According to the World Factbook, the European Union has more than 516 million inhabitants. Many of the countries have a significant population, such as Germany with over 80 million inhabitants. Some countries, on the other hand, are known for their tiny population. Below is a list of the ten least populated countries in Europe.
1. Vatican City – 1,000
Vatican City is the smallest nation in the world by size and population and is located in the Italian capital Rome. The country has only about 1,000 inhabitants in an area of just 0.44 square kilometers, making it the smallest country in Europe and the smallest country in the world. The citizens of the Vatican are primarily clergy, state officials and the Swiss Guard. All places of worship and all citizens who reside here are associated with the Catholic faith.
2. Monaco – 30,645
The Western European country of Monaco is one of the smallest in the world. Located on the French Riviera, this microstate is bordered on three sides by France. The Mediterranean washes up the shores of the remaining side. Monaco covers an area of only 2.02 square kilometers. Despite its small size, the country has 30,645 inhabitants, making it the most densely populated country in the world. The population density here is about 19,009 per square kilometer. French is Monaco’s official and most widely spoken language, with French as the largest ethnic group, followed by Monegasque and Italian. Christianity is the predominant religion in the country.
3. San Marino – 33,537
Located on the Italian peninsula and surrounded on all sides by Italy, the microstate of San Marino is the third least populated nation in Europe. The country covers an area of about 61 square km and is home to a population of 33,537 people. The Italians and the native Sanmarines make up the majority of the country’s population and as such, Sammarinese and Italian are the two official languages spoken in San Marino. 99% of the population is Roman Catholic.
4. Liechtenstein – 38,244
Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest country in Europe and the third least populated country in size. It is located in Central Europe, where it is landlocked by Austria and Switzerland. The alpine microstate has a population of only 38,244 people living in an area of about 160 square km. The main ethnic group in Liechtenstein is the Alemannic ethnic group. Standard German is the official language and Christianity is the predominant religion in the country.
5. Andorra – 76,965
Located in southwestern Europe and surrounded by land on all sides, Andorra is a mountainous microstate in the Eastern Pyrenees. With an area of 468 square km, Andorra is the 6th smallest country in the continent. It is home to a population of just 76,965 residents making it the 5th least populous nation on the continent. Surprisingly, ethnic Andorras are a minority domestically (33% of the population), while the Portuguese, French and Spanish make up the majority of the population. Catalan is the only official language and Christianity is the predominant religion in Andorra.
6. Iceland – 339,747
With an area of 103,000 square kilometers on the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland is an island country with only 339,747 inhabitants. It is thus one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The majority of the population (93%) are ethnic Icelanders and speak Icelandic, the official language of Iceland. 99% of the population lives in urban areas and almost 60% lives in the Capital Region. Christianity is the predominant religion here.
7. Malta – 416,338
Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and is an island nation in the Mediterranean. The country covers an area of only 316 square kilometers. The country has 416,338 inhabitants (2017). Malta has a very homogeneous population in terms of ethnicity, the majority of which are ethnic Maltese who adhere to the Roman Catholic religion. Maltese and English are the two official languages spoken in Malta.
8. Luxembourg – 594,130
Luxembourg is a small nation bordered by land on all sides. The European countries Germany, France and Belgium border the country. Luxembourg has a total area of approximately 2,586 square km and an estimated population of 594,130 (2017). The inhabitants of the country are known as Luxembourgers and the official languages are Luxembourgish, French and German. Roman Catholicism is the religion of the majority.
9. Montenegro – 642,550
The southeastern European country of Montenegro with a coastline on the Adriatic Sea is the ninth smallest nation in Europe by population. The country’s population is estimated at 642,550 residents. More than 90% of the country’s population is of Slavic descent. Montenegrin is the only official language of Montenegro. Podgorica is the capital and the most populous city in Montenegro.
10. Cyprus – 1.2 million
The most populous island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. The country has an estimated population of 1,221,549 people (2017 estimates), making it the tenth least populated country in Europe. The vast majority (98.8%) of the population is of Greek descent and identifies as Greek Orthodox. The Turkish Cypriots are the second major ethnic group in Cyprus and most of them are followers of Sunni Islam. As such, Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus.