Countries of Europe – A Wanderlust for Life

Countries of Europe

Countries of Europe – Europe is the second-smallest continent, and it could be described as a large peninsula or as a subcontinent. Europe is the western portion of the Eurasian landmass and is located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere. Several larger islands belong to Europe, such as Iceland or the British Isles with the UK and Ireland.

With an area of 10.2 million km² (3,938,000 sq mi), Europe is 20% larger than the contiguous United States. The European Union has an area (without the UK) of over 4.23 million km² (1.6 million sq mi).

How many countries are there in Europe?
Europe is shared by 50 countries. By the conventional definition, there are 44 sovereign states or nations in Europe. Not included are several countries namely Turkey, which occupies only a small part of East Thrace on the European Balkan Peninsula.
Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, is geographically part of Asia Minor (Middle East).
The Faroe Islands, an island group between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean are a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Greenland, which geographically belongs to North America, is as well an autonomous Danish territory.
Kosovo is a partially recognized state in the Balkans.
A small piece of Western Kazakhstan is also considered to be part of Europe.

An estimated 747 million people live in Europe. The most populous country in Europe is the European part of Russia with a population of 110 million people, followed by Germany with 83 million citizens, and Metropolitan France with 67 million inhabitants (in 2020).
(Source: UN World Population Prospects)

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European Regions – Conventionally there are four main geographical regions or subregions in Europe.

  • Northern Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Southern Europe

Northern Europe refers to the portion of Europe to the north of Western Europe, the English Channel, and the Baltic Sea; it also includes the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

According to the United Nations Population Division, approximately 105 million people live in Northern Europe (in 2019).
See also: Map of Northern Europe.

Faroe Islands (DK)Tórshavn
Greenland (DK)Nuuk (Godthab)
IrelandDublin (City)
Northern Ireland (UK)Belfast
Scotland (UK)Edinburgh, Glasgow
United KingdomLondon, Birmingham, Manchester
Wales (UK)Cardiff

Western Europe is the western part of Europe; it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the English Channel and the North Sea to the north, and by the Alps in the south.

According to the United Nations Population Division, approximately 194 million people live in Central Europe (in 2019).

AustriaVienna (Wien)
NetherlandsThe Hague, Amsterdam
SwitzerlandBern – Zürich

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Conventionally Eastern Europe is the geographical region east of Germany and west of the Ural Mountains. The United Nations geoscheme lists ten countries including the former Eastern bloc countries of Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia (formerly Czechoslovakia), Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, the former Soviet republics of Belarus and Ukraine, as well as European Russia.

According to the United Nations Population Division, approximately 290 million people live in Eastern Europe (in 2019).

Czech RepublicPrague
Russian FederationMoscow

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Southern Europe or Mediterranean Europe refers to the mainly subtropical southern portion of the continent. The region is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the south. There are 13 sovereign countries in Southern Europe; seven of those states are members of the European Union.
In 2019 an estimated 152 million people live in Southern Europe (not including the population of Southern France and East Thrace.)

   AndorraAndorra la Vella
   Bosnia & HerzegovinaSarajevo
   Croatia (Hrvatska)Zagreb
CyprusNicosia (Lefkosia)
   Gibraltar (UK)Gibraltar
ItalyRome – Milan
  North Macedonia, Rep. ofSkopje
   San MarinoSan Marino
  Turkey (East Thrace)Ankara – Istanbul
  Vatican City StateVatican City

Highest Point
With a height of 5,642 m, Mount Elbrus is Europe’s highest mountain. The dormant volcano lies in the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia.

Mont Blanc at 4,808 m is the highest mountain in Western Europe and the highest peak of the Alps.

Largest Lakes
Lake Lagoda northeast of St Petersburg in Russia is the largest lake entirely in Europe with a surface area of 17,700 km². Lake Onega located northeast of Lake Lagoda in European Russia has a surface area of 9,700 km². Other major lakes are Lake Vänern in Sweden (largest lake in Western Europe) and Lake Saimaa in Finland.
Lake Balaton in Hungary is the largest lake in Central Europe with a surface area of 592 km².

Longest River
Europe’s longest river is the Volga with a length of 3,530 km (2,190 mi); the river’s catchment area is almost entirely inside Russia. The river flows into the Caspian Sea.

