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Map of Germany
Introduction Germany
As Europe's largest economy and most populous nation, Germany remains a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed the country in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 2002, Germany and 11 other EU countries introduced a common European currency, the euro.
Geography Germany
Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Geographic coordinates:
51 00 N, 9 00 E
Map references:
total: 357,021 sq km
water: 7,798 sq km
land: 349,223 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:
total: 3,621 km
border countries: Austria 784 km, Belgium 167 km, Czech Republic 646 km, Denmark 68 km, France 451 km, Luxembourg 138 km, Netherlands 577 km, Poland 456 km, Switzerland 334 km
2,389 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm foehn wind
lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
Natural resources:
iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, nickel, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 33.88%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 65.47% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
4,850 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government established a mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power over the next 15 years; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea
People Germany
83,251,851 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.4% (male 6,568,699; female 6,227,148)
15-64 years: 67.6% (male 28,606,964; female 27,695,539)
65 years and over: 17% (male 5,546,140; female 8,607,361) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.26% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
8.99 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
10.36 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
4.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.78 years
female: 81.09 years (2002 est.)
male: 74.64 years
Total fertility rate:
1.39 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
37,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
600 (1999 est.)
noun: German(s)
adjective: German
Ethnic groups:
German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Russian, Greek, Polish, Spanish)
Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1977 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government Germany
Country name:
conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local short form: Deutschland
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Government type:
federal republic
Administrative divisions:
16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen
18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; unification of West Germany and East Germany took place 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991
National holiday:
Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
23 May 1949, known as Basic Law; became constitution of the united German people 3 October 1990
Legal system:
civil law system with indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Johannes RAU (since 1 July 1999)
elections: president elected for a five-year term by a Federal Convention including all members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments; election last held 23 May 1999 (next to be held 23 May 2004); chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term; election last held 22 September 2002 (next to be held NA September 2006)
head of government: Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (since 27 October 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor
election results: Johannes RAU elected president; percent of Federal Convention vote - 57.6%; Gerhard SCHROEDER elected chancellor; percent of Federal Assembly vote NA%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (603 seats; elected by popular vote under a system combining direct and proportional representation; a party must win 5% of the national vote or three direct mandates to gain representation; members serve four-year terms) and the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 votes; state governments are directly represented by votes; each has 3 to 6 votes depending on population and are required to vote as a block)
elections: Federal Assembly - last held 22 September 2002 (next to be held NA September 2006); note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
election results: Federal Assembly - percent of vote by party - SPD 38.5%, CDU/CSU 38.5%, Greens 8.6%, FDP 7.4%, PDS 4%; seats by party - SPD 251, CDU/CSU 248, Greens 55, FDP 47, PDS 2; Federal Council - current composition - NA
Judicial branch:
Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat)
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance '90/Greens [Angelika BEER and Reinhard BUETIKOFER]; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Edmund STOIBER, chairman]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Guido WESTERWELLE, chairman]; the Greens [leader NA]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Gabriele ZIMMER]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Gerhard SCHROEDER, chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
employers' organizations; expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Wolfgang Friedrich ISCHINGER
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
telephone: [1] (202) 298-8140
chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel R. COATS
embassy: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5, 10117 Berlin; note - a new embassy will be built near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
mailing address: PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265
telephone: [49] (030) 8305-0
FAX: [49] (030) 238-6290
consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold
Economy Germany
Economy - overview:
Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy turned in a relatively weak performance throughout much of the 1990s. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy continues to be a costly long-term problem, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $70 billion. Germany's ageing population, combined with high unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions from workers. Structural rigidities in the labor market - including strict regulations on laying off workers and the setting of wages on a national basis - have made unemployment a chronic problem. Business and income tax cuts introduced in 2001 did not spare Germany from the impact of the downturn in international trade, and domestic demand faltered as unemployment began to rise. Growth in 2002 again fell short of 1%. Corporate restructuring and growing capital markets are setting the foundations that could allow Germany to meet the long-term challenges of European economic integration and globalization, particularly if labor market rigidities are addressed. In the short run, however, the fall in government revenues and the rise in expenditures has brought the deficit close to the EU's 3% debt limit.
purchasing power parity - $2.184 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $26,600 (2002 est.); (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 31%
services: 68% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 25% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
30 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
41.9 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 33%, agriculture 3%, services 64% (1999)
Unemployment rate:
9.8% (2002 est.)
revenues: $802 billion
expenditures: $825 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages; shipbuilding; textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
-2.1% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
537.33 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 63%
hydro: 4%
other: 3% (2000)
nuclear: 30%
Electricity - consumption:
501.72 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
42.5 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
44.5 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry
$608 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles
Exports - partners:
France 11.1%, US 10.6%, UK 8.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Austria 5.1%; Belgium 4.9%, Spain 4.5%, Switzerland 4.3% (2001) (2001)
$487.3 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals
Imports - partners:
France 9.4%, Netherlands 8.4%, US 8.3%, UK 6.9%, Italy 6.5%, Belgium 5.2%, Japan 4.1%, Austria 3.8% (2001)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $5.6 billion (1998)
euro (EUR); deutsche mark (DEM)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); deutsche marks per US dollar - 1.69 (January 1999), 1.7597 (1998), 1.7341 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Germany
Telephones - main lines in use:
50.9 million (March 2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
55.3 million (June 2001)
Telephone system:
general assessment: Germany has one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country, dating back to World War II, has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part
domestic: Germany is served by an extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries
international: Germany's international service is excellent worldwide, consisting of extensive land and undersea cable facilities as well as earth stations in the INMARSAT, INTELSAT, EUTELSAT, and INTERSPUTNIK satellite systems (2001)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 51, FM 787, shortwave 4 (1998)
77.8 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
373 (plus 8,042 repeaters) (1995)
51.4 million (1998)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
200 (2001)
Internet users:
32.1 million (2002)
Transportation Germany
total: 44,000 km (including at least 20,300 km electrified); most routes are double- or multiple-track
note: since privatization in 1994, Deutsche Bahn AG (DBAG) no longer publishes details of the track it owns; in addition to the DBAG system there are 102 privately owned railway companies which own approximately 3,000 to 4,000 km of track (2001 est.)
total: 656,140 km
paved: 650,891 km (including 11,400 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,249 km (all-weather) (1998 est.)
7,500 km
note: major rivers include the Rhine and Elbe; Kiel Canal is an important connection between the Baltic Sea and North Sea (1999)
crude oil 2,240 km (2001)
Ports and harbors:
Berlin, Bonn, Brake, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cologne, Dresden, Duisburg, Emden, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Luebeck, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Rostock, Stuttgart
Merchant marine:
total: 388 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,758,942 GRT/7,132,525 DWT
ships by type: cargo 132, chemical tanker 10, container 219, liquefied gas 3, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 7, railcar carrier 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 4, short-sea passenger 7
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Chile 1, Finland 5, Iceland 1, Netherlands 3, Switzerland 1 (2002 est.)
625 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 328
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 54
914 to 1,523 m: 69
under 914 m: 131 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 63
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 223
under 914 m: 189 (2002)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
40 (2002)
Military Germany
Military branches:
Army, Navy (including naval air arm), Air Force, Medical Corps, Joint Support Service
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 20,854,329 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 17,734,977 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 482,318 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$38.8 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.38% (2002)
Transnational Issues Germany
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic drugs

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003