Western Europe and Scandinavia

Basic facts about Western Europe and Scandinavia

It should be easy to guess – this part of my blog is dedicated to the region comprising countries of the western part of Europe and Scandinavia. In particular, the major countries of this region are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland. Concerning this blog, Scandinavian countries are meant Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.
Sometimes, you may often find Spain and Portugal listed rather as Western European countries because those are very similar. However, Spain, Portugal have much warmer climate and even Atlantic islands used by holiday makers (both are still mentioned below because it is sometimes difficult to separate European countries within a region).

Population of the Western Europe (the countries mentioned above) is around 252 million, with total area of 1.7 million square kilometres. For comparison, the total area of Western Europe is somewhere between Mongolia and Mexico, with almost the same size as Alaska state in the USA. In terms of population, Western Europe is slightly less populated than Indonesia. Germany, France and Spain together contribute towards more than three-quarters of the total territory and more than 80% of the total population of Western Europe. The largest territory belongs to France (551,695 square kilometres). The most populated countries of the region are Germany (over 83 million inhabitants) and France (over 65 million people).
Territories of either Sweden or Norway are larger than Germany (still slightly smaller than France), however, population density in Scandinavian countries is quite low – 14 people per square kilometre in Norway, 16 in Finland and 25 in Sweden. For comparison, the average population density in Germany and France is 240 and 119 people per square kilometre accordingly.

Other interesting and useful facts

The highest and most extensive mountain range in Europe are Alps; they stretch across eight Alpine countries. The highest points of the whole region are Mont Blanc (France/Italy- 4,809 metres above sea level), Dufourspitze (Switzerland, 4,634 metres) and Grossglockner (Austria, 3,798 metres), both of them are located in the Alps.
Six European countries signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which was the beginning of establishing the European Union. The EU was formally created when the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992. This agreement came on 1 November 1993 and currently there are 27 EU Member States. Could be 20 but the United Kingdom left the EU on 31 December 2020.

It is easy to travel within most parts of the EU as there are no passport controls within the Schengen Area. In addition, a monetary union was established in 1999 – nineteen countries used the euro currency in 2020. The Schengen Area consists of 26 states, four of which (Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland) do not formally belong to the EU.
The most visited country in Europe is France (86.9 million visitors in 2018). Such a relatively small country as Austria experienced the arrival of 29.5 million visitors, which is even more than Greece has had. The French capital Paris is the most visited city in Europe (15,834.2 million visitors in 2018). The second most visited city of the Western Europe region is the capital of the Netherlands Amsterdam (7,848.0 million visitors in 2018).
It is quite interesting that three of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, still are monarchies with a parliamentary system, two others, Finland and Iceland, are parliamentary republics like the majority of the Western European countries.
To read more about these countries, follow the links to the blog posts below: