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World map showing Europe
World map showing Europe
Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiogeographic one. Physically and geologically, Europe is a subcontinent or large peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south by the Mediterranean and the Caucasus. Europe's boundary to the east is vague, but has traditionally been given as the watershed for the Ural Mountains and Caspian Sea to the southeast: the Urals are considered by most to be a geographical and tectonic landmark separating Asia from Europe.Europe is the world's second-smallest continent in terms of area, covering around 10,430,000 square kilometres (4,020,000 sq mi) or 2.0% of the Earth's surface, and is only larger than Australia. In terms of population, it is the third-largest continent (Asia and Africa are larger) with a population of more than 705,000,000, or about 11% of the world's population.

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Contents

Etymology
History
Geography and extent
Biodiversity
Demographics
Territories and divisions



Etymology - Contents

Picture of Europa, carried away by bull-shaped Zeus.
Picture of Europa, carried away by bull-shaped Zeus.
In Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted by Zeus in bull form and taken to the island of Crete, where she gave birth to Minos. For Homer, Europé ( Greek: Ευρωπη; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was a mythological queen of Crete, not a geographical designation. Later Europa stood for mainland Greece, and by 500 BC its meaning had been extended to lands to the north.The Greek term Europe has been derived from Greek words meaning broad (eurys) and face (ops) -- broad having been an epitheton of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion; see Prithvi (Plataia). A minority, however, suggest this Greek popular etymology is really based on a Semitic word such as the Akkadian erebu meaning "sunset" (see also Erebus). From the Middle Eastern vantagepoint, the sun does set over Europe, the lands to the west. Likewise, Asia is sometimes thought to have derived from the Akkadian word asu, meaning "sunrise", and is the land to the east from a Mesopotamian perspective.


History - Contents

As part of the Old World, Europe has a long history of cultural and economic achievement, starting as far back as the Palaeolithic. The recent discovery at Monte Poggiolo, Italy, of thousands of hand-shaped stones, tentatively carbon-dated to 800,000 years ago, may prove to be of particular importance.The origins of Western democratic and individualistic culture are often attributed to Ancient Greece, though numerous other distinct influences, in particular Christianity, can also be credited with the spread of concepts like egalitarianism and universality of law.The Roman Empire divided the continent along the Rhine and Danube for several centuries. Following the decline of the Roman Empire, Europe entered a long period of changes arising from what is known as the Age of Migrations. That period has been known as the " Dark Ages" to Renaissance thinkers. During this time, the Ottoman Empire conquered Istanbul formerly known as Constantinople and finished the Byzantine Empire and became the most important power of all Europe. Isolated monastic communities in Ireland and elsewhere carefully safeguarded and compiled written knowledge accumulated previously. The Renaissance and the New Monarchs marked the start of a period of discovery, exploration, and increase in scientific knowledge. In the 15th century Portugal opened the age of discoveries, soon followed by Spain. They were later joined by France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in building large colonial empires with vast holdings in Africa, the Americas, and Asia.After the age of discovery, the ideas of democracy took hold in Europe. Struggles for independence arose, most notably in France during the period known as the French Revolution. This led to vast upheaval in Europe as these revolutionary ideas propagated across the continent. The rise of democracy led to increased tensions within Europe on top of the tensions already existing due to competition within the New World. The most famous of these conflicts was when Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power and set out on a conquest, forming a new French Empire that soon collapsed. After these conquests Europe stabilised, but the old foundations were already beginning to crumble.The Industrial Revolution started in the United Kingdom in the late 18th century, leading to a move away from agriculture, much greater general prosperity and a corresponding increase in population. Many of the states in Europe took their present form in the aftermath of World War I. From the end of World War II through the end of the Cold War, Europe was divided into two major political and economic blocks: Communist nations in Eastern Europe (with the exceptions of Turkey and Greece) and capitalist countries in Western Europe and Southern Europe. Around 1990, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Eastern bloc disintegrated.


