There are a total of 44 countries in Europe. Divided into different regions (as per the UN Geoscheme for Europe), there are 9 countries in Western Europe, 10 countries in Eastern Europe, 15 countries in Southern Europe, and 10 countries in Northern Europe. This does not include transcontinental countries that have territory in both Europe and Asia, but in which the majority of their populations live in Asia rather than Europe.
The region of Western Europe consists of 9 countries. The total population of the region is just over 268 million. Germany is the most populous country of Western Europe, with a population of more than 83 million, while the small principality of Liechtenstein has just over 38,000 people living within its borders. Western Europe forms the core of the political and economic alliance known as the European Union. The European Commission is based in Brussels, Belgium, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
- Republic of Moldova
- Russian Federation
Eastern Europe consists of 10 countries, and has a total population of about 293 million. The most populous country in Eastern Europe is Russia, which boasts approximately 144 million residents, making it the most populous country in all of Europe. The least populated country in the region is Moldova, which has just under 2.7 million people within its borders. Moldova is also the poorest country in Europe as a whole. Eastern Europe once formed the bulk of the Warsaw Pact, the military alliance that opposed NATO during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union. Now, however, many of the region’s countries are part of both NATO and the European Union. It should also be noted that Russia is one of Europe’s transcontinental countries, as everything east of the Ural Mountains is considered part of Asia.
Northern Europe is made up of 10 countries, with a total population of approximately 34 million, making it the least populous region on the continent. The region’s most populous country is Finland, which has a total of approximately 5.5 million residents. The least populous country of Northern Europe is Iceland, with around just 360,000 residents.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Southern Europe is a region of 15 countries. Its total population is about 153 million. The most populous country in the region is Italy, with a population of more than 60 million. The country with the least number of people in the region is Vatican City, which has less than a thousand people living in it, making it not just the least populous country in Southern Europe and Europe as a whole, but also the least populous in the world. Southern Europe has been the scene of some of Europe’s most recent armed conflicts, which took place in 1990s, during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
As previously stated, transcontinental countries are countries with territory in both Europe and Asia. All the transcontinental countries of Europe except for Russia have the bulk of their population residing in Asia and hence, have been not included among the 44 countries of Europe.The bulk of Russia’s population, however, lives in its European territory, west of the Ural Mountains. If Turkey was considered part of Southern Europe, it would be considered the region’s most populous country, as it boasts a total population of over 83 million, which would also make it the 2nd most populous country in Europe. However, most of Turkey’s population lives in Anatolia, the Asian region of the country. That being said, the small bit of territory in Europe that does belong to Turkey hosts the continent’s biggest city, Istanbul, with a population of more than 15 million residents.