by: Laura Dunnagan
The populations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland today are made of two or more ethnicities that have been mixed together for centuries. Switzerland’s three official languages- Italian, German, and French- show the different cultures that have shaped the country. Germany and Austria used to be ethnically homogenous, but today there are many cultures in those countries. France attracted many immigrants from Algeria and Morocco, most of which were Muslim. In the 1950s, Germany invited guest workers, or foreigners who work temporarily in a country other than ones in which they have citizenship, to work there to encourage economic growth for the country.
Density and Distribution:
The majority of western Europe is densely populated, and most of that population lives in urban areas. Large areas of fertile farmland, manufacturing, and trade have promoted a large population for centuries. Germany is the most populated country in all of Europe, with 82 million citizens and a population density of 609 per square mile. France is home to Paris and the Mediterranean coast, two different and important population centers. The Netherlands and Belgium have high levels of population density because of their small areas of land and urbanization.
Most of the migration in Europe is due to people moving to urban areas, but some is caused by suburbanization, in which people move from cities to suburbs. Middle and working-class populations move here because of the affordable housing.
Immigration has led to urban growth because of the immigrants and quest workers flocking there for opportunities that they didn’t have in their own countries. Belgium and Germany have two of the highest rates of guest workers.
Some of the most famous cities in the world are in Europe. Paris is France’s capital, as well as the center for cultural and economic activity. Brussels is the administrative center for the European Union as well as the commercial center of Belgium. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, also being known for its art, ancient canals, and its atmosphere for tolerance.
What are three of the most famous cities in the world that can be found in Europe?
What led to urban growth?
What caused most of the migration into Europe?
Boehm, Richard G., and Dinah Zike. “Northern Europe.” Glencoe World Geography and Cultures. New York: McGraw-Hill/Glencoe, 2012. 300. Print.
“Study: Cities With More Immigrants Are Safer.” Fromtheeditr.blogspot.com. Blogspot.com, May 29, 2010. Web. 19 Jan. 2012.