Geography and extent - Contents

Europe at its furthest extent, reaching to the Urals.
Europe at its furthest extent, reaching to the Urals.
Geographically Europe is a part of the larger landmass known as Eurasia. The continent begins at the Ural Mountains in Russia, which define Europe's eastern boundary with Asia. The southeast boundary with Asia is not universally defined. Most commonly the Ural or, alternatively, the Emba River serve as possible boundaries. The boundary continues to the Caspian Sea, the crest of the Caucasus Mountains or, alternatively, the Kura River in the Caucasus, and on to the Black Sea; the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles conclude the Asian boundary. However, numerous geographers consider Azerbaijan's and Armenia's southern border with Iran and Turkey's southern and eastern border with Syria, Iraq and Iran as the boundary between Asia and Europe because of political and cultural reasons. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa. The western boundary is the Atlantic Ocean, but Iceland, much farther away than the nearest points of Africa, is also often included in Europe. There is ongoing debate on where the geographical centre of Europe is. For detailed description of the boundary between Asia and Europe see here.Because of political, cultural and geographical differences, there are various descriptions of Europe's boundary. Therefore, in some sources, some countries are not included in Europe, while the other sources do include them.Almost all European countries are members of the Council of Europe, the exceptions being Belarus, and the Holy See (Vatican City).
A satellite composite image of Europe
A satellite composite image of Europe
The idea of the European continent is not held across all cultures. Some non-European geographical texts refer to the continent of Eurasia, or to the European peninsula, given that Europe is not surrounded by sea. In the past concepts such as Christendom were deemed more important.In another usage, Europe is increasingly being used as a short-form for the European Union (EU) and its members, currently consisting of 25 member states and the candidate countries negotiating for membership, and several other countries expected to begin negotiations in the future (see Enlargement of the European Union). This definition, however, excludes non-members such as Russia and Switzerland.

Physical features
In terms of shape, Europe is a collection of connected peninsulas. The two largest of these are "mainland" Europe and Scandinavia to the north, divided from each other by the Baltic Sea. Three smaller peninsulas ( Iberia, Italy and the Balkans) emerge from the southern margin of the mainland into the Mediterranean Sea, which separates Europe from Africa. Eastward, mainland Europe widens much like the mouth of a funnel, until the boundary with Asia is reached at the Ural Mountains.Land relief in Europe shows great variation within relatively small areas. The southern regions, however, are more mountainous, while moving north the terrain descends from the high Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, through hilly uplands, into broad, low northern plains, which are vast in the east. This extended lowland is known as the Great European Plain, and at its heart lies the North German Plain. An arc of uplands also exists along the northwestern seaboard, beginning in the western British Isles and continuing along the mountainous, fjord-cut spine of Norway.This description is simplified. Sub-regions such as Iberia and Italy contain their own complex features, as does mainland Europe itself, where the relief contains many plateaus, river valleys and basins that complicate the general trend. Iceland and the British Isles are special cases. The former is a land unto itself in the northern ocean which is counted as part of Europe, while the latter are upland areas that were once joined to the mainland until rising sea levels cut them off.Due to the few generalisations that can be made about the relief of Europe, it is less than surprising that its many separate regions provided homes for many separate nations throughout history.


