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Facts About Europe

Area: 10,180,000 km2
Population: 742,452,000 (2013)
Countries: approximately 50

Europe, in particular Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, is the birthplace of Western culture. It played a dominant role in global affairs from the 15th century till today. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain for the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic, cultural, and social changes in Western Europe, and eventually the wider world.

During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between the west and the east. After World War II, European leaders came to the conclusion that the peace between countries was possible only through the economic and political integration. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanded eastward since the revolutions of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Many European countries joined the Schengen Area, which abolishes border and immigration controls among its members.