The state of Hawaii counts 137 islands in the Hawaiian chain, including all minor islands and islets. The eight main islands forming the center of the state’s commerce and tourism are Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the big island of Hawaii.
The largest island is the big island of Hawaii at 4,028 square miles in area, while the smallest is Kahoolawe, at 46.6 square miles. The main islands are the tops of subsurface volcanic mountains, known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. The state has two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kilauea. The Hawaiian chain extends 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the south to Kure Atoll in the north. These atolls, islets and peaks are all part of the state, except for the island of Midway, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States.