Romance-speaking Europe

  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, 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 the entire Balkans in small communities within Slavic-speaking countries, Greece, and western Turkey. 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.


Romance Europe
Countries / Territories Romance languages used Religion Area Population GDP (nominal) Comments
Andorra Andorra Catalan (official) Roman Catholic 468 85,082 4,510
Belgium Belgium Total (out of included areas) French (co-official) Roman Catholic
17,005 4,407,705 514,593
Wallonia Wallonia French 16,844 3,376,490
Brussels Brussels French (co-official) 161 1,031,215
Croatia Croatia Total (out of included areas) Roman Catholic (87%) 56,594 4,290,612 63,842
Istria county Italian (co-official)
Istriot (unofficial)
Istro-Romanian (unofficial)
2,820 206,344
France France
(Metropolitan France)
French (official) Roman Catholic
551,695 63,460,000 2,559,850


  • Alsace-Moselle and French Flanders have mostly Germanic roots; their languages are still used by the frontier workers (more than 40% for some places[2]).
  • Brittany is considered as a "Celtic nation", but in Eastern Brittany only French is spoken today.
  • Pays Basque shows a Basque identity, even if Basque language is spoken by few.
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


Aosta Valley French (co-official)----
South Tyrol, Trentino, Veneto Ladin (co-official)----
Alghero Catalan (co-official)----
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.[3][4]
Moldova Moldova Romanian (official) Eastern Orthodox
33,846 3,559,500 7,003
Monaco Monaco French (official)
Monégasque (National language)
Roman Catholic (83.2%)[5] 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
San Marino San Marino Italian
Roman Catholic (97%)[6] 61 km² 29,615 $904,000,000 -
Serbia Serbia Total (out of included areas) Romanian
(Regionally Co-Official)
(Regionally 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[7] 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[8] 505,992 47,190,493 1,479,560


 Aragon Aragonese
-47,719 km²1,277,471-
 Asturias Asturian
 Catalonia Catalan
 Valencia Valencian
 Balearic Islands Catalan
 Galicia Galician
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[9] 7,105 km² 187,920 - -
 Berne French
Protestant (67%)[10] 5,959 km² 958,897 - -
 Fribourg French
Roman Catholic[11] 1,671 km² 258,252 - -
 Valais French
Roman Catholic (81%)[12] 5,224 km² 294,608 - -
 Vaud French
Protestants (40%), Roman Catholics (34%)[12] 3212 km² 657,700 - -
 Neuchâtel French
Protestants (38%), Roman Catholics (31%)[13] 803 km² 168,912 - -
 Geneva French
Protestant, Catholic[14] 282 km² 433,235 - -
 Jura French
Roman Catholic (75%)[12] 838 km² 69,222 - -
 Ticino Italian
Roman Catholic[15] 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


  1. 1 2 "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.
  2. RGP 1999 (exploitation principale), Fichiers SAPHIR, INSEE Alsace (French) (English)
  3. Much of the Maltese language comes from other European Languages. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.
  4. Malta is sometimes included, as its language relies heavily on Italian imports. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.
  5. Joshua Project. "Ethnic People Groups of Monaco". Joshua Project. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  6. World and Its Peoples. Marshall Cavendish. 2009. p. 856. ISBN 0-7614-7893-0.
  7. Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Census of Population, Households and Housing, 2002.
  8. "Barómetro Abril 2014" (PDF). Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (Centre for Sociological Research). April 2014. p. 26. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  9. Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion, nach Kantonen und Städten" (Microsoft Excel). Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  10. Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  11. Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  12. 1 2 3 Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  13. Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  14. "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.
  15. "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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