Biodiversity - Contents

Having lived side-by-side with agricultural peoples for millennia, Europe's animals and plants have been profoundly affected by the presence and activities of man. With the exception of Scandinavia and northern Russia, few areas of untouched wilderness are today to be found in Europe, except for different natural parks.The main natural vegetation cover in Europe is forest. The conditions for growth are very favourable. In the north, the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift warm the continent. Southern Europe could be described as having a warm, but mild climate. There are frequent summer droughts in this region. Mountain ridges also affect the conditions. Some of these ( Alps, Pyrenees) are oriented east-west and allow the wind to carry large masses of water from the ocean in the interior. Others are oriented south-north ( Scandinavian Mountains, Dinarides, Carpathians, Apennines) and because the rain falls primarily on the side of mountains that is oriented towards sea, forests grow well on this side, while on the other side, the conditions are much less favourable. Few corners of mainland Europe have not been grazed by livestock at some point in time, and the cutting down of the pre-agricultural forest habitat caused disruption to the original plant and animal ecosystems.Eighty to ninety percent of Europe was once covered by forest. It stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arctic Ocean. Though over half of Europe's original forests disappeared through the centuries of deforestation, Europe still has over one quarter of its land area as forest, such as the taiga of Scandinavia and Russia, mixed rainforests of the Caucasus and the Cork oak forests in the western Mediterranean. During recent times, deforestation has been slowed and many trees have been planted. However, in many cases monoculture plantations of conifers have replaced the original mixed natural forest, because these grow quicker. The plantations now cover vast areas of land, but offer poorer habitats for many European forest dwelling species which require a mixture of tree species and diverse forest structure. The amount of natural forest in Western Europe is just 2-3% or less, in European Russia 5-10%. The country with the smallest percentage of forested area is the Republic of Ireland (8%), while the most forested country is Finland (72%).In temperate Europe, mixed forest with both broadleaf and conifer trees present. The most important species in central and western Europe are beech and oak. In the north, the taiga is a mixed spruce- pine- birch forest; further north within Russia and Scandinavia, the taiga gives way to tundra as the Arctic is approached. In the Mediterranean, many olive trees have been planted, which are very well adapted to its arid climate; Mediterranean Cypress is also widely planted in southern Europe. The semi-arid Mediterranean region hosts much scrub forest. A narrow east-west tongue of Eurasian grassland (the steppe) extends eastwards from Ukraine and southern Russia and ends in Hungary and traverses into taiga to the north.Glaciation during the most recent ice age and the presence of man affected the distribution of European fauna. As for the animals, in many parts of Europe most large animals and top predator species have been hunted to extinction. The woolly mammoth and aurochs were extinct before the end of the Neolithic period. Today wolves (carnivores) and bears ( omnivores) are endangered. Once they were found in most parts of Europe. However, deforestation caused these animals to withdraw further and further. By the Middle Ages the bears' habitats were limited to more or less inaccessible mountains with sufficient forest cover. Today, the brown bear lives primarily in the Balkan peninsula, Scandinavia, and Russia; a small number also persist in other countries across Europe (Austria, Pyrenees etc.), but in these areas brown bear populations are fragmented and marginalised because of the destruction of their habitat. In addition, polar bears may be found on Svalbard, an autonomous Norwegian island region far north of Scandinavia. The wolf, the second largest predator in Europe after the brown bear, can be found primarily in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans, with a handful of packs in Spain and Scandinavia.Other important European carnivores are Eurasian lynx, European wild cat, foxes (especially the red fox), jackal and different species of martens, hedgehogs, different species of snakes (vipers, grass snake...), different birds (owls, hawks and other birds of prey)Important European herbivores are snails, amphibians, fish, different birds, and mammals, like rodents, deers and roe deers, boars, and living in the mountains, marmots, steinbocks, chamoises among others.Sea creatures are also an important part of European flora and fauna. The sea flora is mainly phytoplankton. Important animals that live in European seas are zooplankton, molluscs, echinoderms, different crayfish, squids and octopuses, fish, dolphins, and whales.Some animals live in caves, for example proteus and bats.


Demographics - Contents

Almost all of Europe was possibly settled before or during the last ice age ca. 10,000 years ago. Neanderthal man and modern man coexisted during at least some of this time. Roman road building helped with the interbreeding of the native Europeans' genetics. In contemporary times Europe has one of the lowest inbreeding rates in the world because of an extensive transport network paired with open borders.Europe passed well over 600 million people before the turn of the 20th century, but now is entering a period of population decline due to a variety of social factors.


Territories and divisions - Contents

Territories of Europe (also see transcontinental nation): ██ Europe, according to one commonly-reckoned definition ██ Extension over Asia of the continuous territory of a European state ██ Geographically in Asia, considered European for cultural and historical reasons
Territories of Europe (also see transcontinental nation):

██ Europe, according to one commonly-reckoned definition

██ Extension over Asia of the continuous territory of a European state

██ Geographically in Asia, considered European for cultural and historical reasons

See also: Table of European territories and regions


Political divisions

Independent states

The following independent states may be considered to be in Europe:
1 Armenia and Cyprus are not a part of Europe geographically, but may be considered to be European culturally.
2 Azerbaijan and Georgia have territory in Europe north of the crest of the Caucasus and the Kura River.
3 Some integral parts of France are located outside Europe.
4 Russia and Kazakhstan have territory in Europe west of the Ural Mountains and both the Ural and Emba Rivers.
5 The name of this state is a matter of international dispute; see Republic of Macedonia.
6 Netherlands and two entites outside Europe ( Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, in the Caribbean) constitute the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
7 The Portuguese Madeira Islands are located in the North Altantic Ocean near the African mainland.
8 State union of Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro.
9 The Spanish Canary Islands are located in the North Atlantic Ocean; plazas de soberanía (exclaves) are located on the African mainland.
10 Turkey has territory in Europe west and north of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Dependent territories

