Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mainland is usually the continental part of a region, as opposed to the islands nearby. Sometimes the residents are called "the Mainlanders". As a result of the usually larger area of mainland, there are significantly more mainlanders than islanders, and mainlander culture and politics sometimes threaten to dominate those of the islands.
Prominent uses of the term include:
- Mainland China, as opposed to the areas of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau (but including the island of Hainan);
- Mainland Canada, as opposed to Newfoundland or Victoria Island;
- Continental United States ("The Mainland"), as opposed to Hawaii and Alaska;
- Mainland Japan and Honshu, as opposed to the rest of the Japanese islands;
- the South Island of New Zealand, which, though having a far smaller population, is slightly larger than the North Island; It also came into existance before the North Island according to Māori legend.
- the Nova Scotian mainland, as opposed to Cape Breton Island;
- Mainland United Kingdom (i.e. Great Britain), as opposed to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland or any other British island; in the British Isles, continental Europe is referred to as The Continent.
- The largest islands of the Orkney and Shetland Islands; see The Mainland, Orkney and Shetland Mainland.
The term is used on multiple levels. To someone in Tasmania, continental Australia is the mainland; but to residents of King Island, Flinders Island, and the other surrounding islands, Tasmania itself is the mainland.
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