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.
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|
|2||Isle of Man||83,314||U.K.|
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.