Europe is the world’s third most populous continent after Asia and Africa with an estimated 11% of the world’s population. There are approximately 51 countries in Europe and the continent has a land surface area of 10,180,000 square kilometres. Despite the many countries, Europe is the second-smallest continent based on surface area. There are many interesting facts about Europe such as there are over 200 languages spoken in the continent yet only 23 are recognised as common in member countries.
The countries in Europe can be divided into either those that are European Union member states or those not in the European Union. There are 28 countries currently in the EU (as of July 2016). Geographically, countries in Europe can be classified into Peninsulas such Balkan, Scandinavia, Apennine and Iberian Peninsula. Countries can also be grouped based on religion with catholic Europe making up the majority of countries followed by Orthodox. There is also Protestant Europe with Muslim countries being the least.
Region wise, Europe can be classified as: Nordic countries, Caucasus, British Isles, Alpine countries and Baltic States. Countries such as Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are located partly in Asia and partly in Europe although they are recognised as being in Europe. Another unique aspect about some countries in Europe is that Armenia and Cyprus are located in West Asia but they are still considered as being part of Europe.
Here are some more facts about Europe:
- Russia is the largest country in Europe. The country also has the highest peak in Europe called Mount Elbrus which is 5,643 metres above sea level.
- Vatican City is the smallest country in Europe.
- France is one of the most visited countries in Europe and it has a population of around 62 million.
- There are six countries with partial recognition by UN. These are: Abkhazia, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia and Transnistria and Moldavian Republic.
- One of the oldest countries in Europe is Bulgaria and it has maintained its name since 681 AD.
- Turkey has the largest city in Europe – Istanbul, with an estimated population of 14 million people.
- In Greece, 40% of the population live in Athens, the capital city.
- In Iceland, there are no mosquitos at all and it is located in the most northern part of Europe.
- Sweden has 85% of its population living in urban areas and has the most number of McDonald’s restaurants in Europe.
- Switzerland is known mainly for its high rank in terms of human development index and other aspects of national performance.
- Belgium has the headquarters of European Union in the city of Brussels and has a population of about 11 million people.
- The Netherlands is also informally referred as Holland and is a founding member of major international bodies such as EU, NATO and WTO among others.
- Malta is one of the lowly populated countries in Europe with a population of 423, 000 with major UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Megalithic Temples.