Pan and Pfeil (2004) count 87 distinct "peoples of Europe", of which 33 form the majority population in at least one sovereign state, while the remaining 54 constitute ethnic minorities. The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of 770 million Europeans.
There is no precise or universally accepted definition of the terms "ethnic group" or "nationality". In the context of European ethnography in particular, the terms ethnic group, people (without nation state), nationality, national minority, ethnic minority, linguistic community, linguistic group and linguistic minority are used as mostly synonymous, although preference may vary in usage with respect to the situation specific to the individual countries of Europe.
There are eight peoples of Europe with more than 30 million members residing in Europe:
These eight groups between themselves account for some 460 million or about 63% of European population.
About 20-25 million residents (3%) are members of diasporas of non-European origin. The population of the European Union, with some five hundred million residents, accounts for two thirds of the European population.
Both Spain and the UK are special cases, in that the designation of nationality, Spanish and British, may controversially take ethnic aspects, subsuming various regional ethnic groups, see nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain and native populations of the United Kingdom. Switzerland is a similar case, but the linguistic subgroups of the Swiss are not usually discussed in terms of ethnicity, and Switzerland is considered a "multi-national state" rather than a "multi-ethnic state".
Of the total population of Europe of some 730 million (as of 2005), over 80% or some 600 million fall within three large ethno-linguistic super-groups, viz., Slavic, Latin (Romance) and Germanic. The largest groups that do not fall within either of these are the Greeks and the Hungarians (about 12 million each) and the Albanians (about 6 million).
|phylum||super-group||ethno-linguistic group||subgroups||approx. number (millions)||notes|
|Indo-Europeans||Slavic, East||Russians||Pomors, Cossacks||90|
|Indo-Europeans||Slavic, East||Ukrainians||Rusyns, Boykos, Hutsuls, Lemkos, Poleszuks||43|
|Indo-Europeans||Slavic, South||Macedonians||Macedonian Muslims||01.6|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Western||Francophonie||French, Walloons, Romands, Provencals, Occitans, Aranese||72|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Western||Catalans||Catalans, Andorran, Valencians, Balearics||10|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Italo-Western||Italians||Sardinians, Furlans, Lombards, Venetians, Sicilians, Neapolitans, Corsicans||53|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Western||Spaniards||Castilians; non-Castilian ethno-linguistic groups: Andalusians, Asturians, Aragonese, Galicians||40|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Eastern||Romanians (Vlachs)||Daco-Romanians, Moldovans, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians, Aromanians||23|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Western||Rhaeto-Romanics||Romansh, Friulians, Ladins||0.6|
|Indo-Europeans||Latin, Western||Gibraltarians||0.03||(Speak English mainly as first language) Also summed under White British|
|Indo-Europeans||Germanic, West, Continental||German-speaking Europe||Germans, Austrians, Alemannic Swiss, Luxembourgers, Alsatians, Lorrainers, South Tyroleans, German-speaking Belgians, North Schleswigers||89|
|Indo-Europeans||Germanic, West, North Sea||English||45||also subsumed under British or White British.|
|Indo-Europeans||Germanic, West, Continental||Netherlandish||Dutch people, Flemish people||23|
|Indo-Europeans||Germanic, North||Scandinavians||Norwegians, Swedes, Finland Swedes, Danes, Faroese, Icelanders||22|
|Indo-Europeans||Germanic, West, North Sea||Frisians||0.5|
|Indo-Europeans||Celtic Europe||*002-22||approx. 2 million speakers of Celtic languages, but depending on the definition, some 20 million may be considered "Celtic"|
|Indo-Europeans||Anglo-Celtic, Goidelic||Irish||Gaeltacht||06||Some living in Northern Ireland can also subsumed under British or White British. Most speak English as their first language, but 5% are Gaelic speaking Irish.|
