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   Small Island Developing States

Who are the SIDS

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) include low-lying coastal countries that share similar sustainable development challenges, including small population, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, and excessive dependence on international trade. Their growth and development is often further stymied by high transportation and communication costs, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to their small size, and little to no opportunity to create economies of scale.

Currently, fifty-one small island developing States and territories are included in the list used by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in monitoring the sustainable development of SIDS. These countries are often categorized by their three regions; the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the AIMS (Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea). These States and territories often work together in the United Nations through the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

 Africa

1. Cape Verde
Population: 506,800 (2005); Terrain: rugged, rocky, volcanic; coastline: 965 km
2. Comoros  
Population: 600,500 (2005); Terrain: volcanic islands; Coastline: 340 km
3. Guinea-Bissau
Population: 1,600,000 (2005); Terrain: mostly low coastal plain; Coastline: 350 km
4. Maldives 
Population: 329,200 (2005); Terrain: flat; Coastline: 644 km
5. Mauritius  
Population: 1,200,000 (2005); Terrain: small coastal plain, central plateau; Coastline: 177 km
6. Sao Tome and Principe
Population: 156,500 (2005); Terrain: volcanic, mountainous; Coastline:  209 km
7. Seychelles  
Population: 84,494 (2005); Terrain: narrow coastal strip, coral, flat; Coastline: 491 km

 Asia & the Pacific

1. American Samoa 1/ 4/
Population: 58,300 (2005); Terrain: five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island); Coastline: 116 km
2. Bahrain 2
Population: 726,600 (2005); Terrain: mostly low desert plain; Coastline: 161 km
3. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas 1/ 2
Population: 79,100 (2005); Terrain: southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; northern islands are volcanic; Coastline: 1,482 km
4. Cook Islands 1/ 3
Population: 20,000 (2002); Terrain: low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south; Coastline:  120 km
5. Fiji  
Population: 847,700 (2005); Terrain: mountainous of volcanic origin, coral atolls; Coastline: 1,129 km
6. French Polynesia 1/ 24/
Population: 256,000 (2005) ; Terrain: mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs; Coastline: 2,525 km
7. Guam 14/
Population: 169,600 (2005) ; Terrain: volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coralline limestone plateau (source of most fresh water), with steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal plains in north, low hills in center, mountains in south; Coastline: 125.5 km
8. Kiribati 
Population: 99,000 (2005); Terrain: low-lying coral atolls; Coastline: 1,143 km
9. Marshall Islands 
Population: 63,266 (2005); Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands; Coastline: 370 km
10. Federated State of Micronesia 
Population: 110,500 (2005); Terrain: low coral atolls, volcanic, mountainous; Coastline: 6,112 km
11. Nauru 
Population: 13,287 (2006); Terrain: sandy beach, coral reefs, phosphate plateau; Coastline: 30 km
12. New Caledonia 1/ 2/ 4/
Population: 241,000 (2006); Terrain: coastal plains with interior mountains; Coastline: 2,254 km
13. Niue 1/ 3/  
Population: 1,607 (2007); Terrain: limestone cliffs, central plateau; Coastline: 64 km
14. Palau 
Population: 20,000 (2006); Terrain: low coral islands, mountainous main island; Coastline: 1,519 km
15. Papua New Guinea 
Population: 5,887,000 (2006); Terrain: coastal lowlands, mountains; Coastline: 5,152 km
16. Samoa 
Population: 179,186 (2006); Terrain: narrow coastal plains, interior mountains; Coastline: 403 km
17. Solomon Islands 
Population: 552,438 (2006); Terrain: low coral atolls, rugged mountains; Coastline: 5,313 km
18. Singapore 
Population: 4,608,167 (2008); Terrain: lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve; Coastline: 193 km
19. Timor-Leste
Population: 947,000 (2005); Terrain: mountainous; Coastline: 706 km
20. Tonga 
Population: 114,689 (2006); Terrain: coral formation, volcanic; Coastline: 419 km
21. Tuvalu 
Population: 11,000 (2006); Terrain: low-lying and narrow coral atolls; Coastline: 24 km
22. Vanuatu 
Population: 211,000 (2006); Terrain: narrow coastal plains, mountains of volcanic origin; Coastline: 2,528 km

 Latin America & the Caribbean

1. Anguila1/ 24/
Population: 13,008 (2004) ; Terrain: flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone; Coastline: 61 km
2. Antigua and Barbuda 
Population: 81,000 (2006); Terrain: low-lying limestone and coral islands; Coastline: 153 km
3. Aruba1/ 24/
Population: 108,000 (2005); Terain: flat; brush trees for vegetation; Coastline: 70 km
4. The Bahamas
Population: 323,000 (2006); Terrain: long, flat coral formations; Coastline: 3,542 km
5. Barbados  
Population: 270,000 (2006); Terrain: flat, central highland; Coastline: 97 km
6. Belize 
Population: 291,800 (2005); Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south; Coastline: 386 km
7. British Virgin Islands1/ 24/
Population: 20,254 (2004); Terrain: coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly; Coastline: 80 km
8. Cuba 
Population: 11,273,500 (2002); Terrain: terraced plains, small hills, mountains; Coastline: 5,746 km
9. Dominica 
Population: 79,000 (2005); Terrain: rugged mountains of volcanic origin; Coastline: 148 km
10. Dominican Republic 2
Population: 8,639,000 (2002)
11. Grenada  
Population: 106,500 (2005); Terrain: volcanic in origin, central mountains; Coastline: 121 km
12. Guyana 
Population: 751,223 (2002); Terrain: mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south; Coastline: 459 km
13. Haiti  
Population: 8,407,000 (2002); Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous, tropical; Coastline: 1,771 km
14. Jamaica 
Population: 2,654,500 (2005); Terrain: narrow coastal plains, mountains; Coastline: 1,022 km
15. Montserrat1/ 2/ 4/   
Population: 9,245 (July 2004 estimate); Terrain: volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland; Coastline: 40 km
16. Netherlands Antilles 14/
Population: 185,513 (2005); Terrain: hilly, volcanic interiors; Coastline: 364 km
17. Puerto Rico1/ 4/   
Population: 3,900,000 (2005); Terrain: mostly mountains with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas; Coastline: 501 km
18. Saint Kitts and Nevis  
Population: 48,000 (2005); Terrain: volcanic, mountainous interiors; Coastline: 135 km
19. Saint Lucia 
Population: 164,791 (2005); Terrain: volcanic, mountainous with broad valleys; Coastline: 158 km
20. Saint Vincent & the Grenadines  
Population: 119,000 (2005); Terrain: volcanic, mountainous; Coastline: 84 km
21. Suriname 
Population: 449,200 (2005); Terrain: mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps; Coastline: 386 km
22. Trinidad & Tobago
Population: 1,300,000 (2005); Terrain: flat, hilly, mountainous; Coastline: 362 km
23. U.S. Virgin Islands 1/ 4/
Population: 115,000 (2005); Terrain: hilly, rugged, mountainous; Coastline: 188 km

 

1/ Associate Member of a UN Regional Commission
2/ Not a Member or Observer of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
3/ States non-Members of the United Nations
4/ Territories non-Members of the United Nations

NOTE: Population figures are estimates obtained from government and UN statistical databases.�

 

 

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18 Junel 2007