Outline map europe svg: 38 maps that explain Europe

Politically, Europe is a continent of nation-states. But thanks to deep integration, the European economy is really one of regions where national averages can obscure more than they reveal. This map of unemployment rates coded by sub-national region shows how Europe really works. The strong German economy is really a case of a red-hot south Germany region that extends into adjacent areas of Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic as much as it does into northwestern Germany. Meanwhile, the economy of the former East Germany looks a lot like the economy of Poland. Southern Italy is like Spain, Portugal, or Greece, but Northern Italy is more like France — so on average Italy shows up as an in-between case. The Francophone parts of Belgium have France-like economic conditions, while the Dutch-speaking parts in the north have conditions closer to those in the Netherlands. Transnational economic areas happen all over the world, of course, but the deep and purposeful economic ties European nations have forged with one another since the end of World War II make them an especially prominent aspect of the European experience.

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