|Indo-Europeans||Anglo-Celtic, Goidelic||Scots||Gàidhealtachd||06||also subsumed under British or White British. (speak English mainly as first language).|
|Indo-Europeans||Anglo-Celtic, Brythonic||Welsh||05||also subsumed under British or White British. (about half speak English as first language).|
|Indo-Europeans||Franco-Celtic, Brythonic||Bretons||05||also subsumed under French. (many will Speak French first).|
|Indo-Europeans||Anglo-Celtic, Brythonic||Cornish||0.2||also subsumed under English, British or White British. (all speak English as first language; very few can actually speak Cornish in Cornwall).|
|Indo-Europeans||Anglo-Celtic, Goidelic||Manx||0.04||also subsumed under British or White British. (speak English as first language, mainly Manx in the Isle of Man is having a revival).|
|Indo-Europeans||Anglo-Celtic, Brythonic and Goidelic||British||50 - 60||also subsumed under White British. (Includes English, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish, Manx, Channel Islanders, Irish in Northern Ireland and Gibraltarian) (speak English mainly).|
|Indo-Europeans||Iranian||Ossetians||0.4||depends on what part of the Caucasus is considered European, see below.|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Oghuz||Turks||16||approx. 10 million in Eastern Thrace, 1 million in the rest of the Balkans, 5 million in diaspora. (see Turks in Europe)|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak||Volga Tatars||6|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Oghur||Chuvash||02|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak||Bashkirs||01.4|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak||Kumyks||00.3|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak||Karachays||01.5|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak / Oghuz||Crimeans||Tat Tatars, Yaliboyu Tatars, Noğay Tatars||2|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Oghuz||Gagauz||0.2|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak||Balkars||0.08|
|Turkic peoples||Turkic, Kypchak||Nogais||0.07|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Finno-Lappic||Finns||Karelians, Sweden Finns, Ingrian Finns, Kven people||06|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Finno-Lappic||Estonians||Setos, Võros||01|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Volgaic||Mordvins||Erzya/Shoksha, Moksha, Teryukhan, Qaratay||1.1|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Permic||Udmurts||0.7|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Volgaic||Mari||0.6|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Permic||Komi||Komi-Izhemtsy, Komi-Permyaks||0.5|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Finno-Lappic||Sami||0.1|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Finno-Lappic||Veps||0.008|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Finno-Lappic||Izhorians||0.001|
|Finno-Ugric peoples||Finnic, Finno-Lappic||Livonians||0.0001|
|Caucasian||Caucasian||*08||depends on what part of the Caucasus is considered European, see below.|
|Caucasian||Northeast Caucasian||Tsakhur people||0.007|
|Caucasian||South Caucasian||Georgians||5||depends on what part of the Caucasus is considered European, see below.|
|Semitic||Semitic, Hebrew||Jews||1.3||also subsumed under various other, see below.|
|Semitic||Semitic, Maltese||Maltese||0.4||ethno-linguistic classification is difficult, since there is significant historical admixture of Italian, Sicilian, Siculo-Arabic, British and French influence.|
Europe has a population of about 2 million ethnic Jews (mostly also counted as part of the ethnic group of their respective home countries):
Pan and Pfeil (2002) distinguish 33 peoples which form the majority population in at least one sovereign state geographically situated in Europe. These majorities range from nearly homogeneous populations as in Armenia or Poland, to comparatively slight majorities as in Latvia or Belgium. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are multiethnic states in which no group forms a majority.
|country||majority||%||regional majorities||other minorities|
|Albania||Albanians||93%||Greeks 6%, other 2% (Vlachs, Romani, Serbs, Macedonians, Bulgarians and Turks).|
|Armenia||Armenians||97%||Yezidi 2%, Other <1%).|
