Our Europe Facts for Kids bring you lots of interesting and fun facts on the European continent.
Europe is the second smallest continent in size and the third largest when we consider population. The European continent houses 50 countries and five countries that are not recognised by the European community. The continent is located mainly in the eastern hemisphere and completely in the northern hemisphere.
1. There are 50 countries in Europe with a total of more than 742 million people living on the continent. Of these 50 countries only 44 have their capital city on the European continent! 28 of the European states belong to the European Union.
2. Largest Country: Russia (the European part is still the largest area than any other country. The Ukraine is quite a bit smaller and France comes third regarding country size on the continent. - Did you know that France is larger than the state of California in the USA?
3. Largest City: Moscow in Russia. With more than 12 million inhabitants. Moscow is also one of the 11 biggest cities in the world.
4. Smallest Country: Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, both by population and by size.
5. Biggest Island: Greenland is the largest island in the world - considering Australia is a continent!
6. Longest River: Volga River in Russia (3,692metres/2,295miles) is Europe's longest river. The second longest is the Danube (2,860km/1,777miles) which is the most important commercial waterway in Europe.
7. Highest Mountains: Mount Elbrus in Russia (5,642 metres/18,510ft) is the highest mountain in Europe and is part of the Caucasus mountain range. The highest mountain in the European Alps is the Mont Blanc (France) or Monte Bianco (Italy). The mountain (5,642 metres/18,510ft) shares borders with Italy and France (that's why they have different names for it!)
8. Europe Facts: Europe's Biggest Lake: Lake Ladoga in Russia is Europe's biggest lake and among the worlds biggest freshwater lakes (14th in the world). The lake is slightly smaller than Lake Ontario, which borders the USA and Canada. It is located near St Petersburg.
9. Largest Waterfalls: The Rhine Falls in Switzerland are the largest plain waterfalls in Europe. They are 150 metres/492feet wide and 23m/75ft. high!
10. There are several landlocked countries in Europe: San Marino and Vatican City are landlocked inside Italy, Andorra between France and Spain and Liechtenstein between Austria and Switzerland, but many countries in Central Europe share national borders only with several other countries and do not have access to the sea. These are: Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Luxemburg,Slovakia, Serbia, Moldova, Macedonia and of course San Marino and Vatican City.
11. History: The first humans appeared on the continent about 35,000 BC. The Minoan civilisation in the Bronze Age are seen as the first culture establishing trade and 'technology' from 2700BC. Among the many ethnic groups of the continent, the Greek tribes and the Germanic and the Italic people (later also the Roman Empire) had vast influences on the whole region as did the Celts. Later during the Middle Ages, the population increased due to the Vikings, Mongols, Huns, Magyars, Tartars and many others arrived and settled in the area. Europe's modern history is largely influenced by wars, such as the 30-Year-War (1618-1648), the French Revolution (1789) and the two World Wars in the 20th century. During World War I (1914-1918) more than 8 million people lost their lives and in World War II (1939-1945) over 18 million people died on the battlefields, during bombardment of the towns and cities and in Nazi concentration camps. In 1993, the European Union was established which today counts 28 countries.
12. People of Europe: About 11% of the world's population lives in Europe. However, the country with the biggest population is Germany, which has over 81 million inhabitants. Russia actually has about 111 million Russians living in the European part of the huge country, this is about 78% of the Russian population. The tiny state of Monaco is the world's most densely populated country.
13. Languages in Europe: Most languages belong to either the Romance languages (such as French, Italian, Spanish), the Germanic languages (among them are German, English) and the Slavic languages (among them Russian, Bulgarian, Polish)
14. Religion: Most of the European people are Christians (76%) and there are smaller numbers of Muslims (6%) and Jews and other beliefs. About 18% of all Europeans consider themselves as atheist or not religious.
15. Tourist attractions in Europe: The most popular attractions and landmarks are:
11. Biggest Cities: The most populous city in Europe is Istanbul with more than 14.5 million people.
However, remember that Istanbul is a city which is located actually on two continents: the western part belongs to Europe while the eastern parts belongs to the Asian continent!
Europe Facts: Other big cities in Europe are:
Did you know? The northernmost town in the world is Ny-Ålesund on the island of Spitsbergen in Norway. Only about 35 people live there all year round, but the town has its own post-office! Many international scientists use the town as their base for explorations and research.
12. Animals: In Europe, you can spot deer, rabbits, even lizards and hedgehogs and in many regions. There are also wolves, brown bears (also called 'grizzly bears' in the USA) and bisons still found living in more remote parts in Europe, although many among them belong to threatened and endangered species. Only half of the European bird species breed in Europe, all others migrate to warmer regions during the cold winter months.
In Northern Europe you might even encounter reindeer!
18. Main natural resources in Europe are minerals such as copper, iron ore and coal. Some areas have deposits of natural gas. Common agricultural produce that are farmed in Europe are wheat, potatoes, olives, grapes, oranges.
19. European superlatives:
20. Europe's coastlines border onto the Arctic ocean in the North, the Atlantic ocean in the west and the Mediterranean Sea in the South.
Image Credits on Europe Facts page: Shutterstock.com and wikipedia commons