Europe is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution,
which took place around the 19th century in England. To
supply the growing industry, European countries went in
search of natural resources (raw material). The
continent has also effectively exploited its internal
The amount of natural resources contained
on the continent is limited. This implies a dependence
on the raw material from other countries. However, this
dependency does not pose any major problems.
What is seen in the contemporary world is a great
interest of underdeveloped countries that are constantly
seeking to commercialize their resources, promoting high
competitiveness among different nations. The large
supply results in a decrease in prices on the
international market, which proves the law of supply and
demand. In addition, there is another attraction for
those who buy: the better quality of the raw material
placed on the market. This fact discourages the primary
production of mineral resources by industrialized
countries. Thus, these European countries prefer to
purchase quality raw materials at a low price than to
extract them in their territories.
Europe has a territorial extension of 10.3 million
square kilometers, being divided into 50 countries. Many
countries on that continent have an area smaller than a
single state in United States. Some of these nations are
called mini-countries, as they have small territorial
extensions and small population contingents.
Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, Malta, Liechtenstein and
the Vatican are the smallest and least populous European
countries. The Vatican, for example, is the smallest
country in the world, whose area is only 0.44
kmē. Andorra, the largest of these mini-countries, has a
territorial extension of 470 kmē. A common feature among
these countries is overpopulation, with the highest
demographic densities on the planet.
Despite having a small area, these countries have a
high rate of economic and social development. The
residents of these small European countries enjoy an
excellent standard of living.
Tourism is quite intense in these nations, especially
in the Vatican (seat of the Roman Catholic Apostolic
Church), Andorra (ski resorts), Monaco and San
Marino. Liechtenstein stands out for its industrial
activity; Malta, for its part, has an economy based on
the industrial sector and financial services.
Geographical data for small European countries:
Territorial extension: 470 kmē.
Population: 80,153 residents.
Demographic density: 171 residents / kmē.
Territorial extension: 160 kmē.
Population: 37,194 residents.
Demographic density: 232 residents / kmē.
Territorial extension: 320 kmē.
Population: 430,146 residents.
Demographic density: 1,344 residents / kmē.
Territorial extension: 2 kmē.
Population: 38,066 inhabitants.
Demographic density: 19,033 inhabitants / kmē.
Land area: 60 kmē.
Population: 31,637 residents.
Demographic density: 527 residents / kmē.
Territorial extension: 0.44 kmē.
Population: 990 residents.
Demographic density: 1.89 residents / kmē.
ABBREVIATIONFINDER provides most commonly used
abbreviations and initials containing the continent
name of Europe.