How Many Countries Are There In Europe Today: List, Population, Facts and Figures
Europe is the 6th largest continent. Photo KnowInsiders

Facts About Europe and How Many Countries In Continent

Europe is the 6th largest continent, comprising 4,000,000 sq mi (10,360,000 sq km) including adjacent islands (1992 est. pop. 512,000,000). It is actually a vast peninsula of the great Eurasian land mass. By convention, it is separated from Asia by the Urals and the Ural River in the east; by the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus in the southeast; and by the Black Sea, the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles in the south. The Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar separate it from Africa. Europe is washed in the north by the Arctic Ocean, and in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, with which the North Sea and the Baltic Sea are connected.

The huge Alpine mountain chain, of which the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, and the Caucasus are the principal links, traverses the continent from west to east. The highest points are Mt. Elbrus (18,481 ft/5,633 m) in the Caucasus and Mont Blanc (15,771 ft/4,807 m) in the Alps. Europe's lowest point (92 ft/28 m below sea level) is the surface of the Caspian Sea. Between the mountainous Scandinavian peninsula in the north and the Alpine chain in the south lie the Central European Uplands surrounded by the great European plain, stretching from the Atlantic coast of France to the Urals.

According to World Atlas, there are a total of 44 countries in Europe. Divided into different regions (as per the UN Geoscheme for Europe), there are 9 countries in Western Europe, 10 countries in Eastern Europe, 15 countries in Southern Europe, and 10 countries in Northern Europe. This does not include transcontinental countries that have territory in both Europe and Asia, but in which the majority of their populations live in Asia rather than Europe.

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Photo 123rf
Photo 123rf

The Full List of Countries Of Europe with Population and sq.Km

Rank

Country

Estimated Population

(sq. Km)

1

Russia

144,373,540

17,098,242

-

Turkey

83,429,620

783,562

2

Germany

83,132,800

357,022

3

France

67,059,890

643,801

4

United Kingdom

66,834,400

243,610

5

Italy

60,297,400

301,340

6

Spain

47,076,780

505,370

7

Ukraine

44,385,150

603,550

8

Poland

37,970,870

312,685

9

Romania

19,356,540

238,391

-

Kazakhstan

18,513,930

2,724,900

10

Netherlands

17,332,850

41,543

11

Belgium

11,484,060

30,528

12

Greece

10,716,320

131,957

13

Czech Republic

10,669,710

78,867

14

Sweden

10,285,450

450,295

15

Portugal

10,269,420

92,090

-

Azerbaijan

10,023,320

86,600

16

Hungary

9,769,950

93,028

17

Belarus

9,466,860

207,600

18

Austria

8,877,070

83,871

19

Switzerland

8,574,830

41,277

20

Bulgaria

6,975,760

110,879

21

Serbia

6,944,980

77,474

22

Denmark

5,818,550

43,094

23

Finland

5,520,310

338,145

24

Slovakia

5,454,070

49,035

25

Norway

5,347,900

323,802

26

Ireland

4,941,440

70,273

27

Croatia

4,067,500

56,594

-

Georgia

3,720,380

69,700

28

Bosnia and Herzegovina

3,301,000

51,197

-

Armenia

2,957,730

29,743

29

Albania

2,854,190

28,748

30

Lithuania

2,786,840

65,300

31

Moldova

2,657,640

33,851

32

Slovenia

2,087,950

20,273

33

North Macedonia

2,083,460

25,713

34

Latvia

1,912,790

64,589

35

Estonia

1,326,590

45,228

-

Cyprus

1,198,580

9,251

36

Montenegro

622,140

13,812

37

Luxembourg

619,900

2,586

38

Malta

502,650

316

39

Iceland

361,310

103,000

40

Andorra

77,140

468

41

Monaco

38,960

2

42

Liechtenstein

38,020

160

43

San Marino

33,860

61

44

Vatican City

825

0.44

Quick Facts about Europe

*There are 27 countries in the European Union, but 8 of them are not in the eurozone and therefore don't use the euro.1

*The 9 countries choose to use their own currency as a way to maintain financial independence on certain key issues.

*Those issues include setting monetary policy, dealing with issues specific to each country, handling national debt, modulating inflation, and choosing to devalue the currency in certain circumstances.

Turkey. Photo Pinterest
Turkey. Photo Pinterest

What is the European Union?

The European Union and the Schengen Area represent two entirely different concepts within the same continent.

ETIAS (The European Travel Information and Authorization) will require visitors to the Schengen Area to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization before they can enter. ETIAS for Europe will come into force by the end of 2022. It was designed by the European Union (EU) to strengthen border control and security around the Schengen Area.