The European territories listed below are recognised as being culturally and geographically defined. Most have a degree of autonomy. In the list below, each territory is followed by its legal status.
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia ( UK sovereign bases; located in Cyprus)
  • Guernsey ( British crown dependency)
  • Jersey (British crown dependency)
  • Faroe Islands (self-governing territory of Denmark)
  • Gibraltar ( British overseas territory)
  • Isle of Man (British crown dependency)
  • Svalbard (under Norwegian sovereignty through Svalbard Treaty)
Note that this is not a list of all dependencies of all European countries. Dependencies located in other continents are listed elsewhere.

Autonomous territories

  • Aland Islands (autonomous region of Finland)
  • Azores (semi-autonomous region of Portugal)

Unilaterally seceded territories

Following are breakaway regions of independent states. These regions have declared, and de facto achieved, independence; however, they are not recognised de jure by other independent states.
  • Abkhazia (from Georgia)
  • South Ossetia (from Georgia)
  • Transnistria (from Moldova)
  • Nagorno-Karabakh (from Azerbaijan; recognised only by Armenia)
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (from Cyprus; recognised only by Turkey)

Territories under United Nations administration

  • Kosovo and Metohia (province of Serbia, administrated by UNMIK as per Security Council resolution 1244)

Table of territories and regions

Name of territory,
with flag
Area
(km²)
Population
(1 July 2002 est.)
Population density
(per km²)
Capital
Eastern Europe:
Belarus Belarus 207,600 10,335,382 49.8 Minsk
Bulgaria Bulgaria 110,910 7,621,337 68.7 Sofia
Czech Republic Czech Republic 78,866 10,256,760 130.1 Prague
Hungary Hungary 93,030 10,075,034 108.3 Budapest
Republic of Moldova Moldova 33,843 4,434,547 131.0 Chisinau
Poland Poland 312,685 38,625,478 123.5 Warsaw
Romania Romania 238,391 21,698,181 91.0 Bucharest
Russia Russia 3,960,000 106,037,143 26.8 Moscow
Slovakia Slovakia 48,845 5,422,366 111.0 Bratislava
Ukraine Ukraine 603,700 48,396,470 80.2 Kyiv
Northern Europe:
Denmark Denmark 43,094 5,368,854 124.6 Copenhagen
Estonia Estonia 45,226 1,415,681 31.3 Tallinn
Faroe Islands Faroe Islands (Denmark) 1,399 46,011 32.9 Tórshavn
Finland Finland 337,030 5,183,545 15.4 Helsinki
Guernsey Guernsey 78 64,587 828.0 St Peter Port
Iceland Iceland 103,000 279,384 2.7 Reykjavík
Republic of Ireland Ireland 70,280 3,883,159 55.3 Dublin
Isle of Man Isle of Man 572 73,873 129.1 Douglas
Jersey Jersey 116 89,775 773.9 Saint Helier
Latvia Latvia 64,589 2,366,515 36.6 Riga
Lithuania Lithuania 65,200 3,601,138 55.2 Vilnius
Norway Norway 324,220 4,525,116 14.0 Oslo
Norway Svalbard and Jan
Mayen Islands (Norway)
62,049 2,868 0.046 Longyearbyen
Sweden Sweden 449,964 8,876,744 19.7 Stockholm
United Kingdom United Kingdom 244,820 59,778,002 244.2 London
Southern Europe:
Albania Albania 28,748 3,544,841 123.3 Tirana
Andorra Andorra 468 68,403 146.2 Andorra la Vella
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 51,129 3,964,388 77.5 Sarajevo
Croatia Croatia 56,542 4,390,751 77.7 Zagreb
Gibraltar Gibraltar (UK) 5.9 27,714 4,697.3 Gibraltar
Greece Greece 131,940 10,645,343 80.7 Athens
Italy Italy 301,230 57,715,625 191.6 Rome
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 25,333 2,054,800 81.1 Skopje
Malta Malta 316 397,499 1,257.9 Valletta
Portugal Portugal 91,568 10,084,245 110.1 Lisbon
San Marino San Marino 61 27,730 454.6 San Marino
Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro 102,173 10,280,000 100.6 Belgrade
Slovenia Slovenia 20,273 1,932,917 95.3 Ljubljana
Spain Spain 498,506 40,077,100 80.4 Madrid
Vatican City Vatican City 0.44 900 2,045.5 Vatican City
Western Europe:
Austria Austria 83,858 8,169,929 97.4 Vienna
Belgium Belgium 30,510 10,274,595 336.8 Brussels
France France 547,030 59,765,983 109.3 Paris
Germany Germany 357,021 83,251,851 233.2 Berlin
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 160 32,842 205.3 Vaduz
Luxembourg Luxembourg 2,586 448,569 173.5 Luxembourg
Monaco Monaco 1.95 31,987 16,403.6 Monaco
Netherlands Netherlands 41,526 16,318,199 393.0 Amsterdam, The Hague
