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Table of Contents
Europe is the second smallest continent in the world. It only has a land area of 4 million square miles. Many of the most prominent empires were established on this continent such as British, Roman, Russian, and Spanish Empires.
See the fact file below for more information on Europe or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Europe worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Etymology and Background
- The term “Eurus,” which means vast in Greek, is where the continent’s name comes from. There are several explanations on where the origin of the word Europe is. One of them is that the name “EROB,” which signifies sunset in Ancient Syrian, is where it originated.
- Brussels is referred to as the “capital of Europe” since it is the location of the EU, and it shares the title of “global city” with other major cities like New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo due to its position as a hub of worldwide business and governance. 62 square miles are the Brussels-Capital Region’s size (161 square km).
- There are over 250 different languages spoken throughout this continent.
- This continent is a part of Eurasia, a massive continental landmass composed of Europe and some parts of Asia.
- Eurasia has both the largest and smallest country in the world.
- Europe played a significant part in history, especially in the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution periods.
- The largest country in the world (Russia) can be partly found on this continent, and Russia is a part of Europe and Asia.
- The smallest country in the world, Vatican City, can also be found on this continent.
- The current population of Europe is approximately 740 million people, which comprises 12% percent of the global population.
- Hecataeus and Anaximander were the first people to use the word Europe as a term in geography.
- The continent is made up of 50 countries, and 28 of those are a part of the European Union.
- The largest city in Europe is Moscow, which is located in the largest country in the world, Russia.
- The longest river in Europe can also be found in Russia and is called the Volga River, which is 3,692 meters long.
- The highest mountain in Europe is also located in Russia, and it is called Mount Elbrus, which is 5,642 meters high.
- The most widespread religion on the continent is Christianity, followed by 76% of Europe’s population.
- This is the continent with the highest Gross Domestic Product.
- 44 percent of the wine that is produced globally comes from this continent.
- Great Britain was the starting point of the Industrial Revolution.
- Many of the world’s most influential and infamous leaders came from Europe, such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler.
- This continent also has the highest toilet in the world, which can be found at the top of Mont Blanc at an elevation of 13,780 feet.
- The world’s longest name for a town can also be found in this continent. It’s called Lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantsyiliogo, which is located in Wales.
- France is a massive country in Europe, and Malta is the smallest by surface area.
- The largest producer of bananas in Europe is Spain.
- The following are the European countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
- The Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo uses the name “Europe” for the first time in relation to the western side of the Aegean Sea. Anaximander and Hecataeus initially used it in the sixth century BCE to refer to a region of the known world.
- In the 9th century, during the Carolingian Renaissance, the term “Europe” was first used to refer to a region of culture. Since then, the phrase has been used to refer to the Western Church’s sphere of influence in contrast to the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Islamic world.
- In contrast to Byzantium and the Islamic world, Europe is viewed culturally as the region of Latin Christendom that emerged in the eighth century. Northern Iberia, the British Isles, France, Christianized the Alpine regions, western Germany, and northern and central Italy were the only places that fit this criterion. It represented the new cultural condominium created by the fusion of Germanic traditions and Christian-Latin culture.
- The boundaries of Europe were influenced by cultural factors in the East due to Europe’s evolution from being a geographical term to a cultural one, mainly about regions influenced by Byzantine, Ottoman, and Russian cultures. Its users’ favorable connotations attached to the word “Europe” impacted these questions.
- Despite the Americas being conquered and settled by European governments, these cultural aspects were not considered. Instead, the idea of “Western civilization” developed to combine Europe and these colonies.
- The western half of the Eurasian landmass is made up of Europe. Its maritime borders include the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. It has a higher ratio of coastline to landmass than any other continent or subcontinent.
- In Europe, land relief varies greatly within relatively small areas. While the northern regions drop from the high Alps, Pyrenees, and Carpathians through hilly uplands and into broad, low northern plains that are enormous in the east, the southern regions are more mountainous.
- The North German Plain is located in the center of this extensive lowland, also referred to as the Great European Plain. Through the northwestern shore, which starts in the western regions of the British and Irish islands and extends along the steep, fjord-cut spine of Norway, there are also uplands.
- Europe is primarily located in climate zones with moderate temperatures and is influenced by westerlies. Due to the Gulf Stream’s effect, the climate is milder than in other regions of the same latitude throughout the world. Because it causes the climate of the continent to be warmer and wetter than it otherwise would be, the Gulf Stream is referred to as “Europe’s central heating.”
- The Gulf Stream warms the dominant westerly winds that blow across Europe from the Atlantic Ocean, bringing warm water to the continent’s coast.
