Europe is the smallest continent in the world after Oceania, but in terms of
population it is the third largest after Asia and Africa. Since the 18th
century, the border between Europe and Asia has generally been considered to run
along the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus, the
Black Sea, the Bosphorus, the Marmara Sea and the Dardanelles. The Mediterranean
in the south separates Europe from Africa. The western border is the Atlantic
Ocean, where Iceland is the western outpost. The North limits the Arctic
Ocean. The northern tip of the Svalbard archipelago is Europe's northernmost
||10 180 000 km²
In practice, the border with Europe is usually drawn with greater regard for
politics, economics and culture. This has led to the existence of several
"different" Europes, which are not always identical in size, and which include
or exclude different countries based on the definition of Europe used.
Location Map of Europe
Europe holds just under 12% of the earth's population, spread over just over
7% of the earth's land area. The most populous countries were in 2006 apart from
Russia: Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Ukraine.
Regions in Europe
Countries in Europe
With over 700 million residents, Europe is one of the more densely
populated parts of the world. The average population density is around 65
residents per kmē. The population density is relatively high in Western,
Central and Southern Europe in particular, while it continues to decline sharply
towards Northern and Eastern Europe. The centrally located population
concentration in western, central and southern Europe, which stretches in the
form of a ribbon between the Irish Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, is classified
under the designation " Blue Banana " as an economically and geographically
More than 90 percent of the population of Europe speak Indo-European
languages. The most widespread are Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages.
Greek, Albanian, the Baltic and Celtic languages as well as Romani are also
among the Indo-European languages.
The Uralic languages represent the second largest language family in
Europe. They are further subdivided into the Samoyed languages, which are spoken
by a few thousand people in the far north-east of Europe, and the Finno-Ugric
languages. These include above all Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian as official
languages, as well as the Sami languages spoken in Lapland and some minority
languages, especially in Russia.
In the European part of Turkey, Turkish is an official and titular language,
as is Kazakh in the European part of Kazakhstan. Other Turkic languages occur
as minority languages in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, such as Gagauz and
Tatar. Kalmuck is also spoken on the eastern edge of the continent, a
representative of the Mongolian language family in Europe.
With Maltese, a language of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asian languages
is also represented on the island of Malta. The Basque language spoken in
Spain and France is not assigned to any larger language family, its origin could
not be reconstructed by modern linguistics and is still unknown. In addition,
many other languages are spoken in Europe today from other language families
that have recently arrived here as a result of immigrants.
Christianity and Islam are the most widespread religions in Europe.
About 75% of Europeans are Christians (mostly Catholic, Protestant,
Between 42 and 53 million, or 6–8%, are Muslims, with most Muslims living in
the European parts of Russia (13–20 million). Approx. 16 million are Muslim
immigrants and their descendants in the European Union. 9.5 million live in the
European area of Turkey, 2.2 million in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 1.4–2.5
million in Albania.
Almost 2 million (approx. 0.3%) of the European population are Jews, most of
them in France (approx. 520,000), the United Kingdom (approx. 270,000), Russia
(approx. 260,000) and Germany (approx. 200,000). Other religions (Hinduism,
Buddhism, etc.) are also represented with less than 0.3%.
About 17% of Europeans are non-denominational, especially in Estonia, the
Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Russia and East Germany, otherwise v. a. in the
However, mere denomination says little about the actual degree of religiosity
in a country. According to the European Values Study, around a third of
Europeans described themselves as irreligious and 5% as staunch atheists.
- In Russia, the largest and most populous country in Europe (the European
part of Russia has over 100 million residents), over 50% are Christians,
at least 30% are atheists or non-denominational and around 14% are Muslims.
- In comparison, Germany has the second largest population with over 82
million residents. Almost 60% are Christians, around 5% Muslims, the rest
mostly atheists and non-denominational. In eastern Germany, however,
non-denominational people make up up to 70%.
Christianity first reached Europe in the 1st century AD. Islam spread to the
Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century, but was ousted again during the "
Reconquista " from the 13th to the 15th century. Europeans spread Christianity
through immigration and mission in America, Australia and, to a lesser extent,
other continents (parts of Southeast Asia, Africa and Oceania). Today Europe is