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About Europe

The People of Europe

The people of Europe are a composition of many diverse ethno-linguistic groups. You can find today’s largest groups on our Demographics page. Visiting many areas you can see traditional customs observed through special events and in museums. The languages, clothing and cuisines can still be experienced. All of this diverse ethnicity can make Europe one of the best places to travel.

Over the centuries and even the millennia, groups of people have migrated, evolved and in some disappeared all together. Groups of people descended in pre-historic times into the Neolithic and Bronze ages with evidence like Stonehenge and others still existing. Historical populations where noted by Greco-Roman history during the Iron age in these areas.

  • Aegean: Greek tribes, Pelasgians, and Anatolians.
  • Balkans: Illyrians, Dacians, and Thracians.
  • Italian peninsula: Camunni, Rhaetians, Lepontii, Adriatic Veneti, Ligurians, Etruscans, Italic peoples and Greek colonies.
  • Western/Central Europe: Celts (list of peoples of Gaul, List of Celtic tribes), Rhaetians and Swabians, Vistula Veneti, Lugii and Balts.
  • Iberian peninsula: Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula (Iberians, Lusitani, Aquitani, Celtiberians) Basques and Phoenicians (Carthaginians).
  • Sardinia: ancient Sardinians (also known as Nuragic people), comprising the Corsi, Balares and Ilienses tribes.
  • West European Isles: Celtic tribes in Britain and Ireland and Picts/Priteni.
  • Northern Europe: Finnic peoples, Germanic peoples; the Normans conquered and colonized South Italy and Sicily (Norman conquest of southern Italy).
  • Southern Europe: Sicani.
  • Eastern Europe: Scythians, Sarmatians.

After the fall of the Roman empire there was a large migration of peoples to Europe. Ethno-linguistic groups that arrived from outside Europe during historical times are: 

  • Phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean (including regions in Spain, France, Malta, Italy and the Aegean).
  • Assyrian conquest of Cyprus, Southern Caucasus (including parts of modern Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan) and Cilicia.
  • Iranian influence: Achaemenid control of Thrace (512–343 BC) and the Bosporan Kingdom, Cimmerians(possible Iranians), Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Ossetes.
  • The Jewish diaspora reached Europe in the Roman Empire period. Early Jewish communities in Italy, Central Europe (Gaul).
  • The Hunnic Empire (5th century), converged with the Barbarian invasions, contributing to the formation of the First Bulgarian Empire
  • The Bulgars (or Proto-Bulgarians), a semi-nomadic people, originally from Central Asia, eventually absorbed by the Slavs.
  • The Magyars (Hungarians), a Ugric people, and the Turkic Pechenegs and Khazars, arrived in Europe in about the 8th century (see Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin).
  • Arabs conquered Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, some places along the coast of southern Italy, Malta, Greek Empire, Hispania.
  • Berber dynasties of the Almoravides and the Almohads ruled much of Spain and Portugal.
  • Exodus of Maghreb Christians
  • Kipchaks known as Cumans entered the lands of present-day Ukraine in the 11th century.
  • Mongol/Tatar invasions (1223–1480), and
  • Ottoman control of the Balkans (1389–1878).
  • Romani people (Gypsies) arrived during the Late Middle Ages

Ethnic make up by country breaks down along the lines below. Note majority people may be composed of several ethnic groups. Since WWII Europe’s negative population and growth and the migration of people from other countries outside Europe have shifted the face of Europe’s culture slightly.

Flag_of_Albania copy

 

Albania

  • Majority: Albanians 82.5%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Greeks 2%, others 2%
Flag_of_Austria

 

Austria

  • Majority: Austrian-Germans 85%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Yugoslavs 5.2%, Turks 2.2%, Hungarians 1%, others 6.6%
Flag_of_Belarus

 

Belarus

  • Majority: Belarusian83.5%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Russians 8.3% , Poles 3.1%, Ukrainians 1.7%, others 3.2%
Flag_of_Belgium

 

Belgium

  • Majority: Flemings 58%
  • Regional Majority: Walloons 38%, Germans 1%
  • Minorities: Luxembourgers, Eastern or Southern Europeans, Africans and Asians and Latin Americans 10%
Flag_of_Bosnia_and_Herzegovina

Bosnia Herzegovina

  • Majority: Bosniaks 51.11%
  • Regional Majority: Serbs 30.78%, Croats 15.43%
  • Minorities: other 2.73%
Flag_of_Bulgaria

Bulgaria

  • Majority: Bulagrians 84.8%
  • Regional Majority: Turks 8.8%
  • Minorities: Roma 4.9%, others 1.5% (includes Russians, Armenians, Tartars & Vlach)
Flag_of_Croatia

 

Croatia

  • Majority: Croats 90.4%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Serbs 4.4%, others 5.2% (including Bosniaks, Hungarians, Slovenes, Czechs, Dalmatian Italians, Austrian-Germans, Romanians and Romani)
Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic

