Western Europe’s population patterns have been shaped by physical geography, migration and world events. Europe is one of the worlds smallest but most populous regions. Western Europe has long been a place of migrations, as it is today.
- Western Europeans can trace their roots to the earliest migrants
- Ex. France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland are made up of 2 or more ethnicities that have blended over the centuries
- Switzerland’s three official languages—German, French, and Italian—reflect different cultures that have shaped the country
- Germany and Austria were once nearly ethnically homogeneous, today different ethnic groups live in both countries
- France has attracted many immigrants, especially Muslims from Algeria and Morocco.
- Early 1950’s, Germany began inviting guest workers—foreigners who work on a temporary basis in a country other than ones in which they are citizens- to be part of its workface in order to encourage the countries economic growth.
Density and Distribution:
- Western Europe is densely populated, with most people in urban areas.
- Manufacturing and trade, plus farmland, have supported a large population for hundreds of years
- Most populous country is Germany with 82 million people and a population density of about 609 per square mile
- France includes several different population centers including Paris and the Mediterranean coast
- Netherlands and Belgium= two highest population densities
- Migration in Europe consists of people moving to urban areas
- Suburbanization—people move from large cities to nearby suburbs—is common
- In these newly settled areas Middle—class and working—class find more affordable houses
- Since WW2, immigration has led to urban growth
- Immigrants/guest workers have flocked to cities for new opportunities
- Germany/Belgium have sizable number of guest workers
- Has some of the worlds most famous cities—crossroads of European culture that have thrived for generations.
- Frances capital
- Cultural and economic center
- Commercial center for the European Union.
- Capital of the Netherlands
- Known for its centuries old canals, its art and its atmosphere of tolerance
Boehm, Richard. World Geography and Cultures. Columbus, Ohio: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.
“map of western europe.” Photograph. Europe e maps.com. np, n.d. Web. January 19, 2012.