|Area||10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi) (6th)[a]|
|Population||745,173,774 (2021; 3rd)|
|Population density||72.9/km2 (188/sq mi) (2nd)|
|GDP (PPP)||$33.62 trillion (2022 est; 2nd)|
|GDP (nominal)||$24.02 trillion (2022 est; 3rd)|
|GDP per capita||$34,230 (2022 est; 3rd)[c]|
De facto (2–6)
|Time zones||UTC−1 to UTC+5|
|Largest cities||Largest urban areas:|
|UN M49 code|
Europe is a continent[t] comprising the westernmost peninsulas of Eurasia, located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Africa and Asia. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea and the waterways of the Turkish straits.
Europe covers about 10.18 million km2 (3.93 million sq mi), or 2% of Earth's surface (6.8% of land area), making it the second-smallest continent (using the seven-continent model). Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states, of which Russia is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 745 million (about 10% of the world population) in 2021; the third-largest after Asia and Africa. The European climate is largely affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent, even at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast.
European culture is the root of Western civilisation, which traces its lineage back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE and the related Migration Period marked the end of Europe's ancient history, and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The Italian Renaissance began in Florence and spread to the rest of the continent, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, art, and science which contributed to the beginning of the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery, led by Spain and Portugal, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs with multiple explorations and conquests around the world. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers colonised at various times the Americas, almost all of Africa and Oceania, and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally, politically and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic, cultural and social change in Western Europe and eventually the wider world. Both world wars began and were fought to a great extent in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the Revolutions of 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe are two important international organisations aiming to represent the European continent on a political level. The Council of Europe was founded in 1948 with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals and prevent future wars. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate supranational political entity based on a system of European law that lies between a confederation and a federation. The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. A majority of its members have adopted a common currency, the euro, and participate in the European single market and a customs union. A large bloc of countries, the Schengen Area, have also abolished internal border and immigration controls. Regular popular elections take place every five years within the EU; they are considered to be the second largest democratic elections in the world after India's.
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Ancient Greece is often called the cradle of western civilization. ... Ideas from literature and science also have their roots in ancient Greece.
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