Land Area of Europe: 3,931,000 (mi²) / 7,769,964 (km²)

Population of Europe: 742,500,000 (2013)

Largest City in Europe: London, England (13,879,757 (2015))

The western portion of the Eurasian landmass is known as Europe. It is noted as one of the smallest of the 7 continents after Australia, with 7 percent of the world’s landmass. However, Europe is home to about 11% of Earth’s population and is the second most densely populated continent, with 134 people per square mile, behind Asia’s 203 people per square mile.

Europe is comprised of approximately 50 countries and several other territories. The county of Russia is the largest country and the area that is occupied by Vatican City in Italy is the smallest. However, Russia has portions of its territory in both the continent of Europe and Asia with forty percent falling in the continent of Europe. Europe, by definition, includes the continental mainland ending in the east at the Ural Mountains in Russia. Europe also includes islands such as Iceland, Sicily, and the British Isles. The British Isles consist of the large island that is home to England, Scotland, and Wales, and is called Great Britain; the British Isles also include the small island that contains Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and several much smaller surrounding islands.

There are several bodies of water that surround the continent of Europe. To the south you will find the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, to the west is the Atlantic Ocean, and to the north is the Arctic Ocean.

Europe has played host to many historic events over the course of history that have left a lasting effect and shaped the continent we know today. People have been living in Europe for about 100,000 years. Around 2000 B.C., Indo-European settlers came and brought the language that most modern European languages are descended from. The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations flourished there, from which we get much of our learning and culture. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Germanic tribes swept over most of Europe, and their descendants shaped the modern countries of Scandinavia and west and central Europe. By this time the Roman empire had become Christian, and eventually all of Europe became Christian, for reasons of both faith and economics. The diversity and size of Europe led to the continent hosting much of World War I and World War II.

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