Social Studies - 2018-19

WG.7 c - Economic Characteristics of Europe

The student will analyze the characteristics of the European region by 

c) explaining important economic characteristics;  

Adopted: 2015



Europe’s abundance of natural resources has helped to develop and shape lifestyles and the economy.


Economic characteristics 

  • Mountain regions: Tourism, recreation, mineral resources 
  • Areas threatened by air and water pollution because of industry 
    • Forests (Black Forest) 
    • Cities (Venice) 
    • Rivers (Rhine, Danube, Seine) 
  •  Development of industrial and transportation centers near mineral deposits (e.g., coal and iron ore) 
    • Ruhr valley 
    • Po valley 
  • Rivers and canals serving as major transportation links 
  • Oil reserves in the North Sea 
  • Well-educated work force: Industrial and technological societies 
  • Advanced farming techniques, high crop yields, fertile soils, black earth (chernozem) 
  • Well-developed infrastructure (e.g., the Chunnel) 
  • Differences in Western and Eastern European industrial development due to differing economic systems in prior years 
  • Replacement of communism with capitalism in Eastern Europe 
  • European Union; trade interdependence 
  • Large role of government in some economies (Sweden, Denmark)
  • Reclaimed land: Polders in The Netherlands 
  • Demographics typical of developed economies 
    • High per capita GDP 
    • High life expectancy 
    • Low population growth rate 
    • Low infant mortality rate 
    • Small percentage of population under age 15 
    • High literacy rate 


Updated: Jun 13, 2018