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Romance-speaking Europe

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  Official Romance language
  Co-official Romance language
  Unofficial Romance language
  Unofficial regional Romance language
20th-century distribution

Romance-speaking Europe, or Latin Europe, is the area of Europe where Romance languages (those derived from Latin) are either official, co-official, or significantly used. It is a major linguistic subdivision of Europe alongside Germanic-, and Slavic-speaking subdivisions.

The Latin European or Romance European countries are Italy, France, Malta, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican City. Many of these countries were members of the Latin Union, until it was dissolved in 2012. It also includes some regions from other countries, such as Wallonia in Belgium and the French- and Italian-speaking cantons of Switzerland, Luxembourg where French is co-official, as well as communities from other non-Latin European countries. Some Eastern Romance languages like Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian and Istro-Romanian are spread across Eastern Europe in small communities within Slavic-speaking countries. The total population of all the Romance-speaking areas in Europe is approximately 210,000,000, 42% of the European Union's population.


The spread of the Roman Empire brought with it Vulgar Latin. After the fall of the empire, this started to break up into different dialects, and eventually, whole separate languages, resulting in the Romance languages of today.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Western and Southern parts remained latin, some Western parts were Germanised, some central parts were converted by the invasion of Magyars and Slavs and some Eastern parts resisted. The resistance of Eastern parts is due to the demographic fortune of Latinised islands from Transylvania[1]


Romance Europe
Countries / Territories Romance languages used Religion Area Population GDP (nominal) Comments
Albania Albania Aromanian (unofficial) Eastern Orthodox 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi) 3,038,594 Aromanians are a recognized cultural and linguistic minority.
Andorra Andorra Catalan (official)
Spanish (spoken)
French (spoken)
Portuguese (spoken)
Roman Catholic 467.63 km2 (180.55 sq mi) 85,470 $4,510,000,000
Belgium Belgium Total (out of included areas) French (co-official) Roman Catholic
30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi) 11,250,585 $508,598,000,000
Wallonia Wallonia French Roman Catholic
16,844 km2 (6,504 sq mi) 3,585,214
Brussels Brussels French (co-official) Roman Catholic
161.38 km2 (62.2 sq mi 1,175,173
Bulgaria Bulgaria Aromanian (unofficial)
Megleno-Romanian (unofficial)
Eastern Orthodox 110,994 km2 (42,855 sq mi) 7,101,859
Croatia Croatia Total (out of included areas) Roman Catholic (87%) 56,594 km2 (21,851 sq mi) 4,190,700 $97,026,000,000
Istria county Italian (co-official)
Istriot (unofficial)
Istro-Romanian (unofficial)
2,813 km2 (1,086 sq mi) 244,278
France France
(Metropolitan France)
Total (out of included areas) French (official) Roman Catholic
643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi 66,991,000 $2,647,000,000,000


  • Alsace-Moselle and French Flanders have mostly Germanic roots; their languages are still used by the frontier workers (more than 40% for some places[4]).
  • Brittany is considered as a "Celtic nation", but French is the native language in Eastern Brittany
  • Pays Basque shows a Basque identity, even if Basque language is spoken by few.
Catalonia Pyrénées-Orientales Catalan
4,116 km2 (1,589 sq mi)
Gibraltar Gibraltar Spanish (unofficial) Roman Catholic 6.8 29,431 1,106 As a British overseas territory, it has a sole official language of English even though the vast majority of the population is bilingual together with Spanish. In addition to this the majority of Gibraltarians speak Llanito (an Andalusian Spanish-based creole unique to Gibraltar) as their vernacular.
Greece Greece Total (out of included areas) Eastern Orthodox
Aromanian (unofficial)
Megleno-Romanian (unofficial)
Guernsey Guernsey French (unofficial) 78 65,573 2,742 Guernsey and Jersey both have various use of French and Norman language, although admittedly in decline. In the case of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, this includes Guernesais and Sercquais. French was an official language of Alderney of Guernsey until the late 1960s.
Italy Italy Total (out of included areas) Italian (official) Roman Catholic 301,318 60,813,326 2,198,732


