The Balkans, or the Balkan Peninsula, is a group of nations located in southeastern Europe among the Balkan Mountains. This region is bordered by the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Ionian Sea. This region in recent years has also become to be known as “Southeast Europe.” The entire region stretches over 181,000 square miles.
There are several nations that are located completely in this region, including: Albania, Bulgaris, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro. There are several other nations with over half of their land areas located in this region: Croatia, Greece, and Serbia. Other countries with a less than half of their total land area in the Balkan peninsula include Italy, Romania, Slovenia, and Turkey. Typically, Greece, Turkey, and Italy not included as part of the Balkans.
There are many languages spoken throughout the Balkans region. This includes Slavic languages such as Serbian, Slovene, and Bosnia, romance languages like Italian, Turkic languages, and other languages such as Greek. Citizens that live across the region include Albanias, Bosniaks, Serbs, Romanians, and Turks, just to name a few.
All of the states within the Balkans region are republics, with most being parliamentary. Prior to World War II, they were all monarchies. All of these countries have open market economies that are in the upper-middle range, although some nations including Greece and Slovenia have high-income economies. Romania is the most populous state in the Balkans with a population of over 19 million. The smallest state by population is Montenegro, which has a population of just over 622,000 people.