Geography of the European Union: Wikis


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The European Union primarily occupies a large portion of Western and Central Europe, covering 4,422,773 square kilometres (1,707,642 sq mi).[1 ] It extends northeast to Finland, northwest to Ireland, southeast to Cyprus and southwest to Iberia, it represents the seventh largest territory in the world by area.


Member-state geography

The Union's geography is composed of its 27 member states, see the geography of its member-states;

Union geography

22 member countries are influenced by extensive coastlines and oceanic climate, (Mediterranean, Greece)
Azores in Portugal is EU's westernmost archipelago

Although most of the European Union is on the European continent, see Geography of Europe, the EU is not coterminous with Europe: significant parts of the continent (e.g. Switzerland, Norway, European Russia) are outside of the EU. The member states of the EU have land borders with 21 other nations.

It is estimated that the coastline of the European Union is 66,000 km long,[2] bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Adriatic Sea. European mountain ranges include the Alps, Carpathian Mountains, Balkan Mountains and Scandinavian Mountains with the tallest mountain in the Union being Mont Blanc.

Several overseas territories and dependencies of various member states are also formally part of the EU (for Spain: the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla; for Portugal: the Azores, Madeira; for UK: Gibraltar and British sovereign bases in Cyprus; for France: La Réunion, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy) while in other cases territories associated with member states are not part of the EU (e.g. Greenland, the Faroe Islands, most territories associated to the United Kingdom, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, Mayotte, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, or New Caledonia).

Including overseas territories of member states, the EU includes most types of climate from Arctic to tropical. Meteorological averages for the EU as a whole are therefore not meaningful. The majority of the population live in areas with a Mediterranean climate (southern Europe), a temperate maritime climate (western Europe), or a warm summer continental or hemiboreal climate (in eastern member states).

     European Union      Outermost regions (part of the EU)      Overseas countries and territories (not part of the EU)

Largest cities

The European Union is home to more global cities than any other region in the world. Over 16 cities with populations over one million inhabitants, counted in its city proper. Densely populated regions that have no single core but have emerged from the connection of several cites and are now encompassing large metropolitan areas are Rhine-Ruhr having approximately 11.5 million inhabitants (Cologne, Düsseldorf, et al.), Randstad approx. 7 million (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague et al.), the Flemish Diamond approx. 5.5 million, Frankfurt/Rhine-Main approx. 4 million (Frankfurt, Wiesbaden et al.) and the Upper Silesian Industry Area approx. 3.5 million. (Katowice, Sosnowiec et al.).[3]

City proper Population
City limits

in millions

per km²
Urban area Population
Urban area
in millions
Metro area Population
Metro area
in millions
London, UK 7.5 4,761 Paris, France 10.1 London, UK 12-14
Berlin, Germany 3.4 3,815 London, UK 8.5 Paris, France 11.7
Madrid, Spain 3.1 1,985 Madrid, Spain 5.5 Rhine-Ruhr, Germany 10.2
Rome, Italy 2.7 5,198 Ruhr, Germany 5.3 Randstad, Netherlands 7.0
Paris, France 2.2 24,672 Barcelona, Spain 4.5 Madrid, Spain 5.8
Bucharest, Romania 1.9 9,131 Milan, Italy 3.8 Barcelona, Spain 5.3
Hamburg, Germany 1.8 2,310 Berlin, Germany 3.7 Milan, Italy 4.3
Warsaw, Poland 1.7 3,258 RotterdamThe Hague, Netherlands 3.3 Berlin, Germany 4.3
Budapest, Hungary 1,7 3,570 Athens, Greece 3.2 Frankfurt Rhine-Main, Germany 4.1
Vienna, Austria 1.7 3,931 Naples, Italy 2.9 Athens, Greece 3.9


  1. ^ Figure including the four French overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion) which are an integral part of the European Union, but excluding the French overseas collectivities and territories, which are not part of the European Union.
  2. ^ European Union CIA World Factbook
  3. ^ Indicators for larger urban zones 1999 - 2003, Eurostat. Accessed January 25, 2007

See also



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