  • South Tyrol (7,400.43 km²) has German as a co-official language with Italian.
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in some parts is Slovenian-speaking, with Slovenian having the status of official language alongside Italian.
Aosta Valley French (co-official) 3,263 km2 (1,260 sq mi)
South Tyrol, Trentino, Veneto Ladin (co-official)
Alghero Catalan (recognised) 224.43 km2 (86.65 sq mi)
Jersey Jersey French (co-official) 116 97,857 5,100 Jersey and Guernsey both have various use of French and Norman language, although admittedly in decline. In the case of Jersey, this includes Jersey Law French and Jèrriais.
Luxembourg Luxembourg French (co-official) Roman Catholic
2,586.4 480,222 59,582
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia Total (out of included areas) Eastern Orthodox
25,713 2,058,539 10,644
Kruševo, Skopje, Bitola, Štip Aromanian (official) 10,000 (est.)
Huma Megleno-Romanian (unofficial) 2,000 (est.)
Malta Malta Italian (unofficial) Roman Catholic
316 452,515 8,941 Although Maltese is a Semitic language, a good portion of Maltese vocabulary is Romance, having been imported from Italian, Sicilian, and French.[5][6]
Moldova Moldova Romanian (official) Eastern Orthodox
33,846 3,559,500 7,003
Monaco Monaco French (official)
Monégasque (national language)
Roman Catholic (83.2%)[7] 1.98 36,371 5,424
Portugal Portugal
including the archipelagos:
Madeira Madeira
Azores Azores
(regionally co-official)
Roman Catholic
92,345 km² 10,642,836 $232,000,000,000
Romania Romania Romanian
Eastern Orthodox
238,392 km² 22,276,056 $256,900,000,000
  • Transylvania's Eastern side, in addition to its Romanian-speaking majority, is also home to a substantial Hungarian minority[citation needed].
San Marino San Marino Italian
Roman Catholic (97%)[8] 61 km² 29,615 $904,000,000
Serbia Serbia Total (out of included areas) Romanian
(regionally co-official)
(regionally unofficial)
Aromanian (unofficial)
28636 km² 60,000 (est.) $64,000,000,000
 Vojvodina Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 21,506 km² 29,512
Timočka Krajina Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 7,130 km² 25,000 (est.)
Slovenia Slovenia Total (out of included areas) Italian
(regionally official)
Roman Catholic[9] 384.4 km² 78,846 $47,841,000,000
Piran Italian
44.6 km² 16,758
Izola Italian
28.6 km² 14,549
Koper Italian
311.2 km² 47,539
Spain Spain Total (out of included areas) Spanish Roman Catholic[10] 505,992 47,190,493 1,479,560


  • Basque Country (7,234 km²) and Navarre (10,391 km²) have Basque as a co-official language along with Spanish.
 Aragon Aragonese
47,719 km² 1,277,471
 Asturias Asturian
10,604 km2 (4,094 sq mi)
 Catalonia Catalan
32,108 km2 (12,397 sq mi)
 Valencia Valencian
23,255 km2 (8,979 sq mi)
 Balearic Islands Catalan
4,992 km2 (1,927 sq mi)
 Galicia Galician
29,574.4 km2 (11,418.7 sq mi)
Switzerland Switzerland Total (out of included areas) Italian
(regionally official)
(regionally co-official)
(regionally official)
(regionally co-official)
(regionally co-official)
27906 km² 3,353,597 $296,200,000,000
 Graubünden Italian
Romansh (co-official)
Roman Catholic[11] 7,105 km² 187,920
 Berne French
Protestant (67%)[12] 5,959 km² 958,897
 Fribourg French
Roman Catholic[13] 1,671 km² 258,252
 Valais French
Roman Catholic (81%)[14] 5,224 km² 294,608
 Vaud French
Protestants (40%), Roman Catholics (34%)[14] 3212 km² 657,700
 Neuchâtel French
Protestants (38%), Roman Catholics (31%)[15] 803 km² 168,912
 Geneva French
Protestant, Catholic[16] 282 km² 433,235
 Jura French
Roman Catholic (75%)[14] 838 km² 69,222
 Ticino Italian
Roman Catholic[17] 2,812 km² 324,851
Ukraine Ukraine Total (out of included areas) Romanian
(regionally unofficial)
54,184 km² 4,533,853 $364,300,000,000
 Odessa Oblast Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 33,310 km² 2,387,543
 Zakarpattia Oblast Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 12,777 km² 1,241,887
 Chernivtsi Oblast Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 8,097 km² 904,423
Vatican City Vatican City Italian (official) 0.44 km² 821

See also[edit]

  • Latin Europe
  • Latin America
  • Latin Africa
  • Latin Arch
  • Latin Union
  • Latins
  • Latin peoples
  • Mediterranean Union
  • EU Med Group
  • Romance-speaking world
  • Romance-speaking Africa
  • Romance-speaking Asia


  1. Lucien Musset. — Les invasions. Le second assaut contre l'Europe chrétienne (VIIe-XI siecles), Presses Univ. France, 1965, p.195
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Discrimination in the EU in 2012" (PDF), Special Eurobarometer, 383, European Union: European Commission, p. 233, 2012, retrieved 14 August 2013 The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?" With a card showing: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, and Non-believer/Agnostic. Space was given for Other (SPONTANEOUS) and DK. Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu did not reach the 1% threshold.
  3. "Éléments d’analyse géographique de l’implantation des religions en France", The total sample was of 91.559 for 2006
  4. RGP 1999 (exploitation principale), Fichiers SAPHIR, INSEE Alsace (in French) (in English)
  5. Much of the Maltese language comes from other European Languages. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.
  6. Malta is sometimes included, as its language relies heavily on Italian imports. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.
  7. Joshua Project. "Ethnic People Groups of Monaco". Joshua Project. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  8. World and Its Peoples. Marshall Cavendish. 2009. p. 856. ISBN 0-7614-7893-0. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  9. Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Census of Population, Households and Housing, 2002.
  10. "Barómetro Abril 2014" (PDF). Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (Centre for Sociological Research). April 2014. p. 26. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  11. Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion, nach Kantonen und Städten" (Microsoft Excel). Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  12. Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  13. Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  15. Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  16. "Statistiques cantonales – Les 21 domaines: 01. Population – Langues et religions" (official website) (in French). Geneva, Switzerland: StatistiqueGenève, République et Canton de Genève. August 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-08.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  17. "Population résidante permanente de 15 ans et plus, ventilée selon l'appartenance religieuse et confessionnelle et le canton". Office fédéral de la statistique. 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2013.

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