- The vast water masses of the Mediterranean Sea are also very significant since they average out the temperatures on a daily and annual basis. The northernmost portion of the Adriatic Sea, close to Trieste, is where the water of the Mediterranean Ocean reaches the Alpine range from the Sahara desert.
- The formation of the Sarmatian craton and the Baltic Shield (Fennoscandia), followed by the Volgo-Uralia shield, all of which appeared around 2.25 billion years ago, and combined the three to form the East European craton (Baltica), which later joined the supercontinent Columbia, are the origins of the geological history of Europe.
- The wildly different and intricate geology of Europe creates a great range of landscapes that can be found throughout the continent, from the Scottish Highlands to the undulating plains of Hungary.
- What makes Europe unique is the contrast between Southern Europe’s mountains and highlands and the vast, heavily flooded Northern Plain, which stretches from the Ural Mountains in the east to Ireland in the west.
- The Alps/Carpathians and Pyrenees mountain ranges divide these two sections. The Scandinavian Mountains and the mountainous regions of the British Isles form the western boundary of the northern lowlands.
- The Celtic Sea, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea complex, and the Barents Sea are the main shallow water bodies that cover a portion of the northern lowlands.
- The former geological continent of Baltica is located in the northern plain, making it possible to refer to it as the “primary continent” from a geological perspective. The outlying highlands and mountainous regions in the south and west are remnants of many earlier geological continents. Most of western Europe’s older geology was formerly a part of the prehistoric microcontinent Avalonia.
- The political climate of the continent is primarily a result of the reorganization of Europe following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. In Europe, republican parliamentary democracy is typically the most common form of government.
- In 1815, the most common form of government was still the monarchy. The eleven monarchs that still exist in Europe are constitutional.
- The process of a European state integrating its political, legal, economic, and, in some circumstances, social and cultural systems are known as “European integration,” It has been pursued by the countries that support the Council of Europe since the end of World War II.
- Since its creation in 1993, the European Union has served as the hub of economic integration on the continent. A parallel organization made up of former Soviet states, the Eurasian Economic Union was established more recently.
- With more than $32.7 trillion in assets under management, Europe’s economy as a continent is currently the richest on Earth, surpassing North America‘s $27.1 trillion in 2008.
- Europe remained the wealthiest continent in 2009. The third of the world’s wealth, $37.1 trillion in assets under management, belonged to it. It was one of many places where wealth had increased since the year-end before the crisis.
- Similar to other continents, Europe has a wide disparity in national income. While some of the economies of Eastern Europe are still developing following the fall down of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the wealthier governments are often found in the West, followed by Central Europeans.
- The Blue Banana model, which later evolved into the Golden Banana or Blue Star, was created as a geographic depiction of the various economic strengths of the different regions.
- After 1989, there was a dramatic growth in the exchange between East and West and toward Asia, which had been severely hampered for a long time by the two world wars, new frontiers, and the Cold War. Additionally, the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative across the Suez Canal to Africa and Asia has given new momentum.
- The greatest single economic region in the world is the European Union, a political body made up of 27 European states.
- The euro is a widely accepted form of payment by 19 EU nations. According to GDP, five European countries are among the world’s top 10 largest national economies. This comprises (according to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) rankings): Germany (6), Russia (7), the United Kingdom (10), France (11), and Italy (13).
- According to the World Population Prospects 2022 edition, Europe’s population in 2017 was expected to be 742 million, or slightly more than one-ninth of all people on earth.
- Almost a quarter of the world’s population lived in Europe a century ago. While Europe’s population has increased over the past century, other parts of the world—particularly Africa and Asia—have had much faster population growth.
- Only Asia has a higher population density among the continents than Europe. The majority of Europe is experiencing sub-replacement fertility, which implies that each successive generation has fewer children than before. The microstate of Monaco is the most populous nation in Europe and the entire world.
- Pan and Pfeil (2004) list 87 distinct “peoples of Europe,” of which 33 represent the majority population in at least one sovereign state and the remaining 54 are ethnic minorities.
- By 2050, 653 million people, or nearly 7% of the world’s population, may reside in Europe, according to UN demographic projections.
- Significant differences in fertility rates exist between regions in this context. According to some sources, the average number of children per woman of childbearing age is 1.52, and this percentage is greater among Muslims in Europe.
- Due to emigration and low birth rates, the UN projects a continuing demographic loss in Central and Eastern Europe.
- In Europe, there are about 225 native tongues, the majority of which are members of one of the three Indo-European language families. Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages are some examples; they are all descended from southern Scandinavian languages.
