Melanesia is a region of Oceania, in the western end of the Pacific Ocean and northeast of Australia, which includes the territories of the Moluccas, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. The term was coined by Jules Dumont d’urville in 1832 to identify a group of islands with distinct ethnic characteristics from The natives of Polynesia and Micronesia. At this time, racial classification of d’urville can not be considered appropriate due to the cultural, linguistic and genetic diversity of the inhabitants of Melanesia and this name is used only to identify a geographic region.
In fact, several genetic studies of the peoples of Oceania, combined with archaeological findings, show that Melanesians have a chromosome and timeline with a mark-H17-which is not found in the Polynesians. The pottery Melanesians are one of the oldest peoples of the Pacific, having reached this region between 40 to 50000 years ago. The Melanesians seem to have a common origin with the Australian Aborigines .
How Many Countries in Melanesia
As a region of Oceania, Melanesia is composed of 4 independent countries (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and 1 territory (New Caledonia). See below for some of Melanesia countries and dependencies. Also, you can find all of them in alphabetical order at this end of this page.
- Papua New Guinea, formally The independent state of Papua New Guinea, is a state in the western Pacific Ocean. The state consists of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and a number of nearby islands.
- Fiji, officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands, is an island state in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 km northeast of New Zealand’s north island.
List of Countries in Melanesia and Their Capitals
As noted above, there are 4 independent countries in Melanesia region of Oceania. Among them, the largest country is Papua New Guinea and the smallest is Vanuatu. The full list of countries in Melanesia with capitals is shown in the table below, ranked by latest total population.
|Rank||Independent Country||Current Population||Capital|
|1||Papua New Guinea||8,558,800||Port Moresby|
Map of Countries in Melanesia
Alphabetical List of Countries and Dependencies in Melanesia
In summary, there are a total of 5 independent countries and dependent territories in Melanesia. See the following for full list of Melanesia countries and dependencies in alphabetical order: