islands ranging from just 3.7 square miles (approximately 9.7 km 2) to 4,028 square mile-islands (10,433 km 2). The data also contains population information gathered either in 2010 or 2000. The population of the 28 largest islands was gathered in 2010 while the smaller 127 islands’ population data was reported in 2000. Speaking of largest, let’s dive into the top 10.

10 Largest Islands

By definition, an island is any non-continental land that’s surrounded by water. This means entire countries—take Singapore, for example—can be classified as such, making for some really big islands.

The largest country-island tied to the U.S. is Puerto Rico. Yet, the territory is only the third-largest U.S. island. Let’s examine those that are even bigger, along with other large islands of 1,500+ square miles on the table below—and on the map, if you group by “Area (sq mi)”.

Island’s Name Area (sq mi) Area (km 2 ) Location Population
Hawaii Island (the Big Island) 4,028 10,433 Hawaii 185,079
Kodiak Island 3,588 9,293 Alaska 13,592
Puerto Rico 3,363 8,710 Puerto Rico 3,725,789
Prince of Wales Island 2,577 6,675 Alaska 5,559
Chichagof Island 2,080 5,388 Alaska 1,342
St. Lawrence Island 1,983 5,135 Alaska 1,352
Admiralty Island 1,684 4,362 Alaska 650
Nunivak Island 1,625 4,209 Alaska 191
Unimak Island 1,590 4,119 Alaska 35
Baranof Island 1,570 4,065 Alaska 8,532

The #1 largest island in the U.S. is the Big Island of Hawaii. At 4,028 square miles (10,433 km 2), this single island is bigger than the seven others that make up the state combined. Together, the areas of Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Niihau add up to 2,392 square miles, making Hawaii Island 1.68 times their size. The rest of the largest islands in the U.S. are located in the country’s only other non-contiguous state, Alaska.

Of course, this may leave you wondering about the largest island located in one of the 48 contiguous United States. That would be #11, Long Island in New York, which measures in at 1,401 square miles (3,629 km 2). The next biggest of the contiguous U.S.? Padre Island in Texas, and it’s only 209 square miles (542 km 2).

The Many Islands of Alaska

You may have noticed Alaska is home to eight out of the 10 largest islands in the U.S. But even these don’t begin to cover the impressive amount of islands scattered throughout the state.

In total, 78 islands are located in Alaska. The largest is, of course, Kodiak, which covers 3,588 square miles (9,293 km 2). The island is also where 13,592 people call home. On the other hand, the smallest of Alaska’s many islands is Woronkofski Island. At 23 square miles in size (59 km 2), its population is zero. Can you spot all 78 of Alaska’s islands on the map?

If not, there are other states with more than five islands: Michigan (12), Washington (9), Hawaii (8), and California (7), though Alaska is the obvious winner. See what else The Last Frontier tops the charts in (The 200 Highest Summits in the U.S.) before moving on to the states sans islands.

Island-less States

Just 23 of the 50 United States have land that qualifies as an island. The 27 states without include:

  • Northeastern states Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
  • Southeast Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
  • Midwest Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
  • Southwest Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma
  • West Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming

States with just one island are:

  • Northeastern states Delaware, Maryland, and Vermont
  • Southeast Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina
  • Midwest Ohio
  • West Oregon and Utah

As you can probably tell, not every place has islands to spare. Even small islands are a hot commodity, so let’s examine the smallest.

Smaller Islets of the U.S.

Photo of Mackinac Island, Michigan by Notorious4life

Keys aren’t just what you scramble to find before starting your car. The word also means smaller islands, along with islets, skerries, or cays. The islands on the table below can all be classified as such due to their areas of 15 or fewer square miles.

Island’s Name Area (sq mi) Area (km 2 ) Location Population
Mackinac Island 3.7 9.7 Michigan 492
Kelleys Island 4.3 11 Ohio 312
Dauphin Island 6.26 16.2 Alabama 1,371
Mercer Island 7 17 Washington 22,036
South Manitou Island 8 21 Michigan 0
Block Island 9 25 Rhode Island 1,051
Conanicut Island 9.4 25.1 Rhode Island 5,622
Grosse Ile 9.6 24.9 Michigan 10,894
San Miguel Island 15 38 California 0
Fenwick Island 15 38 Delaware 8,002

Note that three Michigan islets make the list: Mackinac Island, South Manitou Island, and Grosse Ile. Rhode Island is also home to more than one itsy-bitsy island. Combined, these two states account for 50% of the smallest islands in the U.S.

It’s easier than ever to make a map of your data and see new trends—whether it be that most of the smallest U.S. islands are located in Michigan or, for a non-U.S.-based map, the insights you can glean with Shipwrecks in International Waters. Get started mapping your own data today at batchgeo.com.