 

Czechia

  • Majority: Czechs 63.7%
  • Regional Majority: Moravians 4.9%
  • Minorities: Slovaks 1.4% and others/undeclared 26%
Flag_of_Denmark

 

Denmark

  • Majority: Danes 88.7%
  • Regional Majority: Faroese
  • Minorities: other Scandinavian, Germans, Frisians, other European, Greenlandic Inuit and others
Flag_of_Estonia

 

Estonia

  • Majority: Estonians 68.7%
  • Regional Majority: Russians 24.9%
  • Minorities: Ukrainians 1.8%, Belarusians 0.9%, Finns 0.6% and others 3.6%
Flag_of_Finland

 

Finland

  • Majority: Finns 89%
  • Regional Majority: Swedes 5.3%
  • Minorities: Russians 1.3% and Estonians 0.8%
Flag_of_France

 

France

  • Majority: French 86%
  • Regional Majority: Bretons, Corsicans, Occitans, Alsatians, Arpitans, Basques, Catalans and Flemings
  • Minorities: other European 7%, North African 7%, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, Asian, Latin American and Pacific Islander
Flag_of_Germany

 

Germany

  • Majority: Germans 80.8%
  • Regional Majority: Frisians and Sorbians
  • Minorities: other Europeans 11.7%, West Asians, Turks 3.4%, Arabs, other Asians 1.3%, Africans 0.6% and Americans 0.5%
Flag_of_Greece

 

Greece

  • Majority: Greek 88.7 – 89.8%
  • Regional Majority: Muslim minority, Armenians and Jews
  • Minorities: Albanians 4%, Romani 1.5-2.3%, Aromanians 1.8%, Macedonians/Bulgarians 0.9-1.8%, Cretan Turks est. 1% and Arvanites 0.9%
Flag_of_Hungary

 

Hungary

  • Majority: Hungarians 85.6%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Romani 3.2%, Germans 1.9%, others (i.e. Romanians, Slovaks, Croats, Serbs, Slovenes and Ruthenians) or not stated 14.1%
Flag_of_Iceland

 

Iceland

  • Majority: Icelanders 91%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Poles 4% and others 5% (examples are Filipinos, Greeks, Portuguese people and Russians
Flag_of_Ireland

 

Ireland

  • Majority: Irish 82.2%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: other white (large numbers of Britons, Latvians, Poles and Ukrainians) 9.5%, Asians 2.1%, blacks 1.2%, Irish Travellers 0.7% and others/not stated 4.3%
Flag_of_Italy

 

Italy

  • Majority: Italians 92.8%
  • Regional Majority: Aosta Valley French, Friulians, South Tirol Germans, Sardinians, and Sicilians.
  • Minorities: North Africans 1%, Romanians 1%, Asians (non-Chinese) 0.8%, Albanians 0.8%, Sub-Saharan Africans 0.5%, Latin Americans0.5%, Chinese 0.3%, Ukrainians 0.3% and others 1%. Arbëreshë, Italiot Greeks, Catalans, Occitans, Ladins, Croats, Romani and Italian Jews.
Flag_of_Latvia

 

Latvia

  • Majority: Latvians 62.%
  • Regional Majority: Latgalians, and Russians 25.4%
  • Minorities: Belarusian 3.3%, Ukrainians 2.2%, Poles 2.1%, Lithuanians 1.1% and others/unspecified 4.8%
Flag_of_Lithuania

 

Lithuania

  • Majority: Lithuanians 86.7%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Poles 5.6%, Russians 4.8%, Belarusians 1.3%, Ukrainians 0.7% and others 0.9%
Flag_of_Malta

 

Malta

  • Majority: Maltese 95.2%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: non-Maltese 4.8%
Flag_of_Moldova

 

Moldova

  • Majority: Moldovans 75.1%
  • Regional Majority: Gagauzs 4.6%, Bulgarians 1.9%, and Romani
  • Minorities: Romanians 7%, Ukrainians 6.6%, Russians 4.1%, and others 0.8%
Flag_of_Montenegro

 

Montenegro

  • Majority: Montenegrins 45%
  • Regional Majority: Serbs 28.7% and Sandžak Muslims
  • Minorities: Bosniaks and Muslims by nationality 11.9%, Albanians 4.9%, Croats 0.9%, Romani 0.8%, Macedonians 0.1% and others 4.9%
Flag_of_the_Netherlands

 

Netherlands

  • Majority: Dutch 77.4%
  • Regional Majority: Frisians
  • Minorities: other Europeans 9.9%, Turks 2.3%, Moroccans 2.3%, Indonesians2.1%, Surinamese 2%, Caribbeans 0.9%, Americans 0.2% and others 2.9%
Flag_of_Macedonia

 

