Definition of Northwest Europe
Northwest Europe is a loosely defined region of Europe that intersects with Northern and Western Europe. The region can be defined both geographically and ethnographically. The European Union also uses the term to denote a greater region.
North-western Europe usually consists of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Germany, Luxembourg, northern France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland.
Finland, southern Germany and Switzerland are also often seen as part of the grouping.
Austria is sometimes defined as part of northwestern Europe, albeit less often.
Southern France is not considered to be part of northwestern Europe. It is usually considered geographically and culturally as part of the Mediterranean or Southern Europe.
Germanic languages are widely spoken in most of north-western Europe, but other languages also exist, including Romance languages in northern France, Wallonia and Luxembourg, and Celtic languages on the western edge of the British Isles and Brittany.
The region also has a history of Protestantism (Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism) that sets it apart from its Mediterranean / Southern European / Latin and Eastern European / Slavic neighbors.
The definition of northwestern Europe as correlating with Protestant Germanic Europe leads to a definition similar to the geographic above, but would tend to exclude northern France, Wallonia, the southern Netherlands, Catholic Belgium, southern Germany, Austria, and Ireland.
A definition of northwestern Europe as an inclusive term for those European countries that do not belong to Southern Europe or Eastern Europe was used by some anthropologists and eugenicists of the late 19th to mid-20th centuries who used northwestern Europe as an abbreviation for the region of Europe in which members of the Nordic race were concentrated.
The northwestern Europe area is a major region of Europe. The area covers an area of approximately 787,400 km². With almost 171 million residents, around 45% of the EU’s population live there. The population density is around 217 residents per km² and thus well above the EU average of 115 residents per km². As the only non-EU member, parts of Switzerland also belong to the development area.
The area includes Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Ireland with their entire national territory. The following regions also belong to the funding area:
France: the regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardy, Normandy, Île de France, Center-Val de Loire, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine, Bourgogne, Alsace, Franche-Comté, Brittany, Pays de la Loire.
Germany: the states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and, in Bavaria, the administrative districts of Swabia, Lower, Middle and Upper Franconia.
Netherlands: the provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, Flevoland, Utrecht, Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg.
Switzerland: the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, Solothurn, Bern, Jura, Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, canton Nidwalden, Lucerne, Glarus, Zug, Zurich and Neuchâtel.
However, there is no more precise delimitation based on geographical criteria beyond this administrative delimitation. Neither a natural space nor a geopolitical delimitation is easily feasible.
The historical region of Europe called “Northwestern Europe” by some scholars – which is considered the cradle of capitalism, industrial society and modern democracies – goes far beyond the administrative-geographical definition and also includes a. Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as large parts of Scandinavia.
Countries in Northwestern Europe
- United Kingdom