|Azerbaijan||Azeris||90.6%||Lezgins 2.2%, Russians 1.8%,Talysh 1.0%, Avars 0.6%, Meskhetian Turks 0.5%, Tatars 0.4%,Ukrainians 0.4%, Tsakhurs 0.2%, Georgians 0.2%, Jews 0.2%, Kurds 0.1%, Udins 0.05%, others 0.12%.|
|Austria||Austrians||91.1%||South Slavs 4% (includes Burgenland Croats, Carinthian Slovenes, Croats, Slovenes, Serbs and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, Germans 0.9%, and other or unspecified 2.4%. (2001 census)|
|Belarus||Belarusians||81.2%||Russians 11.4%, Poles 3.9%, Ukrainians 2.4%, and other 1.1%. (1999 census)|
|Belgium||Flemings||58%||Walloons 31%, Germans 1%||mixed or other (Eastern or Southern Europeans, Africans and Asians) 10%.|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||—||Bosniak 48%, Serbs 37.1% Croats 14.3%||other 0.6%.(2000)|
|Bulgaria||Bulgarians||83.9%||Turks 9.4%||Romani 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian and Greek). (2001 census)|
|Croatia||Croats||89.6%||Serbs 4.5%, other 5.9% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, Dalmatian-Italian, Austrian-German, Romanian and Romani/Gypsy). (2001 census)|
|Czech Republic||Czechs||90.4%||Moravians 3.7%||Slovaks 1.9%, and other 4%. (2001 census)|
|Denmark||Danes||90% ||Faroese||other Scandinavian, Germans, Frisians, other European, Greenlandic people and others.|
|Estonia||Estonians||67.9%||Estonian Swedes||Baltic Russians 25.6%, Ukrainians 2.1%, Belarusians 1.3%, Finns 0.9%, and other (Baltic Germans) 2.2%. (2000 census)|
|Finland||Finns||93.4%||Swedes 5.6%||Russians 0.5%, Estonians 0.3%, Romani 0.1%, Sami 0.1% and Turks 0.05%. (2006)|
|France||French||84%||(includes ethnic or regional groups like Bretons, Corsicans, Occitans, Alsatians, Normans, Picards, Savoyards, Basques and Flemings).||other European 7%, North African 7%, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, Asian, Latin American and Pacific Islander. |
|Germany||Germans||81%-91% ||includes Bavarians, Swabians, Saxons, Frisians, Sorbs, Silesians, Saarland Germans, Polish-Germans and Schleswig-Holstein Danes).||Germans without immigrant background 81%; Germans with immigrant background (including ethnic German repatriates and people of partial immigrant background) 10%; Foreigners 9%: Turks 2.1%, others 6.7% and non-European descent about 2 to 5%.)|
|Georgia||Georgians||83.8%||Azeris 6.5%, Armenians 5.7%, Russians 1.5% and Ossetians 1.3%.|
|Greece||Greeks||93%||includes linguistic minorities 3%||Albanians 4%, and other 3%. (2001 census)|
|Hungary||Hungarians||92.3%||Romani 1.9%, Germans 1.2%, other (i.e. Croats, Romanians, Bulgarians, Turks and Ruthenians) or unknown 4.6%. (2001 census)|
|Iceland||Icelanders||94%||other (non-native/immigrants - mainly Polish, Russian, Greek, Portuguese and Filipino) 6%.|
|Ireland||Irish||87.4%||Protestant Irish or Anglo-Irish||other white (large numbers of Latvian, Polish and Ukrainian migration) 7.5%, Asian 1.3%, black 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, and unspecified 1.6%. (2006 census)|
|Italy||Italians||95%||includes Sicilians, Sardinians, Lombards and other subgroups plus German-speakers in Trento-Alto Adige and French-speaking minority of Val D'Aosta.||other European (mostly Albanian, followed by Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Greek, Romanian, Ukrainian and Swiss) 2.5%, North African Arab 1%, and others (i.e. Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Black African and Latin American) 1.5%. |
|Kosovo||Albanians||88%||Serbs 7%||other 5% (Bosniak, Gorani, Romani, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian and Macedonian).|
|Latvia||Latvians||57.7%||Baltic Russians 29.6%||Belarusian 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.7%, Polish 2.5%, Lithuanian 1.4%, Livonian (Finno-Estonian) 0.1% and other 2%. (2002)|
|Lithuania||Lithuanians||83.5%||Poles 6.74%, Russians 6.31%, Belarusians 1.23%, other (Lipka Tatars) 2.27% and Jews (Karaites and Yiddish-speaking) 0.01%. (2001 census)|
|Macedonia||Macedonians||64.2%||Albanians 25.2%, Turks 3.9%||Romani 2.7%, Serbs 1.8%, and other (i.e. Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians and Croats) 2.2%. (2002 census)|
|Malta||Maltese||95.3%||Sporadic number of Maltese of Italian ancestry 4.5%.|
