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Geography

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: 356,910 sq km
land: 349,520 sq km
water: 7,390 sq km
note: includes the formerly separate Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and Berlin, following formal unification on 3 October 1990

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:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm, tropical foehn wind; high relative humidity

Terrain: lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Freepsum Lake -2 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,962 m

Natural resources: iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, nickel

Land use:
arable land: 33%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 31%
other: 20% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,750 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries and lead emissions from vehicle exhausts (the result of continued use of leaded fuels) contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; heavy pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, 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
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94

Geography—note: strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea

 
People

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Population: 82,079,454 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16% (male 6,570,582; female 6,240,671)
15-64 years: 68% (male 28,688,052; female 27,532,099)
65 years and over: 16% (male 4,866,122; female 8,181,928) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.02% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 8.84 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 10.77 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 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: 0.59 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.99 years
male: 73.83 years
female: 80.33 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: German(s)
adjective: German

Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, Italians 0.7%, Greeks 0.4%, Poles 0.4%, other 4.6% (made up largely of people fleeing the war in the former Yugoslavia)

Religions: Protestant 38%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 1.7%, unaffiliated or other 26.3%

Languages: German

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1977 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
local short form: Deutschland

Data code: GM

Government type: federal republic

National capital: Berlin
note: the shift from Bonn to Berlin will take place over a period of years, with Bonn retaining many administrative functions and several ministries even after parliament moves in 1999

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

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 power rights formally relinquished 15 March 1991

National holiday: German Unity Day (Day of Unity), 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 Roman HERZOG (since 1 July 1994)
head of government: Chancellor Dr. Helmut KOHL (since 4 October 1982)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the proposal of the chancellor
elections: president elected by the Federal Convention including members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of members elected by the Land Parliaments for a five-year term; election last held 23 May 1994 (next to be held NA 1999); chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term; election last held 16 October 1994 (next to be held 27 September 1998)
election results: Roman HERZOG elected president; percent of Federal Convention vote - NA; Dr. Helmut KOHL reelected chancellor; percent of Federal Assembly—NA

Legislative branch: bicameral chamber (no official name for the two chambers as a whole) consists of the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (656 seats usually, but 672 for the 1994 term; elected by direct 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 (68 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; term is not fixed)
elections: Federal Assembly—last held 16 October 1994 (next to be held by 27 September 1998); Federal Council—last held NA (next to be held NA)
election results: Federal Assembly—percent of vote by party—CDU 34.2%, SPD 36.4%, Alliance 90/Greens 7.3%, CSU 7.3%, FDP 6.9%, PDS 4.4%, Republicans 1.9%; seats by party—CDU 244, SPD 252, Alliance 90/Greens 49, CSU 50, FDP 47, PDS 30; note—one Greens member defected to the CDU making the seat count CDU 245, Alliance 90/Greens 48; Federal Council—current composition—votes by party - SPD-led states 41, CDU-led states 27

Judicial branch: Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht, half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Helmut KOHL, chairman]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Theodor WAIGEL, chairman]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Wolfgang GERHARDT, chairman]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Oskar LAFONTAINE, chairman]; Alliance '90/Greens [Christa NICKELS]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Lothar BISKY, chairman]; Republikaner [Rolf SCHLIERER, chairman]; National Democratic Party or NPD [Gunter DECKERT]; Communist Party or DKP [Rolf PRIEMER and Heinz STEHR, cochairpersons]

Political pressure groups and leaders: employers' organizations, expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINUGUA, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Juergen CHROBOG
chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John C. KORNBLUM
embassy: Deichmanns Aue 29, 53170 Bonn
mailing address: APO AE 09080, PSC 117, Bonn
telephone: [49] (228) 3391
FAX: [49] (228) 339-2663
branch office: Berlin
consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold

 
Economy

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Economy—overview: In 1997 the German economy, the world's third most powerful, benefited from robust exports, particularly to other members of the EU and the US, as well as strengthening equipment investment. But anemic private consumption and a contraction in the construction industry limited the expansion. Unemployment continued to set post-war monthly records through the end of 1997 and averaged 4.3 million for the year. In preparation for the 1 January 1999 start of the European Monetary Union, the government has made major efforts in 1996-97 to reduce the fiscal deficit. This effort has been complicated by growing unemployment, an erosion of the tax base, and the continuing transfer of roughly $100 billion a year to eastern Germany to refurbish this ex-communist area. In recent years business and political leaders have become increasingly concerned about Germany's decline in attractiveness as an investment target. They cite increasing preference by German companies to locate new manufacturing facilities in foreign countries, including the US, rather than in Germany, to be closer to the markets and to avoid Germany's high tax rates, high wage costs, rigid labor structures, and extensive regulations. For similar reasons foreign investment in Germany has been lagging in recent years.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.74 trillion (western: purchasing power parity—$1.60 trillion; eastern: purchasing power parity—$144 billion) (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.4% (western 2.5%, eastern 1.7%) (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$20,800 (western: purchasing power parity - $23,600; eastern: purchasing power parity—$9,100) (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 34.5%
services: 64.4% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 1.8% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 38.7 million
by occupation: industry 41%, agriculture 3%, services 56% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 12% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $755 billion
expenditures: $832.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995)

