Q:

How many countries are in Australia?

A:

Australia is the one and only country on the Australian continent. However, the area was originally called Australasia. Australasia included the country of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Australia is its own country, but it is also a continent at the same time. It comprises the entirety of the continent and there are no other countries within it. Originally, the term “Australasia” described many different countries in the area. These countries included Australia, French Polynesia, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Tonga and Kiribati. It also included many islands in the area, including New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Western Samoa, Wallis Futuna and Solomon Island. Others countries that are sometimes included are Tuvalu, Cocos Keeling Island, Nauru, Cook Island, New Caledonia, Pitcairn Island and Vanatu. Altogether, Australasia constituted some 20 countries. However, the practice of including these countries in the same region has fallen out of favor. They are mostly considered separately. Countries in this area are also sometimes referred to as “Oceania.” The countries that make up Oceania also include the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and others. Any of the islands in the Pacific Ocean might fall under the geographical term Australasia, which is why its usefulness as a geographical designation is disputed.


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