|Moldova||Moldovan/Romanian||78.2%||Ukrainians 8.4%||Russians 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarians 1.9%, and other 1.3%. (2004 census)|
|Montenegro||—||Montenegrins 43%, Serbs 32%||Bosniaks 8%, Albanians 5%, and other (Croats, Greeks, Romani-Gypsy and Macedonians) 12%. (2003 census)|
|Netherlands||Dutch||80.7%||Frisians 3%||other European Union nationals 5%, Indonesians 2.4%, Turks 2.2%, Surinamese 2%, Moroccans 2%, Netherlands Antilles & Aruba 0.8%, other 4.8% and Frisian-speaking 0.01%. (2008 est.)|
|Norway||Norwegians||93.1%||Sami 1.3%||other European 3.6%, and other non-European races 2%. (2007 estimate)|
|Poland||Poles||96.7%||Germans 0.4%, Belarusians 0.1%, Ukrainians 0.1%, other and unspecified (Silesians and Kashubians) 2.7%, and about 5,000 Polish Jews reported to reside in the country. (2002 census)|
|Portugal||Portuguese||92%||other 8% - European Union (i.e. Spanish, British, German, French, Romanians) and non-EU nationals (i.e. Ukrainians, Moldavians, Bulgarians, Russians); Africans from Portuguese-speaking Africa, Brazilians, Chinese, Indians, Portuguese Gypsies.|
|Romania||Romanians||89.5%||Hungarians 6.6%, Romani 2.5%, Germans 0.3%||Ukrainians 0.3%, Russians 0.2%, Turks 0.2%, other 0.4% (2002 census)|
|Russia||Russians||79.8%||Tatars 3.8%, Kalmyks, Chechens, Circassians, Ossetians and Siberians||Ukrainians 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1% and other or unspecified (Kazakhs, Nogais, Mordvins, Komi and Armenians) 12.1%, and a total of 102 other nationalities. (2002 census, includes Asian Russia).|
|Serbia||Serbs||82.9%||Hungarians 3.9%, Romani 1.4%, Yugoslavs 1.1%, Bosniaks 1.8%, Montenegrin 0.9%, and other 8%. (2002 census, includes Kosovo).|
|Slovakia||Slovaks||85.8%||Hungarians 9.7%||Romani 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8%. (2001 census)|
|Slovenia||Slovenes||83.1%||Serbs 2%, Croats 1.8%, Bosniaks 1.1%, other (Dalmatian Italians, ethnic Germans, Hungarians & Romanians) and/or unspecified 12%. (2002 census)|
|Spain||Spaniards||89%||Various nationalities or sub-ethnicities of the Spanish people, including Castilians, Catalans, Galicians and Basques||Spanish Gypsies, Spanish Jews, immigrant peoples (Latin Americans, Romanians, North Africans, sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Filipinos, Levant Arabs, and others).|
|Sweden||Swedes||88%||Sweden-Finns, Sami people||foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Russians, Syriacs, Greeks, Turks, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Thais, Koreans and Chileans.|
|Switzerland||Swiss||79%||regional linguistic subgroups, including the Alamannic German-speakers, the Romand French-speakers, the Italian-speakers and Romansh people||Balkans (Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks or Albanians) 6%, Italians 4%, Portuguese 2%, Germans 1.5%, Turks 1%, Spanish 1% and Ukrainians 0.5%.|
|Ukraine||Ukrainians||77.8%||Russians 17.3%||Belarusians 0.6%, Moldovans 0.5%, Crimean Tatars 0.5%, Bulgarians 0.4%, Hungarians 0.3%, Romanians 0.3%, Poles 0.3%, Jews 0.2%, Armenians 0.1% and other 1.8%. (2001 census)|
|United Kingdom||White British||80% - 93%||White English 77.0%, White Scottish 8.0%, White Welsh 4.5%, White Northern Irish 2.8%, also Cornish, Manx, Romani and Channel Islanders||Other White background (Irish 24.0% with some Irish origins, Polish 1.6%, Portuguese 0.8%, Greeks 0.7%, Germans 0.6%, amongst many others. Note that the 2001 census did not allow people to state origins within a European nation without being born there themselves). Visible ethnic minorities make up approximately 14% of the UK's population, they include South Asians 5.7% (Indians 2.7%, Pakistanis 1.5%, Bangladeshis 0.8%), Blacks/Sub-Saharan Africans 3.0% (Black Africans 1.5%, Afro-Caribbeans 1.3%), Arabs 1.7% (Iraqis 0.6%), East Asians 1.6% (Chinese 0.8%, amongst others), Mixed-Race 1.4%, Other (including Latin Americans, Iranians and Pacific Islanders)|
The Basques are assumed to descend from the populations of the Atlantic Bronze Age directly. The Indo-European groups of Europe (the Centum groups plus Balto-Slavic and Albanian) are assumed to have developed in situ by admixture of early Indo-European groups arriving in Europe by the Bronze Age (Corded ware, Beaker people). The Finnic peoples are indigenous to northeastern Europe.
