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Mainland is defined as "relating to or forming the main part of a
country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a n ...

country
or
continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to small ...

continent
, not including the islands around it egardless of status under territorial jurisdiction by an entity" The term is often politically, economically and/or demographically more significant than politically associated remote territories, such as
exclaves An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly s ...
or
oceanic islands upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.html" ;"title="Great Britain">Ireland (l ...
situated outside the
continental shelf A continental shelf is a portion of a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

continental shelf
. In geography, "mainland" can denote the
continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to small ...

continent
al (i.e. non-insular) part of any
polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resourc ...
or the main island within an
island nation An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an indepen ...
. In
geopolitics Geopolitics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mill ...
, "mainland" is sometimes used interchangeably with terms like
Metropole The metropole (from the Greek ''metropolis'' for "mother city") is the homeland or central territory of a colonial empire. The term was mainly used in the scope of the British Empire, British, French colonial empire, French and Portuguese Empir ...
as an antonym to
overseas territories A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names f ...
. In the sense of "
heartland Heartland or Heartlands may refer to: Film and television * Heartland (film), ''Heartland'' (film), a 1979 film starring Rip Torn and Conchata Ferrell * ''Heartland'' (1989 film), a UK television film featuring Jane Horrocks * Heartlands (film), ...
", mainland is the opposite of
periphery Periphery or Peripheral may refer to: *Periphery (band), American progressive metal band *Periphery (album), ''Periphery'' (album), released in 2010 by Periphery *Periphery, a group of political entities in BattleTech#Periphery, BattleTech, a warga ...
. In some language a separate concept of "mainland" is missing and is replaced with a "continental portion". The term is relative - in
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island States and territories of Australia, state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Mainland Australia, Australian mainland, separated from it by Bass Strait. Th ...
,
continental Australia
continental Australia
is the mainland, while to residents of
Flinders Island Flinders Island, the largest island in the Furneaux Group, is a island in the Bass Strait, northeast of the island of Tasmania. Flinders Island is part of the state of Tasmania, Australia. It is from Cape Portland, Tasmania, Cape Portland and ...
, the main island of Tasmania is also "the mainland", although the
geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which th ...
Australian continent The continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in ...

Australian continent
includes all the former plus the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
and all the smaller islands (e.g. the
Torres Strait Islands The Torres Strait Islands are a group of at least 274 small islands in Torres Strait The Torres Strait () is a strait between Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country co ...
) in between.


Prominent usages of the term mainland


Continental

''This list denotes prominent usages of the term "mainland" to distinguish the islands of a continent from the mainland of a continent through a geopolitical lens.'' * Mainland Africa, from the perspectives of
Cape Verde , national_anthem = () , official_languages = Portuguese , national_languages = Cape Verdean Creole , capital = Praia , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , demonym = Cape Verdean or Cabo Verdean , ethnic_groups_year = 2017 , ...

Cape Verde
,
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
,
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, a ...

Madagascar
,
Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=Mauritian Creole Mauritian Creole or Morisien or formerly Morisyen ( mfe, kreol morisien, links=no ) is a French-based creole language spoken in Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: M ...

Mauritius
,
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe (; ; English: Saint Thomas and Prince), officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe ( pt, República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe), is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western ...

São Tomé and Príncipe
and
Seychelles Seychelles (; ), officially the Republic of Seychelles (french: link=no, République des Seychelles; Creole: ''La Repiblik Sesel''), is an archipelagic island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country ...

Seychelles
, as well as
Mayotte Mayotte (french: Mayotte, ; Shimaore language, Shimaore: ''Maore'', ; mg, Maiôty) is an overseas department and region, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France officially named the Department of Mayotte (French ...

Mayotte
(
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
) and
Réunion Réunion (french: La Réunion, ; previously ''Île Bourbon''; rcf, label=Réunion Creole, Reunionese Creole, La Rénion) is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of ...

Réunion
(France) * Mainland Asia, from the perspectives of
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar, البحرين, al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar, مملكة البحرين, links=no '), is a country in the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fâr ...

Bahrain
,
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Aus ...

Brunei
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
(inc.
Akrotiri and Dhekelia The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia ( SBA; el, Περιοχές Κυρίαρχων Βάσεων Ακρωτηρίου και Δεκέλιας, ''Periochés Kyríarchon Váseon Akrotiríou ke Dekélias''; tr, Ağrotur ve Dikelya ...

