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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|3||France||551 695||Without the non-European area|
|4||Spain||498 468||Without Canary islands, Ceuta och Melilla|
|11||United Kingdom||244 820|
|14||Kazakhstan||150 000||Mainly located in Asia|
|21||Czech Republic||78 866|
|27||Bosnia & Herzegovina||51 129|
|30||Denmark||43 094||Without Greenland|
|36||North Macedonia||25 333|
|37||Turkey||24 378||Mainly located in Asia|
|41||Azerbaijan||7 110||Mainly located in Asia|
|43||Georgia||2 000||Mainly located in Asia|
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.
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!