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Official Name: Federal Republic of Germany
PROFILE
Geography
Area: 357,114 sq. km. (137,846 sq. mi.); about the size of
Montana.
Cities (2007): Capital--Berlin (population about 3.41
million). Other cities--Hamburg (1.77 million), Munich (1.31
million), Cologne (1 million), Frankfurt (671,000), Essen

(567,000), Dortmund (581,000), Stuttgart (602,000),


Dusseldorf (586,000), Bremen (548,000), Hanover
(521,000).
Terrain: Low plain in the north; high plains, hills, and basins
in the center and east; mountainous alpine region in the
south.
Climate: Temperate; cooler and rainier than much of the
United States.
People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--German(s).
Population (January 1, 2010 estimate): 82,329,758.
Population growth rate (% per annum, 2010 est.): -0.053%.
Urban population (2008): 74%.
Ethnic groups (2010): German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other
6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian,
Serbo-Croatian, Spanish); Danish minority in the north,
Sorbian (Slavic) minority in the east.
Religions: Protestant 34%; Roman Catholic 34%; Muslim
3.7%; unaffiliated or other 28.3%.
Language: German.
Education: Years compulsory--10; attendance-100%; literacy--99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2010)--3.99/1,000; life
expectancy (2010)--women 82.42 years, men 76.26 years.
Persons employed (second quarter 2010): 40.3 million.
Government
Type: Federal republic.
Founded: 1949 (Basic Law, i.e., Constitution, promulgated
on May 23, 1949). On October 3, 1990, the Federal Republic
of Germany and the German Democratic Republic unified in
accordance with Article 23 of the F.R.G. Basic Law.
Branches: Executive--president (titular chief of state),
chancellor (executive head of government); legislative--

bicameral parliament; judicial--independent, Federal


Constitutional Court.
Administrative divisions: 16 Laender (states).
Major political parties: Social Democratic Party (SPD);
Christian Democratic Union (CDU); Christian Social Union
(CSU); Alliance 90/Greens; Free Democratic Party (FDP);
Left Party (LP).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Economy
GDP (2009 nom.): $3.339 trillion.
Annual growth rate: (2010 est.) 3.5%; (2009) -4.7%; (2008)
1.7%.
Per capita GDP (2009 nom.): $44,525.
Inflation rate (September 2010): 1.3%.
Unemployment rate (October 2010): 7.5%.
Agriculture (0.9% of GDP in 2010): Products--corn, wheat,
potatoes, sugar, beets, barley, hops, viticulture, forestry,
fisheries.
Industry (26.8% of GDP in 2010): Types--car-making;
mechanical, electrical, and precision engineering; chemicals;
environmental technology; optics; medical technology;
biotech and genetic engineering; nanotechnology;
aerospace; logistics.
Trade (2009): Exports--$1.124 trillion: chemicals, motor
vehicles, iron and steel products, manufactured goods,
electrical products. Major markets (2009)--France,
Netherlands, U.S.Imports--$937 billion: food, petroleum
products, manufactured goods, electrical products, motor
vehicles, apparel. Major suppliers--Netherlands, China,
France.
HISTORY
Two of Germany's most famous writers, Goethe and Schiller,
identified the central aspect of most of Germany's history
with their poetic lament, "Germany? But where is it? I cannot

find that country." Until 1871, there was no "Germany."


Instead, Europe's German-speaking territories were divided
into several hundred kingdoms, principalities, duchies,
bishoprics, fiefdoms and independent cities and towns.
Finding the answer to "the German question"--what form of
statehood for the German speaking lands would arise, and
which form could provide central Europe with peace and
stability--has defined most of German history. This history of
many independent polities has found continuity in the
F.R.G.'s federal structure. It is also the basis for the
decentralized nature of German political, economic, and
cultural life that lasts to this day.