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Germany Country Guide

Explore Germany in Europe

Germany with the capital city Berlin is located in Europe (Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea). It covers some 357,022 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Montana) with 82,369,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south. The average density of population is approximately 231 per km². The notable climate conditions in Germany can be described as temperate and marine with cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers, occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind. Potential threats by nature are flooding.

To reach someone in Germany dial +49 prior to a number. There are 48,700,000 installed telephones. And there are 105,000,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 MHz and 3G. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".de". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Germany

Three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold field.

As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is 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.


Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Europe
Neighbours: Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, France, Austria
Capital: Berlin
Size 357,021 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 137,847 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Montana
Population 82,369,000
Currency Name: Euro, Currency Code: EUR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .de
Telephone Country Prefix +49
Mobile Phone Connections 105,000,000
Landline Phone Connections 48,700,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).

Geography

Value name Value World Rank
Area 357,022 (sq km) 63

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 81,147,265 16
Population growth rate -0.19 (%) 211
Birth rate 8.37 (births/1,000 population) 217
Death rate 11.17 (deaths/1,000 population) 36
Net migration rate 0.89 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 59
Maternal mortality rate 7.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 165
Infant mortality rate 3.48 (deaths/1,000 live births) 210
Life expectancy at birth 80.32 (years) 28
Total fertility rate 1.42 (children born/woman) 200
Health expenditures 11.60 (% of GDP) 11
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 130
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 67,000 50
HIV/AIDS - deaths 1,000 73
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 25.10 (%) 59
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 1.10 (%) 129
Education expenditures 5.10 (% of GDP) 68
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 8.5 (%) 117

Economy

Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 3,250,000,000,000 6
GDP - real growth rate 0.70 (%) 169
GDP - per capita (PPP) 39,700 29
Labor force 44,010,000 14
Unemployment rate 6.50 (%) 70
Distribution of family income - Gini index 27 126
Investment (gross fixed) 17.80 (% of GDP) 121
Taxes and other revenues 44.4 (% of GDP) 29
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 0.10 (% of GDP) 39
Public debt 81.70 (% of GDP) 25
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.00 (%) 35
Central bank discount rate 1.75 (%) 115
Commercial bank prime lending rate 3.94 (%) 169
Stock of narrow money 1,853,000,000,000 5
Stock of broad money 4,281,000,000,000 5
Stock of domestic credit 4,253,000,000,000 5
Market value of publicly traded shares 1,430,000,000,000 11
Industrial production growth rate 8.00 (%) 25
Current account balance 208,100,000,000 2
Exports 1,492,000,000,000 4
Imports 1,276,000,000,000 4
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 238,900,000,000 13
Debt - external 5,719,000,000,000 4
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 932,800,000,000 7
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 1,464,000,000,000 4

Energy

Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 558,000,000,000 (kWh) 9
Electricity - consumption 549,100,000,000 (kWh) 8
Electricity - exports 57,920,000,000 (kWh) 4
Electricity - imports 42,960,000,000 (kWh) 5
Electricity - installed generating capacity 153200000 (kW) 7
Electricity - from fossil fuels 55.0 (% of total installed capacity) 145
Electricity - from nuclear fuels 23.0 (% of total installed capacity) 7
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 3.0 (% of total installed capacity) 131
Electricity - from other renewable sources 13.0 (% of total installed capacity) 15
Crude oil - production 165,300 (bbl/day) 43
Crude oil - exports 2,200 (bbl/day) 65
Crude oil - imports 1,961,000 (bbl/day) 7
Crude oil - proved reserves 276000000 (bbl) 57
Refined petroleum products - production 2,348,000 (bbl/day) 9
Refined petroleum products - consumption 2,400,000 (bbl/day) 10
Refined petroleum products - exports 467,900 (bbl/day) 16
Refined petroleum products - imports 696,400 (bbl/day) 10
Natural gas - production 11,900,000,000 (cu m) 40
Natural gas - consumption 78,990,000,000 (cu m) 11
Natural gas - exports 19,740,000,000 (cu m) 17
Natural gas - imports 87,570,000,000 (cu m) 5
Natural gas - proved reserves 175,600,000,000 (cu m) 48
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 793,700,000 (Mt) 7

Communications

Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 51,800,000 4
Telephones - mobile cellular 108,700,000 10
Internet hosts 20,043,000 6
Internet users 65,125,000 5

