AUSTRALIA / PACIFIC
The Pacific region consists of 25 000 islands scattered over 88 million square km of ocean (larger than the combined areas of Africa, Asia and Europe!). It comprises one continent (Australia), two large land masses (New Zealand and Papua New Guinea), and 26 smaller island states and territories.
1 300 different people groups live in this region. Two-thirds of these groups live in Papua New Guinea! Australia and New Zealand dominate in terms of population. The majority are from European ethnic backgrounds. Without the Caucasian population, the region would be ethnically 77% Pacific Islanders and 20% Asians.
The Pacific Ocean region and its indigenous peoples are traditionally divided into three groups: Micronesia in the West, Melanesia in the South, and Polynesia in the East.