Germany at a Glance

translated from: http://lexikon.meyers.de/wissen/Deutschland+%28Staat%29

Flag black, red and gold
Name (national language) Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Official designation (English) Federal Republic of Germany
Location Europe
Area 357 114 km2 /137,847 sq mi
Population (2006) 82,315 million
Population Density 231 inhabitants/km²
Capital Berlin
Form of Government Federal Parliamentary Republic
Administrative Structure 16 federal states (Länder)
Official Language German
Lingua Franca German
National Holiday Oct 3rd (German Unification Day)
National Anthem Deutschlandlied
Currency 1 Euro (EUR, €) = 100 cents
Time Zone CET/DST
Member of International Organisations UNO, OECD, NATO, OSCE, EU, Council of Europe
Calling Code +49
Gross National Income (GNI) (2006) 28,500 €
Internet TLD .de

Geography: To the north, Germany borders on the North Sea, Denmark and the Baltic Sea, and to the east shares borders with Poland and the Czech Republic, while in the south it verges on Austria and Switzerland. Its neighbours in the west and southwest are France, Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Major Cities (Inhabitants in 1,000; 31.12. 2003)

Berlin 3,388.5
Hamburg 1,734.1
Munich 1,247.9
Cologne 966.0
Frankfurt am Main 643.
Dortmund 589.7
Essen 589.5
Stuttgart 589.2
Düsseldorf 572.5
Bremen 544.9
Hanover 516.2
Duisburg 506.5
Leipzig 497.5
Nuremberg 493.6
Dresden 483.6
Bochum 387.3
Wuppertal 362.1
Bielefeld 328.5
Bonn 311.1
Mannheim 308.4
Karlsruhe 282.6
Gelsenkirchen 272.4
Wiesbaden 272.0
Münster 269.6
Mönchengladbach 262.4
Augsburg 259.2
Aachen 256.6
Chemnitz 249.9
Braunschweig 245.1
Halle (Saale) 240.1
Krefeld 238.6
Kiel 233.0
Magdeburg 227.5
Oberhausen 220.0
Lübeck 212.8
Freiburg i. Br. 212.5
Erfurt 201.6
Hagen 200.0
Rostock 198.3
Kassel 194.3

Government, Constitution: Germany is a republican, democratic, social and federal state. The federal states of Germany are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia as well as the city states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg.

Head of state is the Federal President (Bundespräsident), at present Horst Köhler. The Federal Government, which is the supreme executive body, is presided over by the chancellor (Bundeskanzler), currently Angela Merkel The states participate in the legislation in the Bundesrat.

Population: At the end of 2005, about 82.3m citizens lived in Germany, of which 7.3m were of foreign nationality (8.8 % of the total population).

26 % of those were Turkish, 8 % Italian, 5% Polish, 4.5 % Greece and 5 % were nationals of Serbia and Montenegro including both of the successor states.

Religion: In Germany, religious tolerance and neutrality prevail towards all religions and religious groups. At the end of 2006, about 26.68 million citizens belonged to the Catholic Church and 25.68 million to the member churches of the Protestant Church in Germany.

Some 1.1 million orthodox Christians in Germany belong to various Eastern churches. The largest non-Christian religious community is composed by some 3.2 million Muslims, the majority of which is of Turkish descent.

The Jewish community in Germany is represented by the Central Consistory of Jews and consists of roughly 108,000 members.

Education: School attendance is compulsory for all children between the age of 6 and 18 years. Germany has 373 academic schools (Universities, art academies, conservatories, colleges of higher education and universities of cooperative education).

The oldest universities are located in Erfurt (1378), Heidelberg (1386), Cologne (1388), Würzburg (1402), Leipzig (1409) and Rostock (1419).

Economy: Germany belongs to the most highly developed industrial states in the world. Its gross national income (GNI) amounted to 2,118.2 billion € (BNE per capita: 25,700 €) in 2003.

By international comparison, with a gross domestic product (GDP) per citizen of 24,100 US$ in 2002, Germany held the 11th rank in the world. At the same time, regarding the economic power of the entire country measured by the GDP of 2,712.7 billion US$ in 2003, Germany came third among the OECD member states behind the USA and Japan.

Nowadays, 71.9% of all people in paid work are employed in the services sector. Its contribution to the GNP amounted to 69,4 % in 2005.

Foreign commerce: With a share of 10 % in export and 8 % in import in global trade, Germany comes first in export and second in import only to the USA.

Germany’s main trade partners are France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA.