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By Entry Pages > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Germany
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Map of Germany
IntroductionTop
Background: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 Germany 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 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
GeographyTop
Location: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:Europe
Area:total: 357,021 sq km
land: 349,223 sq km
water: 7,798 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

Coastline:2,389 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
Terrain: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:coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land
Land use:arable land: 33.85%
permanent crops: 0.59%
other: 65.56% (2001)

Irrigated land:4,850 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:flooding
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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea
PeopleTop
Population:82,431,390 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 14.4% (male 6,078,885/female 5,766,065)
15-64 years: 66.7% (male 28,006,268/female 27,003,958)
65 years and over: 18.9% (male 6,359,776/female 9,216,438) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 42.16 years
male: 40.88 years
female: 43.53 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:0% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:8.33 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:10.55 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:2.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 4.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.61 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 78.65 years
male: 75.66 years
female: 81.81 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:1.39 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:43,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:less than 1,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: German(s)
adjective: German

Ethnic groups:German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish)
Religions:Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
Languages:German
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1997 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
local short form: Deutschland
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich

Government type:federal republic
Capital:Berlin
Administrative divisions:13 states (Laender, singular - Land) and 3 free states* (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern*, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen*, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen*
Independence: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)
Constitution: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
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Horst KOEHLER (since 1 July 2004)
head of government: Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (since 27 October 1998); Vice Chancellor Joschka FISCHER (since 17 October 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor
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 2004 (next to be held 23 May 2009); 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 September 2006)
election results: Horst KOEHLER elected president; received 604 votes of the Federal Convention against 589 for Gesine SCHWAN; Gerhard SCHROEDER elected chancellor; percent of Federal Assembly vote 50.7%

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 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%, Alliance '90/Greens 8.6%, FDP 7.4%, PDS 4%; seats by party - SPD 251, CDU/CSU 248, Alliance '90/Greens 55, FDP 47, unaffiliated 2; seating as of 1 July 2004: SPD 249, CDU/CSU 247, Alliance '90/Greens 55, FDP 47, unaffiliated 3, unfilled seats 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]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Lothar BISKY]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Franz MUENTEFERING]
Political pressure groups and leaders:business associations, employers' organizations; expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups
International organization participation:AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy - the fifth largest in the world - has become one of the slowest growing economies in the euro zone. A quick turnaround is not in the offing in the foreseeable future. Growth in 2001-03 fell short of 1%, rising to 1.7% in 2004. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy continues to be a costly long-term process, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $70 billion. Germany's aging 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. 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 further addressed. In the short run, however, the fall in government revenues and the rise in expenditures have raised the deficit above the EU's 3% debt limit.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $2.362 trillion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:1.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $28,700 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 1%
industry: 31%
services: 68% (2002 est.)

Labor force:42.63 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 2.8%, industry 33.4%, services 63.8% (1999)
Unemployment rate:10.6% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.1% (1997)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:30 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):1.6% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):17.6% of GDP (2004)
Budget:revenues: $1.2 trillion
expenditures: $1.3 trillion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Public debt:65.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry
Industries: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:2.2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:560 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 61.8%
hydro: 4.2%
nuclear: 29.9%
other: 4.1% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:519.5 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:53.8 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:45.8 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:74,100 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:2.891 million bbl/day (2003)
Oil - exports:12,990 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:2.135 million bbl/day (2003)
Oil - proved reserves:395.8 million bbl (1 January 2004)
Natural gas - production:21 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - consumption:99.55 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - exports:7.731 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - imports:85.02 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - proved reserves:293 billion cu m (1 January 2004)
Current account balance:$73.59 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$893.3 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles
Exports - partners:France 10.2%, US 8.8%, UK 8.2%, Italy 7.2%, Netherlands 6.3%, Belgium 5.7%, Austria 5.4%, Spain 5% (2004)
Imports:$716.7 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals
Imports - partners:France 9.2%, Netherlands 8.7%, US 6.5%, Italy 6.1%, UK 5.8%, Belgium 5.8%, China 5.3%, Austria 4.3% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$96.84 billion (2003)
Debt - external:NA
Economic aid - donor:ODA, $5.6 billion (1998)
Currency (code):euro (EUR)
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:EUR
Exchange rates:euros per US dollar - 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:54.35 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:64.8 million (2003)
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: country code - 49; 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)
Radios:77.8 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:373 (plus 8,042 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:51.4 million (1998)
Internet country code:.de
Internet hosts:2,686,119 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):200 (2001)
Internet users:39 million (2003)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 46,142 km (20,100 km electrified)
standard gauge: 45,928 km 1.435-m gauge (20,084 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 214 km 1.000-m gauge (16 km electrified); 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2004)

Highways:total: 230,735 km
paved: 230,735 km (including 11,515 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (1999)

Waterways:7,300 km
note: Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea (2004)

Pipelines:condensate 325 km; gas 25,293 km; oil 3,540 km; refined products 3,827 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brunsbuttel, Duisburg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Mainz, Rostock, Wilhemshaven
Merchant marine:total: 332 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 5,721,495 GRT/6,810,631 DWT
by type: cargo 69, chemical tanker 13, container 208, liquefied gas 3, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 25, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 5 (Finland 2, Netherlands 1, Switzerland 1, UAE 1)
registered in other countries: 2,289 (2005)

Airports:550 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 331
over 3,047 m: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 51
1,524 to 2,437 m: 62
914 to 1,523 m: 71
under 914 m: 134 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 219
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 185 (2004 est.)

Heliports:34 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
Military branches:Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe), Joint Support Service, Central Medical Service
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age (conscripts serve a nine-month tour of compulsory military service) (2004)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 18,917,537 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 15,258,931 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 497,048 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$35.063 billion (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:1.5% (2003)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:none
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; major financial center



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