Akrotiri and Dhekelia
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isla ...
),
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It co ...

East Timor
,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of more than List of islands ...

Indonesia
,
Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden circle subdiv ...

Japan
(inc.
Okinawa Prefecture is a Prefectures of Japan, prefecture of Japan located on the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost and westernmost prefecture of Japan, has a population of 1,457,162 (2 February 2020) and has a geographic area of 2,281 Square k ...
), the
Maldives Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje IPA: ), officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country in the Indian subcontinent of Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and I ...

Maldives
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republik ...

Philippines
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bord ...

Singapore
,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
, and
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main islan ...

Taiwan
(inc.
Kinmen Kinmen, English exonyms#Taiwan, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a County (Taiwan), county by the Republic of China (ROC) based in Taiwan, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It lies roughly east of the ...

Kinmen
, the
Matsu Islands The Matsu Islands (; Foochow Romanized: Mā-cū liĕk-dō̤), officially Lienchiang County (; Foochow Romanized: :cdo:Lièng-gŏng-gâing, Lièng-gŏng-gâing), are an archipelago of 36 islands and islets in the East China Sea governed by the Rep ...
, and
Penghu The Penghu (Hokkien Pe̍h-ōe-jī, POJ: ''Phîⁿ-ô͘''  or ''Phêⁿ-ô͘'' ) or Pescadores Islands are an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. The largest city is Magong, located on the largest island, which i ...

Penghu
), as well as the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India consisting of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhabited, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The territory is about north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thai ...

Andaman and Nicobar Islands
(
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
),
Christmas Island Christmas Island, officially known as the Territory of Christmas Island, is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. It is located in the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world' ...

Christmas Island
(
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
), the
Cocos (Keeling) Islands ) , anthem = , song_type = , song = , image_map = Australia on the globe (Cocos (Keeling) Islands special) (Southeast Asia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands , map_caption = Location of the Cocos (Keelin ...
(Australia),
Coloane Coloane (Cantonese: Lou Wan) is an island in Macau Macau (; , ; ), also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區), is a city and ...
+
Taipa Taipa ( zh, t=氹仔, ; pt, Taipa, ) is an island in Macau Macau (; , ; ), also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區), i ...

Taipa
(
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the Chi ...

Macau
),
East Malaysia 300px, alt=A black and white general world map with East Malaysia highlighted in green, East Malaysia comprises the states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Federal territory of Labuan. East Malaysia (''Malaysia Timur''), also known as Sabah, Sar ...
(
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two reg ...

Malaysia
),
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, ...

Hainan
(
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...

China
),
Hong Kong Island 250px, Kornhill and Shau Kei Wan, located in the northern part of Eastern District Hong Kong Island is an Islands and peninsulas of Hong Kong, island in the southern part of Hong Kong. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population de ...

Hong Kong Island
(
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China, People's Repu ...

Hong Kong
),
Islands District The Islands District is one of the 18 districts of Hong Kong. It is part of the New Territories. It had a population of 170,900 in 2018. Hong Kong consists of a peninsula and List of islands and peninsulas of Hong Kong, 263 islands. The Island ...

Islands District
(Hong Kong),
Jeju Island Jeju Island (; ) is the largest island in South Korea South Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Hanguk''; literally /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Namhan'', or /, McCune–Reischauer, ...

Jeju Island
(
South Korea South Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Hanguk''; literally /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Namhan'', or /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Namchosŏn'' in North Korean usage), officially the R ...

South Korea
),
Lakshadweep Lakshadweep (), also known as Laccadives (), is a union territory of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by ar ...

Lakshadweep
(India) and
Sakhalin Oblast Sakhalin Oblast ( rus, Сахали́нская о́бласть, r=Sahalínskaya óblast', p=səxɐˈlʲinskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ) is a federal subject of Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a ...
(
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
) **In the future, if the Salwa Canal is built, also from the perspective of
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares its ...

Qatar
*
Mainland Europe Mainland or continental Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly rega ...

Mainland Europe
, from the perspectives of Cyprus,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#No ...

Iceland
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in ...

Ireland
,
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisia ...

Malta
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
(inc.
Guernsey Guernsey (; Guernésiais: ''Giernési'') is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy that is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependencies, British Crown Dependency. It is the second largest of the Channel Islands, ...

