6.2: Western Europe

Regions of Europe
The countries of Western Europe are France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

The countries in Western Europe are located in the core economic region of Europe and have stable democratic governments and a relatively high standard of living by world comparisons. This video will give you a quick tour of some of the main countries in this region:

7 Days in Europe – Switzerland, France, Germany – 5d Mark III Magic Lantern RAW video

The Rhine River is a pathway for industrial activity from southern Germany to Europe’s busiest port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Rhine River

Western France has the political capital of the EU along the Rhine at Strasbourg.

Don’t know what the EU is? Watch this video to get a quick idea! Note: The UK left the EU. This video doesn’t reflect that.

How does the EU work? | CNBC Explains
Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament.
Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament.

To the south is France’s second-largest city, Lyon, which is a major industrial center for modern technology.

There is the remains of an ancient Roman theater in Lyon, France.
There is the remains of an ancient Roman theater in Lyon, France.

Germany had the historical Ruhr industrial complex along the Rhine that supported the high-tech industries in southern Germany in the cities of Stuttgart, Mannheim, and Munich.

Ruhr region in Germany
Ruhr region in Germany
Munich is the capital city of Bavaria, a German state.

Germany is the most populous country in Europe, with over eighty-three million people in 2020. Germany is also Europe’s largest economy and has the largest GDP overall as a country. Belgium has major business centers in Brussels and Antwerp. Switzerland is noted for its banking and financial markets. Luxembourg has one of the highest GDP per capita in all of Europe. Austria is noted for its high level of cultural activities in Vienna and Salzburg. All these countries complement each other in creating one of the dominant economic core areas in the world.

Now that I’ve introduced the area, let’s take a look at Western Europe in more depth!

Next: Switzerland, Austria, & Lichtenstein

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Image and additional information credits:

Rhine River map
By Pearson Scott Foresman – Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia FoundationThis file has been extracted from another file: PSF R-770007.png, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6988119
Western Europe location https://open.lib.umn.edu/worldgeography/chapter/2-3-regions-of-western-europe/
Strasbourg, France
CC BY-SA 1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1028877
Roman theater in Lyon, France
By Jean-Christophe BENOIST – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78685921
Ruhr locator map
By TUBS – Own work, based on:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6205902
By User: Africaspotter at wikivoyage shared, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22688880

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