Switzerland Switzerland 41,290 7,301,994 176.8 Bern
Western Asia:
Armenia Armenia 29,800 Yerevan
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 39,730 4,198,491 105.7 Baku
Cyprus Cyprus 5,995 780,133 130.1 Nicosia (Lefkosa)
Georgia (country) Georgia 49,240 2,447,176 49.7 Tbilisi
Turkey Turkey 24,378 11,044,932 453.1 Ankara
Central Asia:
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 370,373 1,285,174 3.4 Astana
Total 10,431,299 709,022,061 68.0
Notes:
  1. ^ Continental regions as per UN categorisations/map. Depending on definitions, various territories cited below (notes 2, 6-8, 10-15) may be in one or both of Europe and Asia, Africa, or Oceania.
  2. ^ Russia is generally considered a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe (UN region) and Asia; population and area figures are for European portion only.
  3. ^ –5. Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey are crown dependencies affiliated with the United Kingdom.
6. ^ Figures for Portugal exclude the Madeira Islands, west of Morocco in Africa.
7. ^ Figures for Spain exclude the Canary Islands, west of Morocco in Africa, and the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which are on the northwest of the African continent.
8. ^ Figures for France include only metropolitan France.
9. ^ Netherlands population for July 2004; Amsterdam is the official capital, while The Hague is the administrative seat.
10. ^ Armenia is sometimes considered a transcontinental country in Western Asia ( as per UN categorisations/map) and Eastern Europe.
11. ^ Azerbaijan is often considered a transcontinental country in Western Asia (UN region) and Eastern Europe; population and area figures are for European portion only.
12. ^ Cyprus is often considered a transcontinental country in Western Asia (UN region) and Southern Europe; population and area figures are for de jure Greek-administered portion only.
13. ^ Georgia is often considered a transcontinental country in Western Asia (UN region) and Eastern Europe; population and area figures are for European portion only.
14. ^ Turkey is generally considered a transcontinental country Western Asia (UN region) and Southern Europe; population and area figures are for European portion only, including all of Istanbul.
15. ^ Kazakhstan is sometimes considered a transcontinental country in Central Asia (UN region) and Eastern Europe; population and area figures are for European portion only.


Linguistic and cultural regions
The sub-division in several linguistic and cultural regions is much less subjective than the geographical sub-division, since they correspond to people's cultural connections. Traditionally, the following groups are recognized.

Germanic Europe

Germanic Europe, where Germanic languages are spoken. This area corresponds more or less to north-western Europe and some parts of central Europe. The main religion of the region is Protestantism, but the further south you go, you encounter more countries with a Catholic majority (particularly Bavaria and Austria but also Belgium). This region consists of: England (a constituent country of the UK), Iceland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Faroe Islands, the German speaking part of Switzerland, Flanders Ia region of Belgium) and the German-speaking part of Belgium, the Swedish-speaking municipalities of Finland, and the South Tyrol/ Alto-Adige part of Italy.

Latin Europe

Latin Europe, where the Romance languages are spoken. This area corresponds more or less to south-western Europe, as well as Romania and Moldova which are situated in Eastern Europe. The major religion is Catholicism, except in Romania and Moldova. This area consists of: Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Romania, Moldova, Wallonia, Romandy, Romansh-speaking Switzerland, and Italian-speaking Switzerland.

Slavic Europe

Slavic Europe, where Slavic languages are spoken. This area corresponds, more or less, to Central and Eastern Europe. The main religions are Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism, with large Muslim populations in some parts formerly ruled by the Ottoman Empire. This area consists of: Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine.