Guernsey
, the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = " O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = 290px , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe , map_caption = Location of the Isle of Man (green) in E ...

Isle of Man
, and
Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, label=Jèrriais, Jèrri ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ''Bailliage dé Jèrri''), is an island and self-governing Crown dependencies, Crown Dependency near the coas ...

Jersey
), as well as
Åland Åland (; fi, Ahvenanmaa: ; ; ) is an Federacy, autonomous and Demilitarized zone, demilitarised region of Finland since 1920 by a decision of the League of Nations. It is the smallest region of Finland, constituting 0.51% of its land area an ...
(
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of Bo ...

Finland
), the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes or Faeroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic archipelago located north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway ( away) and Iceland ( away). Like Greenland, it ...

Faroe Islands
(
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central Constituent state, constituent of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, a constitution ...

Denmark
),
Jan Mayen Jan Mayen () is a Norway, Norwegian volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, with no permanent population. It is long (southwest-northeast) and in area, partly covered by glaciers [an area of around the Beerenberg volcano. It has two parts: larger ...

Jan Mayen
(Norway), Svalbard (Norway), Corsica (
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
),
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the Mediterranean islands#By area, second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, and one of the Regions of Italy, 20 regions of Italy. It is located west of the Italian Penins ...

Sardinia
(
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
),
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographic ...

Sicily
(Italy), Danish islands (Denmark),
Azores The Azores ( , also ; pt, Açores ), officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores (), is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal The two Autonomous Regions of Portugal ( pt, Regiões Autónomas de Portugal) are the Azores (''Região A ...

Azores
(
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includ ...

Portugal
),
Madeira Madeira ( , , ), officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira ( pt, Região Autónoma da Madeira), is one of the two autonomous regions An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, su ...

Madeira
(Portugal),
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a ...
(
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

Spain
),
Balearic Islands The Balearic Islands ( , also , ; ca, Illes Balears ; es, Islas Baleares ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea contai ...

Balearic Islands
(Spain),
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat ...
(
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's for ...

Sweden
), Estonian islands (
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Swe ...

Estonia
),
Greek islands Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is ...
(
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A contin ...

Greece
) and Russian islands (Russia) **Also note that several
European European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European
countries possess colonies or outposts all around the world (often small islands) in all other continental regions including
North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to ...

North America
,
South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered fr ...

South America
,
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
,
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a Region, geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern hemisphere, Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 41 million. Wh ...

Oceania
,
Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict crite ...

Asia
and
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Oce ...

Antarctica
*Mainland Europe, from the perspective of
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a Subregion#Europe, subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' can refer to Denmark, Norw ...

Scandinavia
, a peninsula *
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subr ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
, from the perspective of
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...


