Demographics of Europe

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Distribution of population in the EU and EFTA countries, including candidate countries (2007)
  < 50 inhabitants per km2
  50 to 100 inhab. per km2
  100 to 150 inhab. per km2
  150 to 300 inhab. per km2
  300 to 1000 inhab. per km2
  > 1000 inhab. per km2
  no data available
Population growth and decline in Europe

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,[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.

Some current and past issues in European demography have included religious emigration, ethnic relations, economic immigration, a declining birth rate and an ageing population. In some countries, such as Poland, access to abortion is currently limited and it is entirely illegal in the Mediterranean nation of Malta. In the past, such restrictions and also restrictions on artificial birth control were commonplace throughout Europe.

Total population

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.

Population by country

Modern political map (2006).
Council of Europe nations, with founding nations in yellow.
Regional grouping according to the UN.
  Northern Europe
  Western Europe
       Eastern Europe
       Southern Europe
             Asian portions of European countries
  Non-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.

Name of regiona[›] and
territory, with flag
(1 July 2010 est.)
Population density
(per km2)
Albania Albania 28,748 2,994,667 125.2 Tirana
Andorra Andorra 468 82,403 146.2 Andorra la Vella
Armenia Armenia 29,743 3,262,000 (in Asia) 108.4 Yerevan
Austria Austria 83,858 8,414,638 100.3 Vienna
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 86,600 9,165,000 (nearly all in Asia) 105.8 Baku
Belarus Belarus 207,600 9,503,807 49.8 Minsk
Belgium Belgium 30,510 11,007,020 336.8 Brussels
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 51,129 4,048,500 77.5 Sarajevo
Bulgaria Bulgaria 110,910 7,621,337 68.7 Sofia
Croatia Croatia 56,594 4,637,460 77.7 Zagreb
Cyprus Cypruse[›] 9,251 863,457 (in Asia) 85.0 Nicosia
Czech Republic Czech Republic 78,866 10,535,811 130.1 Prague
Denmark Denmark 43,094 5,568,854 124.6 Copenhagen
Estonia Estonia 45,226 1,315,681 31.3 Tallinn
Faroe Islands Faroe Islands (Denmark) 1,399 46,011 32.9 Tórshavn
Finland Finland 336,593 5,357,537 15.3 Helsinki
France Franceh[›] 551,695 65,460,000 115.0 Paris
Georgia (country) Georgiam[›] 69,700 4,461,473 (mostly in Asia) 64.0 Tbilisi
Germany Germany 357,021 81,757,600 233.2 Berlin
Gibraltar Gibraltar (UK) 5.9 27,714 4,697.3 Gibraltar
Greece Greece 131,957 11,645,343 80.7 Athens
Greenland Greenland (Denmark) 2,166,086 56,452 0.027 Nuuk
Guernsey Guernseyd[›] 78 66,587 828.0 St. Peter Port
Hungary Hungary 93,030 9,979,000 108.3 Budapest
Iceland Iceland 103,000 304,261 2.7 Reykjavík
Republic of Ireland Ireland 70,280 4,588,252 65.3 Dublin
Isle of Man Isle of Mand[›] 572 80,873 129.1 Douglas
Italy Italy 301,230 60,418,711 191.6 Rome
Jersey Jerseyd[›] 116 89,775 773.9 Saint Helier
Kosovo Kosovop[›] 10,908 1,733,872 159.0 Pristina
Latvia Latvia 64,589 2,366,515 36.6 Riga
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 160 35,322 205.3 Vaduz
Lithuania Lithuania 65,200 3,401,138 55.2 Vilnius
Luxembourg Luxembourg 2,586 472,569 173.5 Luxembourg
Republic of Macedonia Republic of Macedonia 25,713 2,054,800 81.1 Skopje
Malta Malta 316 408,009 1,257.9 Valletta
Moldova Moldovab[›] 33,843 3,834,547 131.0 Chişinău
Monaco Monaco 1.95 32,087 16,403.6 Monaco
Montenegro Montenegro 13,812 672,180 44.6 Podgorica
Netherlands Netherlands 41,526 16,696,700 393.0 Amsterdam
Norway Norway 324,220 4,930,116 14.0 Oslo
Poland Poland 312,685 38,192,000 123.5 Warsaw
Portugal Portugalf[›] 91,568 10,607,995 110.1 Lisbon
Romania Romania 238,391 20,121,641 84.4 Bucharest
Russia Russiac[›] 17,075,400 (3,960,000 in European Russia) 143,700,000 (110,000,000 in European Russia) 8.3 (27.8 in European Russia) Moscow
San Marino San Marino 61 31,730 454.6 San Marino
Serbia Serbiag[›] 88,361 7,345,000 94.8 Belgrade
Slovakia Slovakia 48,845 5,422,366 111.0 Bratislava
Slovenia Slovenia 20,273 2,012,917 95.3 Ljubljana
Spain Spain 504,851 47,150,800 93 Madrid
Norway Svalbard and Jan
Mayen Islands
62,049 2,868 0.046 Longyearbyen
Sweden Sweden 449,964 9,360,113 19.7 Stockholm
Switzerland Switzerland 41,290 7,785,000 176.8 Bern
Turkey Turkey 783,562 76,667,864 (nearly all in Asia) 100 Ankara
Ukraine Ukraine 603,628 45,939,820 76.0 Kiev
United Kingdom United Kingdom 244,820 62,041,708 244.2 London
Vatican City Vatican City 0.44 900 2,045.5 Vatican City
Total 10,180,000o[›] 711,064,145o[›] 69.85
Åland Islands Åland (within Finland) 1,551 26,008 16.8 Mariehamn


Main article: Aging of Europe

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.


Main article: Religion in Europe
Further information: Christianity in Europe and Islam 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".

Despite of the decline Christianity was still the largest religion in Europe according to a survey published in 2011, 75.2% of Europeans considered themselves 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.

According to another poll about Religiosity in the European Union from 2012 by Eurobarometer, Christianity was the largest religion in the European Union (account 72% of EU population) at that moment in time, Catholics were with 48% the largest Christian group in EU, Protestants made up 12%, and Eastern Orthodoxs made up 8%, and Other Christians accounted for 4% of the EU population.

Ethnic groups

Further information: Immigration to Europe

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.

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