Reconstructed languages of Iron Age Europe include Proto-Celtic, Proto-Italic and Proto-Germanic, all of these Indo-European languages of the centum group, and Proto-Slavic and Proto-Baltic, of the satem group. A group of Tyrrhenian languages appears to have included Etruscan, Rhaetian and perhaps also Eteocretan and Eteocypriot. A pre-Roman stage of Proto-Basque can only be reconstructed with great uncertainty.
Regarding the European Bronze Age, the only secure reconstruction is that of Proto-Greek (ca. 2000 BC). A Proto-Italo-Celtic ancestor of both Italic and Celtic (assumed for the Bell beaker period), and a Proto-Balto-Slavic language (assumed for roughly the Corded Ware horizon) has been postulated with less confidence. Old European hydronymy has been taken as indicating an early (Bronze Age) Indo-European predecessor of the later centum languages.
Ethno-linguistic groups that arrived from outside Europe during historical times are:
The earliest accounts of European ethnography date to Classical Antiquity. Herodotus described the Scythians and Thraco-Illyrians. Dicaearchus gave a description of Greece itself besides accounts of western and northern Europe. His work survives only fragmentarily, but was received by Polybius and others. Roman Empire period authors include Diodorus Siculus, Strabo and Tacitus. Julius Caesar gives an account of the Celtic tribes of Gaul, while Tacitus describes the Germanic tribes of Magna Germania. The 4th century Tabula Peutingeriana records the names of numerous peoples and tribes. Ethnographers of Late Antiquity such as Agathias of Myrina Ammianus Marcellinus, Jordanes or Theophylact Simocatta give early accounts of the Slavs, the Franks, the Alamanni and the Goths.
Book IX of Isidore's Etymologiae (7th century) treats de linguis, gentibus, regnis, militia, civibus (of languages, peoples, realms, armies and cities). Ahmad ibn Fadlan in the 10th century gives an account of the peoples of Eastern Europe, in particular the Bolghar and the Rus'. William Rubruck, while most notable for his account of the Mongols, in his account of his journey to Asia also gives accounts of the Tatars and the Alans. Saxo Grammaticus and Adam of Bremen give an account of pre-Christian Scandinavia. The Chronicon Slavorum (12th century) gives an account of the northwestern Slavic tribes.
Gottfried Hensel in his 1741 Synopsis universae philologiae published what is probably the earliest ethno-linguistic map of Europe, showing the beginning of the pater noster in the various European languages and scripts. In the 19th century, ethnicity was discussed in terms of scientific racism, and the ethnic groups of Europe were grouped into a number of "races", Mediterranean, Alpine and Nordic, all part of a larger "Caucasian" group. The beginnings of ethnic geography as an academic subdiscipline lie in the period following World War I, in the context of nationalism, and in the 1930s exploitation for the purposes of fascist and Nazi propaganda so that it was only in the 1960s that ethnic geography began to thrive as a bona fide academic subdiscipline. The origins of modern ethnography are often traced to the work of Bronisław Malinowski who emphasized the importance of fieldwork. The emergence of population genetics further undermined the categorisation of Europeans into clearly defined racial groups. A 2007 study on the genetic history of Europe found that the most important genetic differentiation in Europe occurs on a line from the north to the south-east (northern Europe to the Balkans), with another east-west axis of differentiation across Europe, separating the "indigenous" Basques and Sami from other European populations. Despite these stratifications it noted the unusually high degree of European homogeneity: "there is low apparent diversity in Europe with the entire continent-wide samples only marginally more dispersed than single population samples elsewhere in the world."
The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of Europeans.
The member states of the Council of Europe in 1995 signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The broad aims of the Convention are to ensure that the signatory states respect the rights of national minorities, undertaking to combat discrimination, promote equality, preserve and develop the culture and identity of national minorities, guarantee certain freedoms in relation to access to the media, minority languages and education and encourage the participation of national minorities in public life. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities defines a national minority implicitly to include minorities possessing a territorial identity and a distinct cultural heritage. By 2008, 39 member states have signed and ratified the Convention, with the notable exception of France.