Internal

''This list denotes prominent usages of the term "mainland" to distinguish between distinct regions within a single country based on an "islands-to-mainland" relationship. Note that the "mainland" can sometimes consist of a large island rather than a continental landmass.'' * Mainland Argentina, as opposed to Tierra del Fuego Province (including
Argentinian Antarctic claims
Argentinian Antarctic claims
), as well as other islands of Argentina *Mainland Australia, as opposed to the List of islands of Tasmania, island of Tasmania and other Australian islands, especially territories of Australia, those not part of Australia proper. *Geography of Brazil, Mainland Brazil, as opposed to Abrolhos Archipelago, Abrolhos, Fernando de Noronha, Ilhabela, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, Saint Peter and Saint Paul and Trindade and Martim Vaz. *Great Britain, Mainland Britain, as opposed to the many smaller islands of the United Kingdom. The largest islands within the Northern Isles are called Orkney Mainland and Shetland Mainland, respectively. *Geography of Canada, Mainland Canada, as opposed to Islands of Canada, Canadian Islands, particularly those in the Canadian Maritimes, Maritimes or in the Canadian arctic islands, Arctic **the Mainland Colony was the mainland part of British Columbia, prior to its merger with Vancouver Island; today, the term "Lower Mainland" refers the southernmost part of the coast of British Columbia ** the Geography of Nova Scotia, continental part of Nova Scotia, as opposed to Cape Breton Island and other :Islands of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotian islands *Continental Chile, Mainland Chile, as opposed to oceanic islands, remote islands of the Chilean Sea, Tierra Del Fuego (Chile), Tierra Del Fuego and Chilean Antarctica, Chilean Antarctic claims, as well as offshore islands of Chile such as the Chiloé Archipelago and Easter Island * the Island of Cuba, Cuban Mainland, as opposed to the Canarreos Archipelago and other islands of Cuba *Geography of Denmark, Mainland Denmark, as opposed to overseas parts of the Danish Realm; geographically, Denmark proper consists of a continental portion called Jutland and nearby islands of Denmark, Danish Isles ** the Geography of Greenland, main island is Greenland, excluding Disko Island and other :Islands of Greenland, islands of Greenland *Regions of Ecuador, Mainland Ecuador, as opposed to the Galapagos Islands and other islands of Ecuador *Río Muni, Mainland Equatorial Guinea, as opposed to the non-continental islands of Equatorial Guinea, parts of the country *Geography of Estonia, Mainland Estonia, as opposed to the West Estonian archipelago with two of the fifteen Counties of Estonia, counties and other islands of Estonia *Mainland Finland, as opposed to
Åland Åland (; fi, Ahvenanmaa: ; ; ) is an Federacy, autonomous and Demilitarized zone, demilitarised region of Finland since 1920 by a decision of the League of Nations. It is the smallest region of Finland, constituting 0.51% of its land area an ...
; historically, Finland proper made up the southwestern portion of the mainland *Mainland France, as opposed to Corsica and List of islands of France#Islands of metropolitan France, other islands within European France; also used loosely as an antonym of Overseas France, despite the fact that the term Metropolitan France is more apt ** the Grande Terre (New Caledonia), main island of New Caledonia, as opposed to the Loyalty Islands and other List of islands of New Caledonia, islands of New Caledonia * Geography of Greece#Mainland, Mainland Greece (including the island of Euboia), as opposed to the
Greek islands Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is ...
* the Geography of Iceland, main island of Iceland, as opposed to other islands of Iceland *Mainland India, as opposed to its insular Union Territory, union territories or any other List of islands of India, islands of India *Mainland Italy, as opposed to Insular Italy, its Insular Regions or any other islands of Italy *Mainland Japan, as opposed to the other Japanese archipelago, Home Islands, or to remote islands of Japan, such as the Nanpō Islands * the Geography of Madagascar, main island of Madagascar, as opposed to other :Islands of Madagascar, islands of Madagascar *Peninsular Malaysia, Mainland Malaysia as opposed to
East Malaysia 300px, alt=A black and white general world map with East Malaysia highlighted in green, East Malaysia comprises the states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Federal territory of Labuan. East Malaysia (''Malaysia Timur''), also known as Sabah, Sar ...
or to any List of islands of Malaysia, islands of Malaysia *Malta Island, Mainland Malta, as opposed to Gozo and other Geography of Malta#Islands, islands of Malta *European Netherlands, Mainland Netherlands as opposed to the Dutch Caribbean; the Netherlands proper contains numerous Dutch islands, offshore islands *Mainland New Zealand, is the two islands, the north and south islands. The South Island of New Zealand is sometimes jokingly called the Mainland or the main island, especially by South Islanders themselves. Though it has a far smaller population, it is larger than the North Island. "Mainland New Zealand" more commonly refers to the islands of New Zealand, archipelago made up of the North and South Island and smaller nearby islands, often excluding more outlying islands such as the Chatham Islands, and always excluding remote insular parts of the Realm of New Zealand. *Mainland Norway, as opposed to Svalbard and other islands of Norway, including Dependencies of Norway, its overseas dependencies **Spitsbergen, the main island of Svalbard, as opposed to Nordaustlandet and other :Islands of Svalbard, Islands of Svalbard * the New Guinea, mainland part of Papua New Guinea, as opposed to the Islands Region or to any other :Template:Islands of Papua New Guinea, islands of Papua New Guinea *Mainland Portugal, as opposed to Autonomous Regions of Portugal, its insular regions, or more broadly to any List of islands of Portugal, islands of Portugal; until 1975, the term "mainland" was used loosely as an antonym of Overseas province, overseas Portugal *Peninsular Spain, Mainland Spain as opposed to the Balearic Islands, Balearic and
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a ...
and other plazas de soberanía, lands under Spanish sovereignty; cf. the colonial-era term ''peninsulares'' * the Geography of Sri Lanka, main island of Sri Lanka, as opposed to other islands of Sri Lanka *Mainland United States, as opposed to nearby islands belonging to a certain U.S. state, the Hawaiian Islands, and to U.S. Insular area, island territories in the Pacific Ocean, Pacific or Caribbean Sea, Caribbean. The terms "contiguous United States" (48 adjoining states in the continent of
North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to ...

