Northern Europe is the northern part or region of the European continent. A United Nations report published in 2011 defines Northern Europe as including the following ten countries and dependent regions: Denmark (with Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland (with Åland), Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway (Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Sweden, and the UK (with Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey).
The United Kingdom and Ireland are sometimes included in Western Europe;as is Iceland for historical, cultural, linguistic and political reasons (compare Greenland which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but is geographically located in Northern Europe, and is sometimes considered to be in Northern Europe or the Nordic countries, though rarely Scandinavia proper). The Baltic states are sometimes included in Eastern Europe due to their former occupation by the Soviet Union.
Before the establishment of the Nordic Council in 1952, the term 'Nordic', or 'Northern', was commonly used to also refer to the Lutheran Baltic countries Estonia and Latvia, as well as the northern sections of European Russia.