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Europe is the western part of the continent of Eurasia, often thought of as its own continent. It is separated from Asia by the Ural Mountains in Russia and the Bosporus strait in Turkey.

Europe is bordered by water on three sides. On the west is the Atlantic Ocean. To the north is the Arctic Ocean. The Mediterranean Sea separates Southeastern Europe from Africa. On the eastern border of Europe are the Ural River and Ural Mountains.

There are at least 44 or 48 countries in Europe (the European identities of 5 transcontinental countries: Cyprus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey are disputed). Most of these countries are members of the European Union.

Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometers (3,930,000 square miles). This is 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of its land area).

As of 2017, about 510 million people lived in Europe.[1]

Europe contains the world's second most-active volcano, which is Mount Etna that is currently the most-active volcano in the continent.

Europe is a major tourist attraction. People come from all over the world to see its many World Heritage Sites and other attractions.

Origin of name[change | change source]

Europe is named after a princess in Greek mythology called "Europa." The myth says that Zeus kidnapped Europa and took her to Crete, where she became the mother of King Minos (from whom Europe’s first civilization gets its name, the Minoans).

The name "Europa" was later used to describe Greece. Then, as the rest of modern-day Europe started to have cities and empires, the entire area West of the Ural Mountains came to be called "Europa".

History[change | change source]

The history of Europe is long and has many turns. Many great countries originated from Europe. Greek mythology and the beginning of western civilization came from European nations.

Some of the major periods in European history have been:

Regions and countries[change | change source]

Andreas M. Kaplan describes modern Europe as a continent where many different cultures live closely together, "embracing maximum cultural diversity at minimal geographical distances".[2]

There are several major regions of Europe:

Within these regions, there are up to 48 independent European countries (with the identities of 5 transcontinental countries being disputed). The largest is the Russian Federation, which covers 39% of Europe.

The European city with the largest population is Istanbul. The country with the largest population is the Russian Federation. About 15% of Europeans live in Russia.

Two European countries, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, are on islands called the British Isles.

Climate[change | change source]

Most of Europe lies in temperate climate zones.

However, there are many different climates throughout Europe. For example, during the winter, it may be snowing and -30 degrees Celsius for 4–5 months in Finland. Yet it may be much warmer, with no snow at all except on high mountains, in Spain.

European organizations[change | change source]

European Union[change | change source]

The European Union is a confederation of 27 European countries. These countries agree to follow common laws so that their citizens can move and trade in EU countries almost the same as they do in their own. Twenty of these countries also share the same type of money: the euro.

List of widely-recognised independent European countries[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "World Populations Prospects, the 2015 RevisionS Archived 2016-09-27 at the Wayback Machine". United Nations - Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division.
  2. "Andreas M. Kaplan: European Management and European Business Schools: Insights from the History of Business Schools, European Management Journal, 2014". doi:10.1016/j.emj.2014.03.006. Archived from the original on 2021-05-21. Retrieved 2017-08-31. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)