Northern Europe

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Satellite photograph of most of Northern Europe
Language branches in Northern Europe
  North Germanic (Iceland and Scandinavia)
  Finnic (Estonia, Finland)
  Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania)

Northern Europe is a general term for the geographical region in Europe that is roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54°N. Narrower definitions may be based on other geographical factors such as climate and ecology. A broader definition would include the area north of the Alps. Countries which are central-western (such as Belgium and Switzerland), central (such as Austria) or central-eastern (such as Hungary and Poland) are not usually considered part of either Northern or Southern Europe.

Historically, when Europe was dominated by the Roman Empire, everything not near the Mediterranean region was termed Northern Europe[citation needed], including southern Germany, all of the Low Countries, and Austria. This meaning is still used today in some contexts, for example, discussions of the Northern Renaissance.

Geography[edit]

European sub-regions according to EuroVoc:
Blue: Northern Europe
Green: Western Europe
Red: Central and Eastern Europe
Yellow: Southern Europe
Grey: Territories not considered part of Europe

Northern Europe might be defined roughly as the British Isles, Fennoscandia, the peninsula of Jutland, the Baltic plain that lies to the east and the many islands that lie offshore from mainland Northern Europe, Greenland, and the main European continent.

Nations usually included within this region are[citation needed] Denmark, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden, and less often the United Kingdom (especially Scotland), the Republic of Ireland, northern Germany, northern Belarus and northwest Russia.

The area is partly mountainous, including the northern volcanic islands of Iceland and Jan Mayen, and the mountainous western seaboard, Scotland and Scandinavia, and also includes part of a large eastern plain, with Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

The entire region's climate is at least mildly affected by the Gulf Stream. From the west climates vary from maritime and maritime subarctic climates. In the north and central climates are generally subarctic or Arctic and to the east climates are mostly subarctic and temperate/continental.

Just as both climate and relief are variable across the region, so too is vegetation, with sparse tundra in the north and high mountains, boreal forest on the north-eastern and central regions temperate coniferous forests (formerly of which a majority was in the Scottish Highlands and south west Norway) and temperate broadleaf forests growing in the south, west and temperate east.

Demographics[edit]

Countries commonly included in their entirety[citation needed] within the region, by population count: (2017 estimates)[1]

Countries in Northern Europe generally have developed economies and some of the highest standards of living in the world. They often score highly on surveys measuring quality of life, such as the Human Development Index. Aside from the United Kingdom, they generally have a small population relative to their size, most of whom live in cities. Most peoples living in Northern Europe are traditionally Protestant Christians, although many are non-practicing. There are also growing numbers of non-religious people and people of other religions, especially Muslims, due to immigration. In the United Kingdom, there are also significant numbers of Indian religions such as Hindus and Sikhs, due to the large South Asian diaspora. The quality of education in much of Northern Europe is rated highly in international rankings, with Estonia and Finland topping the list among the OECD countries in Europe. The Hansa group in the European Union comprises most of the Northern European states.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population, total". data.worldbank.org. World Bank. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid-2017". www.ons.gov.uk.
  3. ^ "Finland's population was 5,503,297 at the turn of the year". Tilastokeskus.fi. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  4. ^ Statistiscs Estonia, 2019 numbers
  5. ^ Statistiscs Estonia, 2017 numbers

External links[edit]