Celtic Europe

Celtic Europe, where Celtic languages are spoken, or where they were previously spoken and the population still shares a Celtic heritage for non-linguistic reasons. * The Celtic nations: Scotland, Wales, Cornwall (within the United Kingdom); the Isle of Man (a British Crown dependency); Ireland; Brittany (within France). These are all nations where a Celtic language is spoken, or was spoken into modern times, and there is a degree of shared culture (see Pan Celticism). Also considered Celtic nations are both Galicia and Asturias, (both within Spain), whose own Celtic language died out a millennium years ago, and England where Celtic culture persists, and Celtic dialect remains in many regional dialects (see Cumbric), although England's Celtic languages died out as recently as the 18th century in Devon. The main religions are Catholicism and Protestantism, which are particularly mixed in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Baltic Europe

The terms "Baltic countries", "Baltic Sea countries", "Baltic states", and "Balticum" refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.
  • Baltic languages are dominant in Lithuania and Latvia. These countries, together with Estonia, are somewhat misleadingly called " Baltic states", referring to the states by the Baltic Sea, which gained their independence from Russia after WWI and came under Soviet rule in 1940.

Others

Outside of these five main groups one can find:
  • Greece, the only modern country in Hellenic Europe. This is where one can consider also the Greek Cypriot community. It is often incorrectly associated with the Latin countries, due to the geographical and perceived cultural ties to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The Albanian language is its own independent branch of the Indo-European language family with no living close relatives. There is no scholarly consensus over its origin. Some scholars maintain that it derives from the Illyrian language.
  • Ibero-Caucasian, a group that includes ethnic groups throughout the Caucasus region (both North and South). Ibero-Caucasian languages are not linked to the Indo-European languages. This group includes Georgians, Abkhaz, Chechens, Balkars, and a number of other smaller ethnic groups that reside in the Caucasus.
  • Turkey, with the Turkish language, classified as Altaic and not of Indo-European origin. Moreover, it is mainly a Muslim country, as opposed to the rest of Europe where many denominations of Christianity prevail.
  • Hungary, having a language not of Indo-European origin and distantly related to Finnish and Estonian. Due to its location, Hungary is normally grouped with Central or Eastern European countries.
  • Finland and Estonia, whose languages are distantly related to Hungarian. They are normally associated with northern European countries. Finland is, due to cultural ties, considered part of the Nordic countries and Estonia is associated with Balticum.
  • Armenia, although not considered as part of Europe geographically, has a language that constitutes a separate branch of Indo-European family of languages and the nation is considered to be European culturally. The Armenian language is spoken in Armenia and other European countries with Armenian communities (such as France, Greece, Belgium, Russia, Germany etc.).


Religious affiliation
The terms "Catholic Europe", "Orthodox Europe", and "Muslim Europe" are sometimes used in two senses: to delineate traditional religious affiliation of European regions or to describe the overall European population of particular creed. Hinduism, mainly in the UK. Buddhism, thinly spread throughout western Europe. Rastafari, communities in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and elsewhere. Sikhism, mainly in the UK. Satanism, mainly in Norway, but with small minorities elsewhere. Norse, with small minorities throughout Scandinavia. Celtic, mainly in the Republic of Ireland and the UK. Jainism, mainly in the UK. Voodoo, mainly in the UK and France. Traditional African Religions (including Muti), mainly in the UK and France.
  • Non-confessional: Millions of Europeans profess no religion or are atheistic or agnostic. The largest non-confessional populations (as a percentage) are found in Sweden, the Czech Republic and France although most former communist countries have significant non-confessional populations.
  • A number of countries in Europe have official religions, including Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Vatican City (Catholic); Cyprus, Georgia and Greece (Eastern Orthodox), Denmark, Iceland and Norway (Lutheran). In Azerbaijan, Shia Islam is official. In Switzerland, some cantons are officially Catholic, others Reformed Protestant. In Finland, both Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran are official. Russia recognises Eastern Orthodox, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam as all "official" (with one state, Kalmykia, officially Buddhist). England, a part of the UK, has Anglicanism as its official religion. Scotland, another part of the UK, has Presbyterianism as the 'National' church, but is no longer "official", and in Sweden, the 'National' church is Lutheran, but no longer "official". France and Turkey are officially "secular".
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