Melanesia (Greek black islands) is the name given to the Pacific archipelagos that were or are being populated by dark-skinned people who speak neither Polynesian nor Micronesian languages. The islands are northeast of Australia.
The region has an area of 940,000 km² on which about 10 million people live. The region includes the states of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu, the Indonesian region of Western New Guinea, the French overseas territory of New Caledonia and the Australian Torres Strait Islands. Ethnic groups that are counted among the Melanesians also live in the surrounding regions.
The countries of Melanesia according to the UN definition:
- New Caledonia
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands