How Many Islands in the Philippines at Present?

By Lily Evans | Southeast Asia

Feb 08
How Many Islands in the Philippines

Southeast Asia has been a very popular tourist hotspot in recent years. The region boasts a selection of delicious cuisine, pristine beaches, and rich cultures. Countries in this region also feature a stunning combination of modernity and tradition.

The entire Southeast Asia is worth exploring, but not everyone has the time and budget to explore all the countries in this region. If you want to make the most out of your budget, you should visit the Philippines. Here, I’ll tell you how many islands in the Philippines and why you should visit them.​


The Philippine Archipelago

The Philippine Archipelago

The Philippines is an archipelagic state. This means that the country is comprised of several islands surrounded by different bodies of water. There are three main island groups in the Philippines. These island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Due to the fact that it is an archipelago, the Philippines is an incredibly diverse country. Hundreds of different languages and dialects are spoken in the country and cuisine varies from one geographical location to another.

​In addition to its diversity in terms of language, food, and culture, the country’s unique geography and topography create a number of different natural attractions. From its pristine beaches to hidden lakes and breathtaking mountain peaks, tourists will not run out of things to see in the country.

Number of Islands in The Philippines

Islands in The Philippines

For several years, the number of islands in the Philippines is pegged at 7,107. In 2016, however, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority found previously unknown islands to be part of the archipelago. The latest finding registered a total of 534 new islands, in addition to the 7,107.

That said, the total number of islands in the Philippines as of date is an astounding 7,641 islands. It must be noted, however, that not all of these islands are inhabited. In fact, a number of these islands are too small to be inhabited.

While population is not a criterion for a landmass to be considered an island, it is necessary that the said landmass be capable of supporting plant or animal life or both. In addition, the landmass must be above sea level. It should also remain above water at any given time during high tide.

Each of the islands has a character of its own, depending mainly on its inhabitants. This is especially the case in islands populated mostly by certain ethnic groups. Each of the ethnic groups' unique culture and history contributes to architecture, industries, agriculture, and way of life in the different islands.​

Largest Islands in the Philippines

The Philippine archipelago is comprised of islands of varying sizes, ranging from the islands housing several provinces to small, uninhabitable islands. The five largest islands in the country are the following:

1. Luzon


Located in the northern part of the archipelago is the island of Luzon, which is part of the Luzon group of islands. It has a land area of over 104,000 square kilometers. It is home to 30 provinces and is also home to the capital city of Manila.

2. Mindanao


The second largest island is Mindanao, located in the Southern part of the archipelago. It measures almost 100,000 square kilometers and is home to 21 provinces. It is also home to the highest mountain in the country.

3. Samar


Samar is the third largest island in the Philippines and the largest in the Visayas group of islands. It has an area of almost 13,000 square kilometers. This island is known for its rock formations and is steadily gaining popularity among caving enthusiasts.

4. Negros


Also located in the Visayas and measuring only a little less than Samar, this island is the fourth largest in the country. It is the main producer of sugar in the country. It also has a rich pre-colonial and colonial culture.

5. Palawan


Fifth on the list is Palawan, which is situated between the West Philippine Sea and the Sulu Sea. It has an area of a little over 12,000 square kilometers, making it the largest province in the country. It Is most famous for the Puerto Princesa Underground River.


Diversity is part of the charm of the Philippines. From the virgin islands in Palawan to the surfing hotspots in Surigao, tourists will never run out of sights to see and places to explore in the country. And with kilometers of shoreline, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches in the country.

Number of Islands in The Philippines

Do you have any questions about the many islands in the Philippines? Are you interested in a specific region in the country? Want to know more about other countries in Southeast Asia? Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below.

If you liked this article or if there’s something you want me to talk about next, drop me a line in the comments. Until next article!​



About the Author

I'm Lily Evans and I’m here to share with you pieces of travel advice, as well as handy tips and tricks, which I have accumulated over years of travelling and exploring the globe.