Greater Antilles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Greater Antilles
Grandes Antilles (in French)
Antillas Mayores (in Spanish)
Location within the Caribbean
Location within the Caribbean
Island States
 • Total207,411 km2 (80,081 sq mi)
 • Total38,400,500
 • Density171.45/km2 (444.1/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Greater Antillean
Time zonesEST: UTC-5/EDT: UTC-4

The Greater Antilles is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea: Cuba, Hispaniola (containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands.

The Greater Antilles constitute nearly 90% of the land mass of the entire West Indies,[1] as well as over 90% of its population. The remainder of the land belongs to the archipelago of the Lesser Antilles, which is a chain of islands to the east (running north-south and encompassing the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea where it meets the Atlantic Ocean) and south (running east-west off the northern coast of South America).

The word Antilles originated in the period before the European conquest of the New World - Europeans used the term Antillia as one of the mysterious lands featured on medieval charts, sometimes as an archipelago, sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, its location fluctuating in mid-ocean between the Canary Islands and Eurasia.

The Lucayan Archipelago is not considered to be a part of the Antilles archipelagos but rather of the North Atlantic.


Name Area
Population density
(per km²)
Capital Official language
Cayman Islands (UK) 264 58,441 207.9 George Town English
Cuba 110,860 11,147,407 102.4 Havana Spanish
Dominican Republic 48,442 10,734,247 183.7 Santo Domingo Spanish
Haiti 27,750 10,646,714 292.7 Port-au-Prince Haitian Creole, French
Jamaica 10,991 2,990,561 248.6 Kingston English
Puerto Rico (US) 9,104 3,351,827 430.2 San Juan Spanish, English
Total 207,411 38,929,197 169.05


  1. ^ "Greater Antilles". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 28 May 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Greater Antilles at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 21°59′N 79°02′W / 21.983°N 79.033°W / 21.983; -79.033