With the implementation of ETIAS approaching there is understandably a lot of confusion around what people will have to do to before visiting Europe. Part of this confusion results from a misunderstanding about which countries are in the Schengen area, which are the ETIAS countries, and which countries are in the EU.

In 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. Brexit has left people with even more questions about how traveling to Europe will work in the future.

Photo Lowy Institution
Photo Lowy Institution

The union consisting of 27 member states. It was originally established to promote peace on the continent but has grown in importance since being established.

EU countries have autonomy over many aspects of their policy making, including foreign policy, but are bound to the judicial and legislative institutions of the EU.

The single market, a singular internal market between the member states, allows for the free movement of people, goods, services, and money. EU citizens have the absolute freedom to study, work, live and retire in any European Union country.

The 27 European countries that are part of the EU

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

What is the Schengen area?

Photo Best Travel Agency
Photo Best Travel Agency

The Schengen Area is an zone made up of 26 European states which have officially abolished passports and other types of border control at their mutual borders. For visitors to the EU it effectively means that the Schengen Area acts as a singular country, i.e. once you enter one Schengen country you have entered them all.

What's the difference between the EU and the Schengen area?

In short, they are two different entities although many countries are included in both. The EU is a political and economic union, whereas the Schengen Area allows for the free movement of people between the participating countries.

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states.The EU has developed an internal tariff-free single market and ensures the free movement of all EU citizens between the 28 countries.

Though each member state has its own government there are shared laws which cover a range of areas including trade, agriculture, and regional development.

The original six members (Belgium, France, Italy, and Luxembourg) joined together in the 1950s with the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1951) and the Treaty of Rome (1957). They came to be known as ‘the European Community’.

The community expanded over the subsequent decades to include the other 22 members and it came to be called the European Union.

Are the EU countries and the Schengen countries the same?

No, there are non-EU countries which are in the Schengen Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City).

There are also countries which are a part of the EU, which have opted out of the Schengen Agreement, these being the United Kingdom and Ireland (Éire).

Western Europe

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland

The region of Western Europe consists of 9 countries. The total population of the region is just over 268 million. Germany is the most populous country of Western Europe, with a population of more than 83 million, while the small principality of Liechtenstein has just over 38,000 people living within its borders. Western Europe forms the core of the political and economic alliance known as the European Union.

The European Commission is based in Brussels, Belgium, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

Eastern Europe

  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Czechia
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Slovakia
  • Ukraine

Eastern Europe consists of 10 countries, and has a total population of about 293 million. The most populous country in Eastern Europe is Russia, which boasts approximately 144 million residents, making it the most populous country in all of Europe. The least populated country in the region is Moldova, which has just under 2.7 million people within its borders. Moldova is also the poorest country in Europe as a whole. Eastern Europe once formed the bulk of the Warsaw Pact, the military alliance that opposed NATO during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union. Now, however, many of the region’s countries are part of both NATO and the European Union. It should also be noted that Russia is one of Europe’s transcontinental countries, as everything east of the Ural Mountains is considered part of Asia.

Northern Europe

  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Northern Europe is made up of 10 countries, with a total population of approximately 34 million, making it the least populous region on the continent. The region’s most populous country is Finland, which has a total of approximately 5.5 million residents. The least populous country of Northern Europe is Iceland, with around just 360,000 residents.

Southern Europe

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Vatican City

Southern Europe is a region of 15 countries. Its total population is about 153 million. The most populous country in the region is Italy, with a population of more than 60 million. The country with the least number of people in the region is Vatican City, which has less than a thousand people living in it, making it not just the least populous country in Southern Europe and Europe as a whole, but also the least populous in the world. Southern Europe has been the scene of some of Europe’s most recent armed conflicts, which took place in 1990s, during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

Transcontinental Countries

  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Kazakhstan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Armenia
  • Cyprus

As previously stated, transcontinental countries are countries with territory in both Europe and Asia. All the transcontinental countries of Europe except for Russia have the bulk of their population residing in Asia and hence, have been not included among the 44 countries of Europe.The bulk of Russia’s population, however, lives in its European territory, west of the Ural Mountains. If Turkey was considered part of Southern Europe, it would be considered the region’s most populous country, as it boasts a total population of over 83 million, which would also make it the 2nd most populous country in Europe. However, most of Turkey’s population lives in Anatolia, the Asian region of the country. That being said, the small bit of territory in Europe that does belong to Turkey hosts the continent’s biggest city, Istanbul, with a population of more than 15 million residents.

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