Last updated: November 26, 2019
What are the largest countries in Europe? To find out which one is the largest country in Europe you can either look at population or size. Here’s an updated list of the largest countries in Europe by the country’s size and population.
There are different definitions of the size of a country. The two European countries Russia and Turkey both stretch over to Asia. Do we count that part of the country?
The countries extending from the boarders from Europe are considered Eurasia. In Eurasian countries, there is no clear border to tell what’s Asia vs. Europe.
This list will consider both Russia and Turkey, as well as countries such as Armenia and Cypress which often gets considered European.
We will also look at countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia since they often get included in other lists as a part of Europe.
Europe’s largest countries by population
With around 146 million people, Russia is the biggest country by population. Out of all the people, 110 million live in the European part of Russia where Moscow and St. Petersburg are located.
77% of Russia’s population is located on the European side, but only 25 % off Russia’s surface.
In terms of population, Germany is one of the biggest countries in Europe that’s also totally inside the Europeans boarders. Berlin is the biggest city in Germany by population, with 3.7 million people living here
There are several large cities in Germany which had an important impact on trade for hundreds of years. The Hanseatic League, also called Hansa was founded in Germany from 13th to the 15th century.
By landmass, Turkey is located mostly in Asia, but the largest city Istanbul is located on the European side. Turkey is the third-largest European country with 79 million people (after Russia and Germany). Only 15 million of the population live in Istanbul.
Since only 5 % of the country’s landmass is located in Europe it’s up to you to decide if you want to take that into consideration.
Paris, the capital of and the largest city in France. The city is well known for its fascinating culture and literature, which influenced other parts of the world. By population, France is one of the biggest countries in Europe with around 67 million people.
The United Kingdom comprises the whole island of Great Britain which contains England Wale s and Scotland, as well as a part of Ireland. The population in the United Kingdom is around 65 million and 9 million of them live in the capital of London.
Italy is one of the oldest countries in Europe, but also one of the largest countries by both population and size. Italy has a population of around 60 million people.
There are several major cities in Italy such as Rome, Florance, Milan, and Naples.
Spain has multiple cities with a population of more than half a million people. Out of Spain’s total population of 46 million, only 3.2 million people live in the capital Madrid.
Another large city in Spain is Barcelona, with 1.6 million people.
Ukraine is a large country even though it didn’t make it to the first place when it comes to total population or size. The country’s size got much smaller with Russia annexing the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Nowadays, around 42 million people live in this Eastern European country and the capital Kyiv is home to around 3 million people.
Poland has around 38 million inhabitants and is one of Europe’s largest country by population. The capital, Warsaw has around 1.7 million people living there and is also the country’s economic center.
Other major cities in Poland are Krakow, Poznan, Gdansk, and Wroclaw.
Romania comes in 10th place on the list with 19 million inhabitants. The capital of Romania is Bucharest and it’s also the place where most of Romania’s population lives (2.1 million).
Transylvania is also another interesting place with charming villages and stunning sceneries.
The biggest countries in Europe (by size)
What are the largest countries in Europe in terms of size? Some countries are both large by population and land, but there are a few expectations. Sweden, Finland, and Norway all have a relatively small population in comparison to size.
Russia is Europe’s largest country both by population and size. The total area within Europe’s geographical area is a total of 3,960,00 km2. The total area is 3 times larger than the second-largest country in Europe.
Russia is also one of the largest countries in the world with a total area of 17,098,246 km2, but most of it is located in Asia.
If you don’t count Russia, Ukraine is the largest country in Europe in terms of size measured at 603,700 km2. This is despite the annexation of Crimea, which is a large area now controlled by Russia.
It’s in Ukraine that the terrible accident happened in Chernobyl.
France is the third-largest country in Europe with a total area of 551 695 km2. In addition, there are also other territories that have been under French rule since the colonial period.
Spain is a favorite country among many Europeans and is also one of Europe’s largest countries with an area of 498,469 km2. In addition, the Canary Islands are also part of Spain. The islands are not included since they are off the west coast of Africa.
Madrid (the capital) and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain.
Most people don’t know that Sweden is actually a large country. The country is very elongated and it takes more than a day to drive a car from south to north.
Sweden’s total size is 449 964 km2 and has throughout history been larger. Sweden has a small population compared to the other largest countries by size in Europe.
Norway is almost as large as Sweden with a total area of 385 155 km2. In addition to the mainland, Svalbard and Jan Mayen are also included in Norway’s total land area.
Despite its large area, Norway has a population of around 5 million people.
Germany is one of Europe’s most populous countries and is often referred to as a powerful country. Germany is incredibly important to both the world economy and the European Union.
Among Europe’s largest countries by size, Germany “only” ranks in seventh place with a total area of 357,050 km2.
Finland is a large and elongated country just like Sweden. Finland has a relatively small population in comparison to the size of 338,145 km2.
South of the Baltic Sea is Europe’s ninth largest country located. Poland is both a large country in terms of population and size. The total area of Poland is 312 685 km2.
The capital of Poland is Warsaw and has recently become a popular tourist destination among Europeans.
Last but not least in the top 10 list of Europe’s largest countries by areas comes Italy. Italy has a total area of 301 318 km2.
More about the Largest countries in Europe
Most of the largest countries in Europe by size also have a large population. A few exceptions such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland have a large landmass in terms of population. Large parts of the countries are covered by forest, has a cold climate, and the infrastructure for remote places are not particularly developed due to the lack of people who live there.
When more and more people move into large cities, more areas become less populated. In today’s modern society, most jobs can be found in the largest cities in Europe.
Agriculture still plays a big role, even though the need for employees is not as big nowadays because of machines and automation. If you look at the big picture, the population is actually decreasing in some of Europe’s biggest countries, because fewer children are born.
What are the largest countries in Europe in the EU?
France is the largest country in the EU in terms of size, but Germany is the biggest country by population.
Did you know about the largest countries in Europe? Leave a comment below!