Countries in Europe - How Many Countries Are There in Europe? (2023)

Europe is one of the seven continents making up about 2% of Earth’s surface with a total area of 10,180,000 km². As such, it’s the second smallest continent but the third largest populated, with a total population of 747.8 million inhabitants (as of 2021).

How Many Countries Are There in Europe?

In total, there are 45 countries in Europe today. The full list is shown in the table below, with the current population and subregion (based on official statistics).

#CountryPopulation (2020)Subregion
1Russia145,934,462Eastern Europe
2Germany83,783,942Western Europe
3United Kingdom67,886,011Northern Europe
4France65,273,511Western Europe
5Italy60,461,826Southern Europe
6Spain46,754,778Southern Europe
7Ukraine43,733,762Eastern Europe
8Poland37,846,611Eastern Europe
9Romania19,237,691Eastern Europe
10Netherlands17,134,872Western Europe
11Belgium11,589,623Western Europe
12Czechia10,708,981Eastern Europe
13Greece10,423,054Southern Europe
14Portugal10,196,709Southern Europe
15Sweden10,099,265Northern Europe
16Hungary9,660,351Eastern Europe
17Belarus9,449,323Eastern Europe
18Austria9,006,398Western Europe
19Serbia8,737,371Southern Europe
20Switzerland8,654,622Western Europe
21Bulgaria6,948,445Eastern Europe
22Denmark5,792,202Northern Europe
23Finland5,540,720Northern Europe
24Slovakia5,459,642Eastern Europe
25Norway5,421,241Northern Europe
26Ireland4,937,786Northern Europe
27Croatia4,105,267Southern Europe
28Moldova4,033,963Eastern Europe
29Bosnia and Herzegovina3,280,819Southern Europe
30Albania2,877,797Southern Europe
31Lithuania2,722,289Northern Europe
32North Macedonia2,083,374Southern Europe
33Slovenia2,078,938Southern Europe
34Latvia1,886,198Northern Europe
35Kosovo1,798,188Southern Europe
36Estonia1,326,535Northern Europe
37Montenegro628,066Southern Europe
38Luxembourg625,978Western Europe
39Malta441,543Southern Europe
40Iceland341,243Northern Europe
41Andorra77,265Southern Europe
42Monaco39,242Western Europe
43Liechtenstein38,128Western Europe
44San Marino33,931Southern Europe
45Holy See801Southern Europe

Not included in the list above are several countries:

  • Turkey, which occupies only a small part of East Thrace on the European Balkan Peninsula.
  • Cyprus, an island in theMediterranean Sea, is geographically part of Asia Minor (Middle East).
  • The Faroe Islands, an island group between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean are a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.
  • Greenland, which geographically belongs to North America, is as well an autonomous Danish territory.
  • A small piece of Western Kazakhstan is also considered to be part of Europe.

European Regions

Conventionally there are four main geographical regions or subregions in Europe:

  1. Northern Europe
  2. Western Europe
  3. Eastern Europe
  4. Southern Europe

Due to its long and complicated history— especially since Europe is considered the birthplace of civilization— the continent today is one of the world’s most politically and economically influential powers.

European Union

Several European countries joined together to create a common market trade, which came to be known as the European Union. The EU has expanded beyond its economic purpose to freedom of movement between people, goods, and services. Now it’s an essential political and economic force in Europe, consisting of 27 member states, with several others in negotiations to join the union.

>> What is the European Union?

Schengen Area

The Schengen Area is a border-free zone within the EU, allowing EU citizens to travel visa and passport-free among member states. Moreover, the Schengen agreement issues a uniform visa for foreign nationals allowing them to enter any country in the Schengen Area with a valid Schengen visa.


The Eurozone includes the countries in Europe that use the euro as their currency. There are currently 19 member states, but not all of them are in the EU, and not all EU countries use the euro. Currently, eight EU member states still use their local currency.

European Commission

The European Commission is made of 27 seven members representing the EU states and serves as an executive body of the EU. It has many responsibilities, from law proposals to making EU policies. Each commission member is sworn in as a representative of common EU goals rather than individual goals of their home countries.

European Parliament

The European Parliament is the EU legislative body in charge of regulating the laws that each EU country follows. The parliament is elected by a five-year voting process where every nation of the European Union has the right to vote.

According to the EU, the European Parliament has three main goals:

  • Legislative responsibilities, i.e., to pass or reject any law that the European Commission proposes or make amendments to any law as required.
  • Supervisory responsibility, i.e., upholding the EU citizens’ rights’ and holding each EU country accountable for its actions.
  • Budgetary responsibility, i.e., approving and establishing the EU budget.

European Council

The European Council is one of many official bodies of the EU that— together with the European Parliament— has the power to reject or accept laws proposed by the EU commission.

