This little blue, beachy slice of paradise is a tranquil tourist destination for millions of travellers each year. And, while the Caribbean archipelago is filled over 7,000 individual islands, there are actually only 13 sovereign island nations and 12 dependent territories.
From the Dutch Caribbean to the US Virgin Islands, these islands and territories are home to some of the world’s most vibrant cultures and remarkable landscapes. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean by size, with a total area of 105,806 square kilometres.
But, what’s the most populated island in the Caribbean? You’re not the only one with the question, which is why we took a look at the seven most populated Caribbean islands. Start planning your dream Caribbean vacation today.
Most Populated Caribbean Islands
As the largest island in the Caribbean by size, it makes sense that Cuba would also be the most populated Caribbean island. With just over 11 million inhabitants, you’ll find Cuba bursting with vibrant locals who love to dive into their incredibly rich history with visitors eager to listen. For being one of the biggest Caribbean islands, it sure doesn’t feel too crowded.
Population in 2019: 11,333,483
What to Do in Cuba: Visit one of Havana’s best bars and sip on Hemingway-style daiquiris or sample local rum.
Despite not being one of the biggest Caribbean islands by physical size, Haiti currently ranks No. 2 on the world’s list of the most populated Caribbean islands. In fact, as you can see, the population nearly reaches that of Cuba’s. And, you’ll find that it’s actually a very young country. Approximately 54% of its population is under the age of 25 years old.
Population in 2019: 11,263,077
What to Do in Haiti: Volunteer with a local charity before visiting the three stunning blue pools that are a part of Bassin Bleu.
With its immense cultural heritage and stunning beaches, the Dominican Republic ranks 85th overall in terms of the most populated countries in the world. You’ll find the island located on the eastern side of the Antilles, on the island of Hispaniola. Santo Domingo and its unique cobblestoned historic centre is the largest city.
Population in 2019: 10,783,958
What to Do in the Dominican Republic: Head out for a tantalising, boozy brunch in Santo Domingo.
Known worldwide for reggae music, white sand beaches, and Bob Marley, Jamaica actually ranks No.3 in terms of the largest Caribbean islands by size. However, in terms of population, it slid into the No. 4 spot for 2020. A mountainous landscape pushes tourists to the shores to enjoy warm, sunny days at the beach.
Population in 2019: 2,948,279
What to Do in Jamaica: Take a tasty tour of the island’s famous jerk chicken. Follow our route of the best places for jerk chicken to hit up all the best spots.
Even though it’s only the fifth-largest island by population in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico isn’t necessarily small. If it were a full state, it would be the 29th largest state in the USA. And, with all of its mountains, waterfalls and historic culture, it would certainly be one of the most unique.
Population in 2019: 2,933,408
What to Do in Puerto Rico: The island is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, so we suggest mapping out a route to visit the hottest restaurants in Puerto Rico.
These are obviously two separate islands all rolled into one Caribean country. Trinidad is the larger island and together they’ve got a combined population of nearly 1.4 million people. And, the people there are incredibly diverse. The most common languages spoken here are English, Chinese, North Levantine Spoken Arabic, and American Sign Language.
Population in 2019: 1,394,973
What to Do in Trinidad and Tobago: Don’t listen to TLC and spend the day chasing waterfalls as you plunge into the pool below the iconic Rio Seco waterfall.
The French-owned archipelago actually consists of the smaller islands of Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes. And, Les Abymes is the most populated city. There, you’ll find French-speaking locals out and about enjoying the impressive, lush scenery.
Population in 2019: 400,124
What to Do in Guadeloupe: Visit the Parc National de la Guadeloupe on Basse-Terre. Once you’re there, check out Carbet Falls and the volcano La Grande Soufrière.