Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of land area).
Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population.
Europe had a total population of about 740 million (about 11% of world population) as of 2012.
The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy that originated from the Europeancultural region. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".
As a continent, the economy of Europe is currently the largest on Earth and it is the richest region as measured by assets under management with over $32.7 trillion compared to North America's $27.1 trillion in 2008. In 2009 Europe remained the wealthiest region. Its $37.1 trillion in assets under management represented one-third of the world's wealth. It was one of several regions where wealth surpassed its precrisis year-end peak. As with other continents, Europe has a large variation of wealth among its countries. The richer states tend to be in the West; some of the Central and Eastern European economies are still emerging from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia.
A panoramic view of Grote Werf, a community in the municipality of Waterland, located on the Marken peninsula in the Netherlands. Marken is a tourist attraction, well-known for its characteristic wooden houses. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway and was a separate municipality until 1991, when it was merged into Waterland.
Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna Göteborg, commonly known as IFK Göteborg or simply Göteborg, is a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. Founded on 4 October 1904, it is the only club in the Nordic countries that has won a pan-European competition, as the club won the UEFA Cup in 1982 and 1987. IFK is affiliated with Göteborgs Fotbollförbund and play all their home games at Gamla Ullevi since the start of the 2009 season. The club colours are blue and white, colours shared both with the sports society—Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna—which the club originated from, and with the home town of Gothenburg.
Besides the two UEFA Cup titles, they have won 18 Swedish championship titles, second most in Swedish football after Malmö FF, and have the third most national cup titles with seven. The team has qualified for four group stages of the UEFA Champions League, and reached the semi-finals of the 1985–86 European Cup. IFK Göteborg is the only Swedish club team in any sport to have won the Radiosportens Jerringpris—an award for best sports performance of the year voted by the Swedish people—for the 1982 UEFA Cup victory. IFK is one of the most popular football clubs in Sweden, with diverse country-wide support.They currently play in the highest Swedish league, Allsvenskan, where they have played for the majority of their history. They have played top-flight football in Sweden continuously since 1977, which currently is the longest top-flight tenure of any club in Sweden—the second longest is Helsingborgs IF, since 1993.
Owing to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous writers, including the novelists Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Jack Kerouac, Akira Kurosawa and Henry James, as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, and they continue to inspire other writers.
An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed in a law office, but he turned his back on the study of law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician; he failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.