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Largest Countries in Europe (2020)

Largest Countries in Europe (2020)

Photo: Shutterstock

Want to know which is the biggest country in Europe? Here’s an updated list of the largest countries in Europe by size and population (2020).

The most common way to measure this is by taking the total population to rank the largest countries in Europe. However, it might also be interesting to know which is the largest country in Europe by size. 

How to measure the biggest countries in Europe can also be affected on other factors, such as where to draw the line of where Europe starts and ends since there is no natural border. Both Russia and Turkey have a land area within Europe, but the majority of their areas are located in Asia. 

Furthermore, there are countries such as Cyprus which is culturally European, but geographically fully within Asia. Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan are some other countries that could be considered European. 

The most populated countries in Europe

Russia

Russia is the largest country in Europe by population with some 146 million residents. About 110 million of Russia’s population resides in the European area of the country, for example, in Moscow and St Petersburg. 

About 25% of the total area of Russia is located in Europe, but despite that, some 77% of the country’s population is living within that same area.

Most populated country in Europe

Photo: Avigator Fortuner/Shutterstock

Germany

If you only include countries that are fully within Europe, then Germany is the most populated country in Europe. The country has a total population of 82.8 million residents, whereof 3.7 million people are living in Berlin, which is the largest city in Germany.

Germany has long had a big influence and been one of the largest countries in Europe. From the 1100s and onwards to the 17th century, the Hanseatic league ruled over large areas and was incredibly rich. Nowadays, Germany is often nicknamed as the European motor when it comes to economy and trade. 

Germany köln

Photo: trabantos/Shutterstock

Turkey

Istanbul, formerly known as Konstantinopel has always been a divider between West and East. This holds true even today, and a smaller part of the city is located on the European continent, and the other is located in Asia. 

In total, there are some 15 million people living in Istanbul, and most of them are living in the part that is considered to be located within Europe geographically speaking. About 5% of Turkey’s total area is located within Europe, which makes it doubtful if it should be included or not. 

Turkey Istanbul

Photo: Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock

France

France is another European country that has a long history and influence that stretches far beyond its own borders. Today, France is the largest country in Europe by size that is fully located within Europe.

Paris is the largest city in France and also its capital, and every year millions of visitors flock to Paris, which is one of the most visited cities in the world. 

France Paris

Photo: Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, also known as the U.K consists of several countries that have formed a union, although the United Kingdom is the only recognized sovereign state officially.

Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland are members of the union which is home to about 65 million people. Some 9 million people are living in London, which is the capital and largest city in the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, Gibraltar is also included within the United Kingdom despite being located next to Spain.

United kingdom London

Photo: walisheru / Shutterstock.com

Italy

Italy is one of the largest countries in Europe with a population of 60 million people. During its glory days when the Roman Empire was at its peak, the country ruled over large land areas that stretches far beyond the current borders of Italy. 

Since then, a lot has happened, but there are still many historic cities such as Rome, Florence, Milano, Naples, and Venice just to mention a few. Additionally, Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world and has also become famous for its wine.

The largest countries in Europe by population

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Spain

Spain is home to some 46 million people, and only in Madrid, there are 3.2 million residents. There are several large cities in Spain with Barcelona as another example with 1.6 million residents. 

Spain is also a country that is rich in history, and it has a varied culture and nature. Just East of the mainland, one could also visit the famous islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.

Spain Barcelona

Photo: S-F/shutterstock

Ukraine

Ukraine is home to 42 million people, whereof 3 million are living in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. It’s one of the largest countries in Europe both in terms of size and population, despite the fact that Russia annexed Crimea a couple of years ago.

Ukraine

Photo: RadKha / Shutterstock.com

Poland

Poland is another massive country in Europe with a rich history and lots of inhabitants. In total, there are circa 38 million people living in Poland that are scattered across the country. 

In Warsaw, which is the Polish capital, there are about 1.7 million residents. Krakow, Poznan, Gdansk, and Wroclaw are some of the largest cities in Poland besides the capital.

Poland population

Photo: lukaszimilena/Shutterstock

Romania

Last but not least, Romania, which is home to circa 19 million people. Bucharest is the capital of Romania and about 10% of the total population is living in the city. 

Romania is also the second largest country in Eastern Europe after Ukraine if you don’t include Russia.

Romania

Photo: Calin Stan/Shutterstock

List of the largest countries in Europe by size

Now when you know which are the largest countries in Europe by population, but do you know which are the largest countries by size? Below is a list with all European countries and their total land area on the continent in square kilometers.

Ranking Country Area km² – within Europe Note
1 Russia 3 960 000 Mainly located in Asia
2 Ukraine 603 700  
3 France 551 695 Without the non-European area
4 Spain 498 468 Without Canary islands, Ceuta och Melilla
5 Sweden 450 295  
6 Norway 385 203  
7 Germany 357 050  
8 Finland 338 145  
9 Poland 312 685  
10 Italy 301 318  
11 United Kingdom 244 820  
12 Romania 238 392  
13 Belarus 207 600  
14 Kazakhstan 150 000 Mainly located in Asia
15 Greece 131 940  
16 Bulgaria 110 910  
17 Iceland 103 000  
18 Hungary 93 030  
19 Portugal 91 568  
20 Austria 83 858  
21 Czech Republic 78 866  
22 Serbia 77 474  
23 Ireland 70 280  
24 Lithuania 65 200  
25 Latvia 64 589  
26 Croatia 56 542  
27 Bosnia & Herzegovina 51 129  
28 Slovakia 48 845  
29 Estonia 45 226  
30 Denmark 43 094 Without Greenland
31 Netherlands 41 526  
32 Switzerland 41 290  
33 Moldavia 33 843  
34 Belgium 30 510  
35 Albania 28 748  
36 North Macedonia 25 333  
37 Turkey 24 378 Mainly located in Asia
38 Slovenia 20 273  
39 Montenegro 13 812  
40 Kosovo 10 910  
41 Azerbaijan 7 110 Mainly located in Asia
42 Luxembourg 2 586  
43 Georgia 2 000 Mainly located in Asia
44 Andorra 468  
45 Malta 316  
46 Liechtenstein 160  
47 San Marino 61  
48 Monaco 1,95  
49 The Vatican 0,44  

More about the largest countries in Europe

The majority of Europe’s largest countries are big in terms of both size and population. However, there are some exceptions such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland in Scandinavia, which all have massive land areas but relatively few inhabitants. 

Sweden, for example, is full of nature and forests and has a colder climate further north, where the cities are less densely-populated. The same goes for Norway and Finland and often, there’s limited infrastructure as well in these areas. 

The trend of moving to big cities continues to increase in all of the largest countries in Europe, and many of the European capitals are expanding and growing into the suburbs.

Most of the jobs and education opportunities can be found around the major cities which make the countryside less densely populated. Furthermore, there’s a decline in the birth rate in most European countries, which is said to be a result of a longer lifespan and that many choose their career over children. 

Despite the fact that the largest cities in Europe are growing in size and population, most experts expect a decline in population countrywide in the coming years. Unless there will be migrants who move from non-European areas.

List of the Largest countries in Europe

Photo: Shutterstock

Which is the largest country in the European Union?

Germany is the most populated country within the EU and France is the largest country within EU by size.


How many of the largest countries in Europe did you know already? Leave a comment below!

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