Most of Europe's indigenous peoples, or ethnic groups known to have the earliest known historical connection to a particular region, have gone extinct or been absorbed by the dominant cultures. Those that survive are largely confined to remote areas. Groups that have been identified as indigenous include the Sami of northern Scandinavia, the Basques of northern Spain and southern France, and a many of the western indigenous peoples of Russia. Groups in Russia include Finno-Ugric peoples such as the Komi and Mordvins of the western Ural Mountains, Samoyedic peoples such as the Nenets people of northern Russia.
Europe is also where a multiplicity of cultures, nationalities and ethnic groups originated outside of Europe reside in, most of them are recently arrived immigrants in the 20th century and their country of origin are often a former colony of the British, French and Spanish empires.
Populations of non-European origin in Europe (approx. 22 - 29+ million, or approx. 3% to 4%+ [depending on definition of non-European origin], out of a total population of approx. 728 million):
Medieval notions of a relation of the peoples of Europe are expressed in terms of genealogy of mythical founders of the individual groups. The Europeans were considered the descendants of Japhet from early times, corresponding to the division of the known world into three continents, the descendants of Sem peopling Asia and those of Ham peopling Africa. Identification of Europeans as "Japhetites" is also reflected in early suggestions for terming the Indo-European languages "Japhetic".
The text goes then on to list the genealogy of Alanus, connecting him to Japhet via eighteen generations.
European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage". Due to the great number of perspectives which can be taken on the subject, it is impossible to form a single, all-embracing conception of European culture. Nonetheless, there are core elements which are generally agreed upon as forming the cultural foundation of modern Europe. One list of these elements given by K. Bochmann includes:
Berting says that these points fit with "Europe's most positive realisations". The concept of European culture is generally linked to the classical definition of the Western world. In this definition, Western culture is the set of literary, scientific, political, artistic and philosophical principles which set it apart from other civilizations. Much of this set of traditions and knowledge is collected in the Western canon. The term has come to apply to countries whose history has been strongly marked by European immigration or settlement during the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the Americas, and Australasia, and is not restricted to Europe.
Since the High Middle Ages, most of Europe has been dominated by Christianity. There are three major denominations, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox, with Protestantism restricted mostly to Germanic regions and Great Britain (with some in Ireland), and Orthodoxy to Slavic regions, Romania, Greece and Georgia. Catholicism, while centered in the Latin parts, has a significant following also in Germanic and Slavic regions and Ireland (with some in Great Britain).
Islam has some tradition in the Balkans (the European dominions of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th to 19th centuries), in Albania, Former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkish East Thrace. European Russia has the largest Muslim community, including the Tatars of the Middle Volga and multiple groups in the Caucasus, including Chechens, Avars, Ingush and others. With 20th century migrations, Muslims in Western Europe have become a noticeable minority.
Judaism has a long history in Europe, but is a small minority religion, with France (1%) the only European country with a Jewish population in excess of 0.5%. The Jewish population of Europe is comprised primarily of two groups, the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi. Ashkenazi Jews migrated to Europe as early as the 8th century, while Sephardi Jews established themselves in Spain and Portugal at least one thousand years before that. Jewish European history was notably affected by the Holocaust and resulting emigration in the 20th century.
In modern times, significant secularization has taken place, notably in laicist France in the 19th century and in Communist Eastern Europe in the 20th century. Currently, distribution of theism in Europe is very heterogeneous, with more than 95% in Poland, and less than 20% in the Czech Republic. The 2005 Eurobarometer poll found that 52% of EU citizens believe in God.
"Pan-European identity" or "Europatriotism" is an emerging sense of personal identification with Europe, or the European Union as a result of the gradual process European integration taking place over the last quarter of the 20th century, and especially in the period after the end of the Cold War, since the 1990s. The foundation of the OSCE followng the 1990s Paris Charter has facilitated this process on a political level during the 1990s and 2000s.
From the later 20th century, 'Europe' has come to be widely used as a synonym for the European Union even though there are millions of people living on the European continent in non-EU states. The prefix pan implies that the identity applies throughout Europe, and especially in an EU context, and 'pan-European' is often contrasted with national identity.