Industries: western: among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages; eastern: metal fabrication, chemicals, brown coal, shipbuilding, machine building, food and beverages, textiles, petroleum refining

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1997)

Electricity—capacity: 109.727 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 495.875 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 6,154 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture—products: western: potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbage; cattle, pigs, poultry; eastern: wheat, rye, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, fruit; pork, beef, chicken, milk, hides

Exports:
total value: $521.1 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: manufactures 88.2% (including machines and machine tools, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel products), agricultural products 5.0%, raw materials 2.3%, fuels 1.0%, other 3.5% (1995)
partners: EU 57.7% (France 11.7%, UK 8.1%, Italy 7.6%, Netherlands 7.5%, Belgium-Luxembourg 6.5%, Austria 5.5%), Eastern Europe 8.0%, other West European countries 7.5%, US 7.3%, NICs 5.6%, Japan 2.5%, OPEC 2.2%, China 1.4% (1996 est.)

Imports:
total value: $455.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: manufactures 74.2%, agricultural products 9.9%, fuels 6.4%, raw materials 5.9%, other 3.6% (1995)
partners: EU 55.5% (France 10.8%, Netherlands 8.6%, Italy 8.4%, Belgium-Luxembourg 6.6%, UK 6.4%, Austria 3.9%), Eastern Europe 8.7%, other West European countries 7.2%, US 6.8%, Japan 5.3%, NICs 5.3%, China 2.4%, OPEC 1.7%, other 7.1% (1995)

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $9 billion (1996 est.)

Currency: 1 deutsche mark (DM) = 100 pfennige

Exchange rates: deutsche marks (DM) per US$1—1.8167 (January 1998), 1.7341 (1997), 1.5048 (1996), 1.4331 (1995), 1.6228 (1994), 1.6533 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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Telephones: 44 million

Telephone system: 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 is being rapidly modernized and integrated with that of the western part
domestic: the region which was formerly West 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 and includes roaming service to many foreign countries; since the reunification of Germany, the telephone system of the eastern region has been upgraded and enjoys many of the advantages of the national system
international: satellite earth stations—14 Intelsat (12 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), 2 Intersputnik (1 Atlantic Ocean region and 1 Indian Ocean region); 6 submarine cable connections; 2 HF radiotelephone communication centers; tropospheric scatter links

Radio broadcast stations: western—AM 80, FM 470, shortwave 0; eastern—AM 23, FM 17, shortwave 0

Radios: 70 million (1991 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 246 (repeaters 6,000); note—there are 15 Russian repeaters in eastern Germany

Televisions: 44.8 million (1992 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 43,966 km
standard gauge: 43,531 km 1.435-m; 40,355 km are owned by Deutsche Bahn AG (DB); 17,015 km of the DB system are electrified and 16,941 km are double- or more-tracked
narrow gauge: 389 km 1.000-m gauge (DB operates 146 km of 1.000-m gauge); 7 km 0.900-m gauge; 39 km 0.750-m gauge
note: in addition to the DB system there are 54 privately-owned industrial or excursion railways, ranging in route length from 2 km to 632 km, with a total length of 3,465 km (1995)

Highways:
total: 633,000 km
paved: 627,303 km (including 11,300 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,697 km all-weather (1996 est.)

Waterways: western—5,222 km, of which almost 70% are usable by craft of 1,000-metric-ton capacity or larger; major rivers include the Rhine and Elbe; Kiel Canal is an important connection between the Baltic Sea and North Sea; eastern—2,319 km (1988)

Pipelines: crude oil 3,644 km; petroleum products 3,946 km; natural gas 97,564 km (1988)

Ports and harbors: Berlin, Bonn, Brake, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cologne, Dresden, Duisburg, Emden, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Lubeck, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Rostock, Stuttgart

Merchant marine:
total: 515 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,448,105 GRT/7,940,824 DWT
ships by type: cargo 202, chemical tanker 10, combination bulk 2, container 253, liquefied gas tanker 6, multifunction large-load carrier 6, oil tanker 9, passenger 4, railcar carrier 2, refrigerated cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 12, short-sea passenger 7
note: includes ships from the former East Germany and West Germany; Germany owns 460 additional ships (1,000 GRT or over) that operate under the registries of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Liberia, Malta, Norway, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Marshall Islands, Singapore, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1997 est.)

Airports: 620 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 321
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 70
914 to 1,523 m: 53
under 914 m: 123 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 299
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 57
under 914 m: 228 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 63 (1997 est.)

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