North America
which does not include Alaska) or "continental United States" (any U.S. state that is part of the North American continent which includes Alaska) are widely used instead, despite including adjacent islands on the
continental shelf A continental shelf is a portion of a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

continental shelf
in both definitions. **Geography of Alaska, Mainland Alaska (which is a part on the North American continent and a component of the U.S. mainland), as opposed to the approximately 2,670 named List of islands of Alaska, offshore islands (many of which are part of the Alexander Archipelago or Aleutian Islands chain). **Point Roberts, Washington, Point Roberts (a pene-exclave of Washington state) views Bellingham, Washington, Bellingham as "the mainland".Stuck at the Border, Point Roberts Residents May Get This Help Getting to the Mainland
- Centralia Chronicle 17 Aug 2020 The closure of international borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered it (de-facto) an island in all but name. * Main or Big Land—in
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
—as opposed to Minor Land, islands, or other isolated territories that are connected by water or air travel but not by paved road.


Internal (disputed)

''This list denotes prominent internal usages of the term "mainland" that are disputed.'' * Geography of Taiwan, Mainland Taiwan, as opposed to
Kinmen Kinmen, English exonyms#Taiwan, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a County (Taiwan), county by the Republic of China (ROC) based in Taiwan, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It lies roughly east of the ...

Kinmen
, Matsu Islands, Matsu,
Penghu The Penghu (Hokkien Pe̍h-ōe-jī, POJ: ''Phîⁿ-ô͘''  or ''Phêⁿ-ô͘'' ) or Pescadores Islands are an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. The largest city is Magong, located on the largest island, which i ...

Penghu
and other List of islands of Taiwan, islands of Taiwan ** The cause of the dispute is Political status of Taiwan, Taiwan's uncertain sovereignty. Nevertheless, if Taiwan is seen to be an independent country, it is geographically one large island surrounded by several smaller islands. Politically, Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu are ''de facto'' top-level Administrative divisions of Taiwan, subdivisions within Taiwan, classified as County (Taiwan), counties. * Regions of Ukraine, Mainland Ukraine, as opposed to Crimea, which is nonetheless :Peninsulas of Europe, geographically part of the European mainland.Crimean channel ATR resumes broadcasting in mainland Ukraine
Ukrayinska Pravda (4 June 2015)
** The cause of this dispute is the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. From a
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
n perspective, Russia is the mainland to Crimea. * Great Britain, Mainland Britain, as opposed to Northern Ireland ** This is politically charged term in Ireland, mainly used by pro-UK unionists and generally avoided by Irish nationalists.


Irredentist

''This list denotes prominent usages of the term "mainland" to distinguish between distinct regions within an Irredentism, irredentist region.'' * Mainland China, a term that usually refers to all territories, irrespective of geography, that are administered by the China, People's Republic of China (PRC), aside from
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China, People's Repu ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the Chi ...

Macau
, which are both administered by the PRC as Dependent territory, semi-independent Special administrative regions of China, special administrative regions **Additionally, Western media frequently refer to the relationship between the ''de facto'' independent state of
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main islan ...

Taiwan
(Republic of China) and the PRC as that of an island to its mainland. This is done in order to tacitly support the Taiwan,China, PRC's territorial claim to Taiwan. This is highly controversial among supporters of Taiwan independence movement, Taiwanese independence. Within Taiwan, Pan-Blue Coalition, pro-China politicians have popularised this phrase as well. * Geography of Greece#Mainland, Mainland Greece as opposed to the Greek part of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
* Island of Ireland, Mainland Ireland, as opposed to list of islands of Ireland, its offshore islands * Korean peninsula, Mainland Korea as opposed to Jejudo and other islands of North Korea, islands of North or islands of South Korea, South Korea


See also

* Province of Tierra Firme, "Mainland province", the southern portion of the Spanish Main * Maine#Etymology, Etymology of the toponym "Maine" *Cartographic generalization *political status of Taiwan, Inclusion of Taiwan in maps of "China" *Omission of Tasmania from maps of Australia *Mainlander (disambiguation)


Notes

{{reflist Geography Metropolitan or continental parts of states,