North Macedonia

  • Majority: Macedonians 64%
  • Regional Majority: Albanians 25.2%, Turks 4%
  • Minorities: Romani 2.7%, Serbs 1.8%, and other (i.e. Bosniaks, Aromanians, Croats, Montenegrins and Bulgarians) 2.2%
Flag_of_Norway

 

Norway

  • Majority: Norwegians 85 – 87%
  • Regional Majority: Sami 1.2 – 2.5%
  • Minorities: Poles 1.4%. approximately 12% (Swedes, Pakistanis, Somalis, Iraqis and Kurds, Vietnamese, Germans, Lithuanians, Russians and Indians
Flag_of_Poland

 

Poland

  • Majority: Poles 98%
  • Regional Majority: Frisians
  • Minorities: others or not started 2%
Flag_of_Portugal

 

Portugal

  • Majority: Portuguese 96.3%
  • Regional Majority: Mirandese
  • Minorities: others 3.7% like Afro-Portuguese, Chinese people, Latin Americans, Ukrainians and ex-Yugoslavs
Flag_of_Romania

 

Romania

  • Majority: Romanians 83.4%
  • Regional Majority: Hungarians 6.1%
  • Minorities: Romani 3.0%, Germans 0.2%, Ukrainians 0.2%, Turks 0.2%, Russians 0.1%  and Chinese 0.1%
Flag_of_Russia

 

Russia

  • Majority: Russians 80.9%
  • Regional Majority: Tatars 3.9%, Bashkirs 1.2%, Chuvash1%, Chechens 1%, Ossetians 0.4%, Kabardians 0.4%, Ingush 0.3%, Kalmyks 0.1%
  • Minorities: Ukrainians 1.4%, Armenians 0.9%, Avars 0.7%, Mordvins 0.5% and others.
Flag_of_Serbia

 

Serbia

  • Majority:  Serbian 83.3%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities:Hungarians 3.5%, Romani 2.1%, Bosniaks and Muslims by nationality 2.3%, Croats 0.8%, Slovaks 0.7%, Montenegrins 0.5%, Vlachs 0.5%, Romanians 0.4%, Yugoslavs 0.3%, Macedonians0.3%, Bulgarians 0.3% and others/unspecified 5.1%.
Flag_of_Slovakia

 

Slovakia

  • Majority:  Slovaks 80.7%
  • Regional Majority: Hungarians 8.5%
  • Minorities:Romani 2.0%, Czechs 0.6%, Rusyns 0.6%, Ukrainians 0.1% and others/unspecified 7.5%
Flag_of_Slovenia

 

Slovenia

  • Majority:  Slovenes 83.1%
  • Regional Majority: none
  • Minorities: Serbs 2%, Croats 1.8%, Bosniaks 1.1%, others (Dalmatian Italians, Germans, Hungarians and Romanians) and/or unspecified 12%
Flag_of_Spain

 

Spain

  • Majority: Spaniards 89%
  • Regional Majority: Included Castilians and Leonese, Catalans/Valencians, Galicians, Asturians, Basques and Canarians
  • Minorities: Gypsies, Jews, Latin Americans, Romanians, North Africans, sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Filipinos, Levant Arabs, British
Flag_of_Sweden

 

Sweden

  • Majority: Swedes 88%
  • Regional Majority: Finns (Tornedalians), Sami people and Kvens
  • Minorities: Finns (Sweden Finns), Yugoslavs (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks), Danes, Norwegians, Russians, Arabs (Lebanese and Syrians), Syriacs, Greeks, Turks, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Thais, Koreans and Chileans
Flag_of_Switzerland

 

Switzerland

  • Majority: German Speakers 63%
  • Regional Majority: French-speakers 22,7%, Italian-speakers 8.4% and Romansh people 0.6
  • Minorities: others 5.9%
Flag_of_Turkey

 

Turkey

  • Majority: Turks 73%%
  • Regional Majority: Kurds 12%
  • Minorities: others 15%: Zazas, Laz, Jews, Greeks, Georgians, Circassians, Bulgarians, Bosniaks, Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs, Albaniansand Romanians
Flag_of_Ukraine

 

Ukraine

  • Majority: Ukrainians 77.8%
  • Regional Majority: Russians 17.3%
  • Minorities: Belarusians 0.6%, Moldovans 0.5%, Crimean Tatars 0.5%, Bulgarians 0.4%, Hungarians 0.3%, Romanians 0.3%, Poles0.3%, Jews 0.2%, Armenians 0.1%, Urums 0.1% and others 1.8%
Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom

 

United Kingdom

  • Majority: White British 87.1%
  • Regional Majority: (consisting of English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish (could also be counted as Irish), also Cornish, Manx and Channel Islanders). Included are the inhabitants of Gibraltar
  • Minorities: Black British 3%, British Asians 6.9% and others 3%