European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

The European Free Trade Association is a free-trade treaty between four European states: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. None of these countries are in the EU but participate in the Schengen agreement. The treaty allows the four-member countries to collaborate on the economic and freedom of movement aspect with the EU but at the same time gives them leeway in terms of following all EU regulations— particularly the standard fishery policies.

European Economic Area

To integrate with the EU’s single market, three EFTA (minus Switzerland) countries signed an agreement with the EU— the EEA— which comprises the EU members and Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. Switzerland continues to maintain its separate treaties with the EU.

EU Med Group

The EU Med Group is a treaty within the EU between the following Mediterranean countries:

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

Due to their common Grecko-Roman history and background, this treaty was created to promote a political dialogue between them and the other EU countries and represent their joint interests to the EU parliament and Commission.

Visegrad Group

Made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, the group’s primary role is to establish further military cooperation with the EU and economic and cultural aspects. Since 2004 all group members have been a part of the European Union.

Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)

CEFTA is a political agreement between the non-EU countries and UNMIK— that represents Kosovo. Currently, the following countries are a part of CEFTA:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia

There were previous members of CEFTA, but after joining the EU, their membership ended. The purpose of CEFTA is to promote collaboration and economic cooperation between the EU and the European countries that are still not a member of the union.

Is the UK in Europe?

The UK is a country in the continent of Europe, but it’s not a part of the EU any longer. It left the union officially in 2020, making it the only country to leave the European Union since its establishment.

Interesting Facts About Europe

Here are some interesting facts about Europe:

  • The biggest country by area and population in Europe is Russia.
  • The smallest country by area and population is the Vatican.
  • The most visited country in Europe is France, with 85 million visitors per year.
  • The most spoken language in Europe is Russia with over 120 million speakers, followed by German with at least 100 million speakers.
  • The country with the highest GDP per capita in Europe is Luxembourg.
  • Europe is home to the country that consumes the most chocolate— Switzerland.
  • The famous Disney castle was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle found in Bavaria, Germany.
  • Europe hosts the world’s most significant economic treaty— the European Union.
  • There are more than 500 national parks in Europe— Russia and Turkey host the most significant number of parks.

Cheapest European Countries for Tourists

If you want to visit any country in Europe, you have to make sure that you don’t need a Schengen visa to enter your destination country. Then, you can plan your visit and save up by visiting five of the most affordable countries in the EU:

  • Albania is considered a hidden gem in Europe, but lately, it’s become quite popular with tourists from all over the globe. You can find a hostel for $8 or book a hotel room for $30 per night, and dining out usually costs $15. So, depending on how long you stay and your extra purchases, your entire vacation can cost you only $300.
  • Similar to Albania, Montenegro offers some of the best vacation spots and fantastic food at very affordable prices. You can find a room as low as $30, and sometimes breakfast is included in the price, which leaves you with plenty of room to splurge for the other meals. As a result, your vacation total can go between $300 and $500.
  • Along with the cheap hotel prices and food, you can also find one of Bulgaria’s most affordable ski resorts. This way, you can plan both your summer and winter holidays in Europe— within a budget.
  • You can find accommodation as cheap as $10 in Romanian hostels that won’t make a dent in your budget. In addition, the country is home to some of the most charming beaches and not to mention the famous Dracula castle that you can visit for only $9.
  • Greece offers both of the best worlds— cheap options for those who want to travel with a budget— and more expensive options like the island of Santorini. But, even then, a room in Santorini will cost you between $75 and $90. If you visit after peak season, you will find even cheaper accommodation and less of a crowd on the beaches.

Cheapest European Countries to Live In

Living in Europe long-term can be quite expensive, but if you are interested in living in Europe, you can always choose one of the five cheapest European countries to live in for expats:

  • This southeastern European country is one of the best European countries for expats in terms of living expenses. An apartment in Bukurest can cost anywhere from $300 to $500, and in other cities, rent is even more affordable. With its charming towns and European history, expats enjoy a relatively easy-going life in Romania.
  • The Czech Republic. With its freelancer visa, the Czech Republic has become highly popular with expats, allowing them to work and enjoy access to Europe and all that it offers at a cheaper rate. As a result, they can live and visit other European countries without breaking the bank.
  • Poland is another excellent but cheap European country to live in for expats. One-bedroom apartment in Poland may cost you $400 to $500, and food is relatively cheap plus its effective public transport helps save a ton of money.
  • In the Balkan region, you will find another European gem ideal for expats— Bulgaria. The country is teeming with rich culture and a long history, and it’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. In addition, the living costs for expats are relatively low at an average of $600 per month— depending on how much you spend and how much you earn.
  • Hungary is another ideal European country with an average cost of living of around $1,000 for expats. The best part about living in Hungary is that expats who have a Hungarian ancestor and can speak Hungarian can quickly become citizens and not just live in Europe but gain an EU passport.

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