Largest Countries in Europe by Population


Europe is the world’s third most populous continent after Asia and Africa. In 2020, Europe had a population of 746 million, which is one-tenth of the world’s population. Europe’s share of the world’s population is declining.

The most densely populated is a belt from England through northern France, the Benelux countries and Germany to southern Poland and the Czech Republic. Dense settlement also has a belt from northern Italy along the Mediterranean to southern Spain. Greater population concentrations are also found around Moscow and the Donbas.

Life expectancy is generally high in Europe, with relatively small differences between countries and regions. Nevertheless, there is a marked difference – especially for men – between Western Europe and the former Eastern bloc.

Biggest Countries in Europe by Population

As the 45 independent countries in Europe, the most populous is Russia and the least populated is Holy See. The full list of countries in Europe is shown in the table below, ranked by latest total population.

Rank Country Name Region Population Percentage
1 Russia Eastern Europe 146,793,733 17.76%
2 Germany Western Europe 82,979,089 10.04%
3 Turkey Southern Europe 82,003,871 9.92%
4 France Western Europe 66,997,989 8.11%
5 United Kingdom Northern Europe 66,040,218 7.99%
6 Italy Southern Europe 60,375,738 7.30%
7 Spain Southern Europe 46,733,027 5.65%
8 Ukraine Eastern Europe 42,079,536 5.09%
9 Poland Eastern Europe 38,412,989 4.65%
10 Romania Eastern Europe 19,523,610 2.36%
11 Netherlands Western Europe 17,325,689 2.10%
12 Belgium Western Europe 11,467,351 1.39%
13 Greece Southern Europe 10,741,154 1.30%
14 Czech Republic Eastern Europe 10,652,801 1.29%
15 Portugal Southern Europe 10,276,606 1.24%
16 Sweden Northern Europe 10,263,557 1.24%
17 Hungary Eastern Europe 9,763,989 1.18%
18 Belarus Eastern Europe 9,465,289 1.15%
19 Austria Western Europe 8,869,526 1.07%
20 Switzerland Western Europe 8,542,312 1.03%
21 Serbia Southern Europe 7,001,433 0.85%
22 Bulgaria Eastern Europe 7,000,028 0.85%
23 Denmark Northern Europe 5,811,402 0.70%
24 Finland Northern Europe 5,518,741 0.67%
25 Slovakia Eastern Europe 5,450,410 0.66%
26 Norway Northern Europe 5,334,751 0.65%
27 Ireland Northern Europe 4,856,989 0.59%
28 Croatia Southern Europe 4,130,293 0.50%
29 Moldova Eastern Europe 3,547,528 0.43%
30 Bosnia and Herzegovina Southern Europe 3,300,989 0.40%
31 Albania Southern Europe 2,862,416 0.35%
32 Lithuania Northern Europe 2,791,122 0.34%
33 Slovenia Southern Europe 2,080,897 0.25%
34 North Macedonia Southern Europe 2,075,290 0.25%
35 Latvia Northern Europe 1,915,089 0.23%
36 Estonia Northern Europe 1,324,809 0.16%
37 Montenegro Southern Europe 622,348 0.08%
38 Luxembourg Western Europe 613,883 0.07%
39 Malta Southern Europe 475,690 0.06%
40 Iceland Northern Europe 358,769 0.04%
41 Andorra Southern Europe 76,166 0.01%
42 Liechtenstein Western Europe 38,369 0.00%
43 Monaco Western Europe 38,289 0.00%
44 San Marino Southern Europe 33,411 0.00%
45 Holy See Southern Europe 788 0.00%

Territories in Europe by Population

In addition to independent countries, there are also dependent territories in Europe. See table below for a full list of all 6 European territories, with latest total population and dependencies.

Rank Dependent Territory Population Territory of
1 Jersey 105,500 U.K.
2 Isle of Man 83,314 U.K.
3 Guernsey 62,063 U.K.
4 Faroe Islands 51,705 Denmark
5 Gibraltar 33,701 U.K.
6 Åland Islands 29,489 Finland

Population Change

Today’s settlement pattern largely reflects the conditions during the industrial revolution of the 19th century, as the industry grew around the northern and eastern European coal rents. Industrialization brought with it a stream of migration from the countryside to the cities. The transition to a post-industrial economy based on service, which has been going on since the last decades of the 20th century, intensified urbanization; today the typical European lives in the city. In 1950, 52 per cent of Europeans lived in cities and towns, in 2015 that figure was 74 per cent. Urbanization has come the furthest in Northern and Western Europe by 81 percent, against Eastern and Southern Europe’s 70 percent.

Europe was the first continent to undergo a demographic transition from high birth and death rates, through a phase of high population growth in the 19th century, to low birth and death rates beyond the 20th century. At the turn of the last century, Europe had a quarter of the world’s population, shrinking to a tenth today. The population is currently falling slightly, despite the occasional large immigration to Western Europe. For a number of years Eastern and Southern Europe have had very low birth rates, while fertility has remained higher in Northern Europe. All European countries currently have a total fertility rate of less than 2; in some countries in the south and east, the fertility rate is below 1.3. In order for the population to remain stable over the long term, the total fertility rate must be around 2.05.

You may also like...