Europe Overview

Europe is the second smallest continent and the western part of the Eurasian land mass. Ethnically and politically, Europe is divided into a large number of peoples and states. See all countries on Abbreviationfinder.


The area of Europe is 10 532 000 km². The continent is surrounded by the Atlantic and its neighboring seas. It is located entirely in the northern hemisphere. The border with Asia runs at the east foot of the Urals and the Mugodsharen via Emba, the north coast of the Caspian Sea and the Kuma-Manytsch valley to the Sea of Azov and on its east coast to the Kerch Strait, through the Black Sea, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara and the dardanelles. There are numerous peninsulas (Scandinavia, Italy , Iberian Peninsula, Balkan Peninsula) and islands (Britain, Ireland , Sicily).

The geological areas stretch across the continent in a west-east direction: mountains in Scotland and Scandinavia; lowlands from northern France to Russia; from the Cantabrian Mountains in Spain to the Balkans, individual high mountain ranges (Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians); in southern Europe, low mountain ranges with large basins in river lowlands. Europe is riddled with numerous rivers. The largest are Volga, Dnieper, Danube, Rhine and Rhône.

Country Adjacent country / countries
Albania Montenegro, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Greece
Andorra France, Spain
Armenia Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Iran
Azerbaijan Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran 2
Belgium The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France
Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia, Serbia and Montrenegro
Bulgaria Romania, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Greece, Turkey
Denmark Germany
Estonia Latvia, Russia
Finland Sweden, Norway, Russia
France Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Andorra
Georgia Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey
Greece Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey
Ireland UK
Italy France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Vatican City
Kosovo Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro
Croatia Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro
Latvia Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania
Liechtenstein Austria, Switzerland
Lithuania Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad region)
Luxembourg Belgium, Germany, France
Northern Macedonia Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania
Malta Neighboring countries are missing
Moldova Romania, Ukraine
Monaco France
Montenegro Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania
Netherlands Germany, Belgium
Norway Sweden, Finland, Russia
Poland Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia (Kaliningrad region)
Portugal Spain
Romania Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria
Russia Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea
San Marino Italy
Switzerland Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, France
Serbia Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo
Slovakia Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Austria
Slovenia Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia
Spain Portugal, France, Andorra, Gibraltar, Morocco
UK Ireland
Sweden Norway, Finland
Czech Republic Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria
Turkey Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan (excluding Nakhivan), Iran, Iraq, Syria
Germany Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland
Ukraine Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova
Hungary Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia
Vatican City State Italy
Belarus Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia
Austria Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy


Europe is mainly in the temperate climate zone, the north is part of the subpolar, the south of the subtropical zone. Central Europe is a transition area to the continental climate area, in which dry continental air masses can bring dry-cold weather in winter and dry-hot weather in summer. Eastern and Northern Europe have a continental climate, whereby under the influence of the Asian high pressure area, the winters are colder and the summers are warmer than in Western Europe. In southern Europe there is largely a Mediterranean climate with trade winds in summer and winter rain. The high mountains of Europe form effective barriers to rain clouds. They are important climate and water divisions. For example, the Alps separate the Mediterranean climate of Southern Europe from the continental Central Europe.


To the north, Iceland stretches across the Scandinavian Mountains and further east to an ever expanding coastline of treeless tundra, to the south of which is a transition zone made up of loose tree and shrub vegetation. It merges into the large coniferous forest belt that almost all of Scandinavia, Finland and the north of Russia (taiga). Coniferous forests still dominate in the higher regions of the mountains of Central and Southern Europe. To the south and in the lower mountainous areas there is an already heavily cleared mixed forest zone, which finally changes into a deciduous forest zone that has become very patchy. In southern Eastern Europe, the steppe area on the Black Sea goes east to the Caspian Sea in salt and desert steppes. The Mediterranean flora region includes the coastal areas and islands of the Mediterranean Sea and the southern Crimea, where, after the early destruction of large forest areas, hardwood and macchia (evergreen shrubbery) predominate today. An alpine flora covers the sun-drenched areas and slopes of the high mountain regions above the tree line.

The tundra is inhabited by reindeer, arctic fox, wolverine, lemming and numerous rodent and bird species. Elk, deer, roe deer, wild boar, fox, badger, marten, polecat, rodents, songbirds and birds of prey are typical of the forest zone. Larger predators such as bear, wolf and lynx have become very rare: chamois, ibex, marmot, golden eagle and lamb vulture live in the high mountain regions.


Europe Median Age

According to Countryaah, Europe is relatively densely populated with 730 million people. The much larger continent of Africa has only a slightly larger population. The predominant religion is Christianity with its various denominations (Protestantism, Catholic Church, Orthodox Church). The European language families (Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages) are so-called Indo-European languages. Exceptions are the Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian languages, which do not belong to Indo-European (Finno-Ugric languages) and the Basque language.

Nature conservation

Throughout Europe, nature reserves and national parks have been set aside to protect the original fauna and flora. In 2017, there were a total of about 27,000 protected areas within the Natura 2,000 project. These comprise about 1 million km2 (about 9 percent of the continent’s land area). Of these, 236 were so-called biosphere reserves (allocated under UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere program).

In 1982, the Convention on the Protection of Europe’s Wildlife and Plants and Their Environments (the Bern Convention) came into force. The countries that have signed the Convention undertake, inter alia, to make special efforts to protect the specially protected wild plants and animals that are included in the Convention’s lists. The EU is working on a framework to protect all animals and plants and their environments in EU areas. The EU has approved and participates as a party to the Berne Convention, the CITES (Convention for the Regulation of Trade in Endangered Animals and Plants) and the Bonn Convention (Convention on the Protection of Moving Wild Species).