Is Europe a Continent?
Have you always been in a state of flux, unclear about European borders or the fact that Europe is a continent, country, or just a region? Let us clear the confusion, Europe is a continent. The continent which comprises a rich culture, history and a diverse geography.
Europe has a rich history which goes back to many centuries. Ancient Greece was one of the most prosperous and enlightened regions and is said to be the birthplace of Western Civilization. Europe was also home to one of the greatest empires on earth – the Roman Empire. In 476, the Western Roman Empire collapsed. The continent also witnessed some influential periods such as the Renaissance. The 16th century witnessed the rise of imperial powers including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, the Dutch, etc. These powers set up their own empires, which lasted well into the 20th century. The continent also suffered World War 1 and World War II , which caused devastation across Europe leading to extensive loss of life and also caused economic damages. Europe has passed the turbulent phase and is today one of the most prosperous continent in the world.
Area and population
Among the seven continents that comprise the world, Europe is the second smallest in terms of area. However, in terms of population, it stands at the third spot. The continent covers an area of 3,930,000 square miles and as of 2016, had a population of 741,447,158 people.
Number of countries
The continent of Europe comprises 50 sovereign countries. Of these, four are transcontinental countries, i.e countries that span two continents. Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan, have territory both in Europe and Asia. The European part of Russia is the largest country in Europe by area and population. It comprises an area of 10,160,000 square kilometers and a population of 110,000,000 people. Meanwhile, the Vatican City is the smallest by area and population. It has an area of 0.44 square kilometers and a population of 1,000 people.
Geography and borders
Europe is surrounded by water bodies on three sides. The Arctic Ocean is located at the north of the continent. On the west is the Atlantic Ocean and the south is the Mediterranean Sea. The Caucasus and Ural mountains, Bosporus Strait, and the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea act as the eastern frontier, separating Europe from Asia. The Turkish city of Istanbul is the only city in the world which has territory on two continents. Mount Elbrus, which is located in Russia and has a height of 18,510 feet, is the highest point in Europe. The Caspian Sea is the lowest point and is located approximately 92 feet below the sea level. Volga River, which has a length of 3,530 km, is the longest river in Europe.
Europe also comprises the headquarters of many prominent political divisions and organizations such as the European Union (Brussels, Belgium), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Brussels, Belgium), World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland), International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva, Switzerland), International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands), etc.