Figures for the population of Europe vary according to which definition of European boundaries is used. The population within the standard physical geographical boundaries was 731 million in 2005 according to the United Nations. In 2010 the population was 711 million, using the definition that Europe's boundaries are on the continental divides of the Caucasus and Ural mountains and the Bosporous, including the populated parts of countries of Russia, and a portion of Turkey. Population growth is comparatively slow, and median age comparatively high in relation to the world's other continents.
Since the Renaissance, Europe has had a dominating influence in culture, economics and social movements in the world. European demography is important not only historically, but also in understanding current international relations and population issues.
In 2007 the population of Europe was estimated to be 731 million according to the United Nations, which was slightly more than 11% of world population. The precise figure depends on the exact definition of the geographic extent of Europe. The population of the EU was 499 million as of 2008. Non-EU countries situated in Europe in their entirety account for another 94 million. Five transcontinental countries have a total of 240 million people, of which about half reside in Europe proper.
While the population of the continent has grown, it hasn't come close to the pace of Asia or Africa. As it stands now, around 12% of the world's people live on this continent, but if demographic trends keep their pace, Europe's share may fall to around 7% in 2050. Declining birth rates (particularly in Germany) and a high life expectancy in most European states means that the aging and declining population will be a problem for many European economies, political and social institutions. Countries on the edges of Europe except for Southern Europe have generally stronger growth than Central European counterparts. Albania (Although in Southern Europe) and Ireland have strong growth, hitting over 1% annually.
Eastern Europe Southern Europe Asian portions of European countries
According to different definitions, such as consideration of the concept of Central Europe, the following territories and regions may be subject to various other categorisations aside from geographic conventions.
Perhaps mirroring its declining population growth, European countries tend to have older populations overall. European countries had nine of the top ten highest median ages in national populations in 2005. Only Japan had an older population.
In Europe Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is declining in most of countries or is at low already. If TFR and birth rate declines, and death rate doesn't decrease then immigration has to increase in Europe.
Over the last several decades, religious practice has been on the decline in a process of "Secularization." European countries have experienced a decline in church attendance, as well as a decline in the number of people professing a belief in a god. The Eurobarometer Poll 2010 found that, on average, 51% of the citizens of EU member states state that they believe in a god, 26% believe there is some sort of spirit or life Force while 20% do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god or Life Force, and 3% declined to answer. The Eurobarometer poll must be taken with caution, however, as there are discrepancies between it and national census results. For example in the United Kingdom, the 2001 census revealed over 70% of the population regarded themselves as "Christian" with only 15% professing to have "no religion", though the wording of the question has been criticized as "leading" by the British Humanist Association. The 2011 census showed a dramatic reduction to less than 60% of the population regarding themselves as "Christian".
According to a 2003 study, 47% of Frenchmen declared themselves as agnostic in 2003. This situation is often called "Post-Christian Europe". A decrease in religiousness and church attendance in western Europe (especially Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden) has been noted. According to a survey published in 2012 agnostic and atheist make up about 18.2% of Europeans population.
Pan and Pfeil (2004) count 87 distinct "peoples of Europe", of which 33 form the majority population in at least one sovereign state, while the remaining 54 constitute ethnic minorities. The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of 770 million Europeans.(including Europeans in Asian Russia)
The largest ethnic groups are the Russians, of whom 92 million reside in Europe, the Germans, with 72 million. In some countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Spain, the designation of nationality may controversially take on ethnic aspects, subsuming smaller ethnic groups such as Welsh, Bretons and Basques, making it difficult to quantify a "British" or "French" ethnicity, for example.
Approximately 20 million non-Europeans live in the EU, 4% of the overall population.