- Most Slavic speakers live in Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe. Primarily spoken in Western and Southern Europe, as well as Switzerland in Central Europe, Romania, and Moldova in Eastern Europe, are Romance languages. In addition to Gibraltar and Malta throughout Southern Europe, Germanic languages are also spoken in Western, Northern, and Central Europe.
- Languages in nearby regions have a lot of overlaps (such as in English, for example). The Baltic group (Latvian and Lithuanian) and the Celtic group (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Greek, Armenian, and Albanian are additional Indo-European language families outside the three major groups.
- Today, Europe views multilingualism and the survival of regional and minority languages as important political objectives. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe regulate language rights in Europe.
- Historically, religion has significantly impacted European philosophy, law, art, and culture. In Roman Catholicism, there are six patron saints of Europe, five of whom Pope John Paul II designated as such between 1980 and 1999: Saints Cyril and Methodius, Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).
- Pope Paul VI had already named Benedict of Nursia the “Patron Saint of all Europe” in 1964. the most popular religion in Europe is Christianity, with 76.2% of people identifying as followers of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and other Protestant denominations.
- The most common among Protestants are historically state-sponsored European sects like Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and the Reformed faith. Other Protestant sects, including historically significant ones like the Anabaptists, as well as those recently immigrating from the United States, like Pentecostalism, Adventism, Methodism, Baptists, and various Evangelical Protestants—although Methodism and Baptists both have European roots—are not as prevalent because any state never supported them.
- Since at least the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church has significantly contributed to the advancement of Western civilization.
- In terms of culture, Europe has been very similar to Christian culture for at least a millennium and a half, although religion was brought to Europe from the Middle East. Christian culture dominated western civilization and influenced the development of philosophy, art, and science.
- Islam (4.9%) is the second most common religion, and it is primarily practiced in the Balkans (Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and in transcontinental nations (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) that lie on the border between Europe and Asia.
- The majority religion in the Russian Republic of Kalmykia is Tibetan Buddhism, but other religions like Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are minorities. Through movements like Wicca and Druidry, Neopaganism experienced a comeback in the 20th century.
- With an increasing number and percentage of nonreligious, atheist, and agnostic persons making up roughly 18.3% of the continent’s population, which is currently the largest secular population in the Western world, Europe has evolved into a generally secular continent. In the Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden, former East Germany, and France, there are disproportionately numerous persons who identify as atheists.
- The combined cultural heritage of the cultures of the Roman Empire and ancient Greece forms a significant part of the concept of “Europe.” As formed or defended during Europe’s medieval and early modern history, particularly against Islam, as in the Reconquista and the Ottoman wars in Europe, the limits of Europe were historically regarded as those of Christendom (or, more precisely, Latin Christendom).
- These indigenous national cultures and folklores, which can be broadly categorized as Slavic, Latin (Romance), and Germanic, but with some elements not belonging to any of these groups, unite to form this shared cultural heritage (notably Greek, Basque and Celtic).
- Various cultural events, such as the European Capital of Culture, the European Region of Gastronomy, the European Youth Capital, and the European Capital of Sport, are hosted in Europe to foster understanding between various cultures and highlight the significance of each one.
- Many sports have professional leagues in Europe, where sports are typically very well structured.
- The codification of numerous traditional games, particularly in Great Britain, is where many of the most well-known sports in the world today got their start. The great extent to which local, regional, and national variants continue to exist, and in some cases even predominate, is a paradoxical aspect of European sport.
Europe Continent Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Europe across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Europe Continent worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Europe, which is the second smallest continent in the world. It only has a land area of 4 million square miles. Many of the most prominent empires were established on this continent, such as the British, Roman, Russian, and Spanish Empires.
Complete List of Included Worksheets
- Europe Facts
- European Countries Search
- Most Loved Sports by Europeans
- Most Popular Cities in Europe
- Languages in Europe
- It Starts with the Capital
- Natural Wonders of Europe
- People are Called as
- Let us do some Census
- Did you know that?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 25 countries in Europe?
The following are the European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, and Slovenia.
What is the capital of Europe?
Brussels is referred to as the “capital of Europe” since it is the location of the EU, and it shares the title of “global city” with other major cities like New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo due to its position as a hub of worldwide business and governance. 62 square miles are the Brussels-Capital Region’s size (161 square km).
What is the biggest country in Europe by surface area?
France is the massive country in Europe.
What is the real name of Europe?
The term “Eurus,” which means vast in Greek, is where the continent’s name comes from. There are several explanations on where the origin of the word Europe is. One of them is that the name “EROB,” which signifies sunset in Ancient Syrian, is where it originated.
What is the smallest country in Europe?
Malta is the smallest country in Europe by surface area.
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