November 30, 2021
Oceania is a region of the world which is not a continent in the strict sense. However, this region being often assimilated to a continent by geographers, it can be considered as the least extensive of the continents emerged from the Earth. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it covers 8,525,989 km2 and has more than 50 million inhabitants (2020), distributed among sixteen independent states and fifteen territories. It encompasses all the lands located between Asia and America, as well as part of the Malay Archipelago. It is divided into four regions: Australasia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia, although this distinction is criticized. Australia comprises most of its land area and population, and while the rest of Oceania is a collection of 25,000 islands, Australia's mainland is sometimes considered a landmass on its own. New Zealand and New Guinea are the other two main islands in Oceania. The territories making up the rest of the continent are independent island archipelagos (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, etc.) or territories attached to former colonial powers, such as France (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna ) or the United States (Hawaii, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa). The continent of Oceania has been populated for millennia by different ethnic groups, including the Australian Aborigines and Papuans. Besides English and French, the dominant languages in Oceania since colonization, the two main language groups spoken are the Papuan languages and the Austronesian languages. Eight of the ten largest cities in Oceania are in Australia, including Sydney and Melbourne, which alone account for nearly a quarter of the continent's population. Five other cities have more than one million inhabitants: Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, Adelaide and Honolulu.