The second-longest river in Europe is the Danube with a length of 2,850 km (1,770 mi), the longest river in the European Union region flows through ten countries and empties into the Black Sea.

Major Geographical Regions of Europe
Major geographical regions in Europe are Scandinavia and the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the British Isles, the Great European Plain, the Central European Uplands, the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Italian Peninsula and the Apennine Mountains, the Iberian Peninsula, the Pyrenees, the Balkans and the Balkan Peninsula, the Black Sea and the Caucasus.

Official and Spoken Languages of European Countries.

List of official, national and spoken Languages of Europe.

Europe is a continent with many countries (about 50) and almost each country has its own language, known as the national language. Some countries have even more than one national language.

At the fringes of the countries languages may overlap and used interchangeable, this means, people in the border regions of countries might understand and speak the language of the neighboring country.

Is there a common language in Europe so that all Europeans can talk to each other?

Eh, no, not really. There are Europeans who have learned Spanish, French, German, English, or even Latin as a second language, so they might be able to use it in the country where those languages are spoken.

On the other hand, English is on the rise used not only in Europe as a lingua franca, especially by the younger generation of Europeans, even so France tried hard to protect its citizens from the unwanted influence of English on French (language) culture.

However, the EU, the European union of 28 member states has 24 official languages, but in practice only two are used most often: English and French.

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CountryOfficial and national LanguagesOther spoken Languages
AlbaniaAlbanian (Shqip, Tosk (Toskë) is the official dialect)Shqip-Gheg dialect (Gegë), Greek, Italian
AndorraCatalanFrench, Castilian, Portuguese
AustriaGerman, Slovene (official in Carinthia), Croatian and Hungarian (official in Burgenland) 
BelarusBelarusian, Russian 
BelgiumDutch 60%, French 40%, German less than 1% 
Bosnia & HerzegovinaBosnian, Croatian, Serbian 
CroatiaCroatian (hrvatski) 
CyprusGreek, Turkish, English 
Czech RepublicCzech (cestina) 
DenmarkDanish (dansk)Standard German
EstoniaEstonian (eesti keel)Russian, Ukrainian, Finnish
Faroe IslandsFaroese, Danish 
FinlandFinnish (suomi) 93.4%, Swedish 5.9%small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities
FranceFrench (français) 
GermanyGerman (Deutsch) 
GibraltarEnglishLlanito (a mixture of Spanish and English), Spanish
GreeceGreek (elliniká, the Koine-Demotic version)Turkish (Northern Greece)
GreenlandGreenlandic Inuktitut (Kalaallisut), Danish 
HungaryHungarian (magyar)German, Romanian
IcelandIcelandicEnglish, Nordic languages, German widely spoken.
IrelandIrish (Gaeilge), English (generally used), 
ItalyItalian (italiano) 
LatviaLatvian (latviesu valoda)Lithuanian, Russian
LithuaniaLithuanian (lietuviu kalba)Polish, Russian
LuxembourgLuxembourgish (LÎtzebuergesch, the everyday spoken language), French (administrative language), German (administrative language) 
Macedonia, Rep. ofMacedonian 68%, Albanian 25% 
MaltaMaltese (Malti)English
MoldovaMoldovan (virtually the same as the Romanian language),Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
MonacoFrenchMonegasque, English, Italian,
MontenegroSerbo-Croatian (Ijekavian dialect – official) 
NetherlandsDutch (Nederlands, official language), Frisian (official language) 
NorwayNorwegian (nynorsk and bokmal)small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
PolandPolish (polski) 
PortugalPortuguese (português) 
RomaniaRomanian (romana)Hungarian, German
Russian FederationRussian 
San MarinoItalian 
SerbiaSerbian 95%, Albanian 5% 
SlovakiaSlovak (slovensky jazyk)Hungarian
SloveniaSlovenian (slovenski jezik) 
SpainSpanish (español – the Castilian version) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%note: Castilian is the official language nationwide; the other languages are official regionally.
SwedenSwedish (svenska)small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities.
SwitzerlandGerman 63.7%, French 19.2%, Italian 7.6%, Romansch 0.6% 
TurkeyTurkish (türkçe)Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek
United KingdomEnglishWelsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
Vatican City StateLatin, ItalianFrench and various other languages.
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