Differences between the United States and Europe mapped

The United States and the European Union are the most developed countries/supranational organizations. But the US and the EU are partners and competitors, especially in the worldwide marketplace.

Even though average Americans and Europeans have very similar lives, the US and the EU have many differences:

  • The US is 50 states under one country, but the EU is a union of nations.
  • The United States (9,826,630 km2 / 3,794,080 sq mi) is larger than the European Union (4,233,262 km2 / 1,634,472 sq mi).
  • The US has a population of 328 million people, while the European Union has 447 million people (2020).
  • Economically, the United States in 2020 had a GDP (PPP) of 21,440 trillion dollars ($67,426 per capita), while the EU had a GDP of 20,366 trillion dollars ($45,541 per capita).

Moreover, in Europe, crime is much lower; the average life is longer; schools are free or have low costs, and health care is universal. Most European countries have highly developed social organizations, and quality of life is higher (when measured in words, such as hours worked per week and income distribution).

Below is an atlas of maps that illustrate the differences between these two political and economic superpowers.

US-Europe size comparison
Comparing the latitude of America and Europe

The map below shows American and European cities’ comparative latitudes by changing them on the opposing continent.

Many European cities have warmer climates than comparable cities in America at the same latitude. This phenomenon is caused by the warm current of the Gulf Stream. You can compare the climate of cities here.

Map of comparing the latitude of America and Europe
The US vs Europe sunshine duration in hours per year

Sunshine duration in the United States is much higher than in Europe.

Map of the U.S. vs Europe sunshine duration in hours per year
Human Development Index of the US and Europe

The Human Development Index is a statistical compound index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators. The Human Development Index in states of eastern Europe is considerably lower than in most US states.

Map of Human Development Index of US and Europe
Unemployment rate

The map created by Reddit User maps_us_eu shows the unemployment rate across the US and the EU in January 2023. The US average unemployment rate is 3.5%, while the EU average unemployment rate is 6.1%.

Unemployment rate U.S. vs Europe
Yearly median software engineer pay

Software engineering is one of the most popular and growing fields in the tech industry. A software engineer is responsible for creating, developing, and testing computer software. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job opportunities in software development is forecasted to grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030.

The number of software developers worldwide is rising each day, and nowadays, there are approximately 4.3 million developers in the United States, while Europe has over 6 million developers.

The map below created by Reddit user maps_us_eu illustrates the annual average median Software Engineer pay across the United States and the United Kingdom. Based on self-reported wages information.

Yearly average median Software Engineer pay across America and Europe mapped.
Population age structure

Each region’s population age composition in the maps below is uniquely color-coded. Colors show the direction and magnitude of deviation from the center point, representing the average age composition. The hue component of color encodes the direction of deviation: towards a yellow – more elderly population (65+); cyan – more people of working ages (15-64); magenta – more kids (<15).

In 2020, the median age of the US resident population – was 38.4, and in Europe – 43.1. The map of the evolution of the age structure of the United States you can find here.

Ilya Kashnitsky
Obesity rates in the United States vs. Europe

Obesity has become a significant health problem in the US: Over one-third of adults in America are obese. The United States exceeds nearly every European country in weight. Below is the map of obesity rates in the US and Europe created by Reddit user xD_Penguinnnn.

obesity rates in the U.S. and Europe
Percentage of Population “Absolutely Certain” God Exists

The residents of the United States are much more religious than the inhabitants of Europe.

Reddit user: Cartographer42
A comparison of homicide rates in the US and Europe

The homicide rate in most US states is higher than in Europe. For clarification, the United States has an intentional homicide rate of 6.3, while Russia is 7.3. The map below shows the Intentional homicide rate in the United States vs. Europe in 2020.

Intentional homicide rate in the United States vs Europe

US States with the highest homicide rates

StateIntentional homicide victims per 100,000 inhabitants
District of Columbia28.2
South Carolina10.5

European countries with the highest homicide rates

CountryIntentional homicide victims per 100,000 inhabitants
Incarceration rate

The map below, created by Reddit user flyingcatwithhorns shows the incarceration rate in the United States vs Europe. While the United States has only 5% of the world’s population, it has nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners.

Incarceration rate in the United States and Europe
Road traffic death rate

The map below shows road deaths per 100,000 people in the United States Vs. Europe. Data from the World Health Organization, the European Commission, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was used for making this map. The calculation included drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bus and bicycle accidents.

Road traffic death rate
COVID deaths

The map below depicts COVID death per million in the US States and European nations (October 2020).

COVID death per million in the United States and Europe
Age Restrictions

This map shows age restrictions in the United States and Europe (Driving, Voting, Drinking, Smoking). In the US, the purchase of tobacco and alcohol, unlike in Europe, is allowed only from 21.

Map of the U.S. vs Europe Age Restrictions

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1 year ago

Interesting maps

10 months ago

I frequently tell my friends here in the US that we’re not as well off compared to Europe as they think we are.

8 months ago

Fun comparison, there certainly are trends with respect to particular states in the USA. Higher obesity often correlates with many different variables, if you were to stack the median household income vs usable income (post taxation), it’d be an interesting map as well. It’s clear from this, neither the USA nor Europe are having enough babies, any couple having less than 3 is making humans go extinct.

4 months ago

Turkey is not European

3 months ago
Reply to  hello

The maps that are used are just created from data, so that doesn’t really matter.
But jet, a Part of Turkey/Türkiye lays in Europe and the country as a “EU Candidate” where it can become a real “candidate” (i dont think this will happen very soon)

Moskow is also located in Europe, But this country but is just like Turkey/Türkiye also particularly located in Asia.
Many other countries have territory in other countries (France, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, UK, enz….)

The maps also shows other countries like Georgia, Armenia and other countries.
This counties doesn’t a a part of Europe at all, but are historic and cultural connected to Europe.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jip
2 months ago

So, are you discussing “Europe”, or “The European Union”? Because you seem to keep swapping back-and-forth depending on which you think makes the USA look superior…

An american
An american
1 month ago
Reply to  Confuzzled

The hell you meanUS look superior it makes it look quite worse

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