Transportation

Value name Value World Rank
Airports 541 13
Railways 41,981 (km) 6
Roadways 644,480 (km) 11
Waterways 7,467 (km) 19
Merchant marine 427 24

Military

Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.50 (% of GDP) 96

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Aachen Cathedral
Construction of this palatine chapel, with its octagonal basilica and cupola, began c. 790–800 under the Emperor Charlemagne. Originally inspired by the churches of the Eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire, it was splendidly enlarged in the Middle ...
1978
Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch
The abbey, together with its monumental entrance, the famous 'Torhall', are rare architectural vestiges of the Carolingian era. The sculptures and paintings from this period are still in remarkably good condition. ...
1991
Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau
Between 1919 and 1933, the Bauhaus School, based first in Weimar and then in Dessau, revolutionized architectural and aesthetic concepts and practices. The buildings put up and decorated by the school's professors (Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Laszl ...
1996
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
Descending a long hill dominated by a giant statue of Hercules, the monumental water displays of Wilhelmshöhe were begun by Landgrave Carl of Hesse-Kassel in 1689 around an east-west axis and were developed further into the 19th century. Reservoirs ...
2013
Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. The property consists of six housing estates that testify to innovative housing policies from 1910 to 1933, especially during the Weimar Republic, when the city of Berlin was particularly progressive socially, politi ...
2008
Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey
These structures are located along the Weser River on the outskirts of Höxter where they were erected between AD 822 and 885 in a largely preserved rural setting. The Westwork is the only standing structure that dates back to the Carolingian era, w ...
2014
Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl
Set in an idyllic garden landscape, Augustusburg Castle (the sumptuous residence of the prince-archbishops of Cologne) and the Falkenlust hunting lodge (a small rural folly) are among the earliest examples of Rococo architecture in 18th-century Germa ...
1984
Classical Weimar
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the small Thuringian town of Weimar witnessed a remarkable cultural flowering, attracting many writers and scholars, notably Goethe and Schiller. This development is reflected in the high quality of many of t ...
1998
Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg, in the Land of Sachsen-Anhalt, was a capital of the East Franconian German Empire at the time of the Saxonian-Ottonian ruling dynasty. It has been a prosperous trading town since the Middle Ages. The number and high quality of the timber ...
1994
Cologne Cathedral
Begun in 1248, the construction of this Gothic masterpiece took place in several stages and was not completed until 1880. Over seven centuries, successive builders were inspired by the same faith and a spirit of absolute fidelity to the original plan ...
1996
Dresden Elbe Valley
The 18th- and 19th-century cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley extends some 18 km along the river from Übigau Palace and Ostragehege fields in the north-west to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River Island in the south-east. It features low m ...
2004
Fagus Factory in Alfeld
Fagus Factory in Alfeld is a 10-building complex - began around 1910 to the design of Walter Gropius, which is a landmark in the development of modern architecture and industrial design. Serving all stages of manufacture, storage and dispatch of last ...
2011
Frontiers of the Roman Empire
The ‘Roman Limes’ represents the border line of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 2nd century AD. It stretched over 5,000 km from the Atlantic coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, and from there to the Red Sea ...
1987
Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz is an exceptional example of landscape design and planning of the Age of the Enlightenment, the 18th century. Its diverse components - outstanding buildings, landscaped parks and gardens in the English style, and ...
2000
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Lübeck – the former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League – was founded in the 12th century and prospered until the 16th century as the major trading centre for northern Europe. It has remained a centre for maritime commerce to this day ...
1987
Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar
The medieval towns of Wismar and Stralsund, on the Baltic coast of northern Germany, were major trading centres of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries they became Swedish administrative and defensive ce ...
2002
Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
These places in Saxony-Anhalt are all associated with the lives of Martin Luther and his fellow-reformer Melanchthon. They include Melanchthon's house in Wittenberg, the houses in Eisleben where Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546, his room in W ...
1996
Margravial Opera House Bayreuth
A masterpiece of Baroque theatre architecture, built between 1745 and 1750, the Opera House is the only entirely preserved example of its type where an audience of 500 can experience Baroque court opera culture and acoustics authentically, as its aud ...
2012
Maulbronn Monastery Complex
Founded in 1147, the Cistercian Maulbronn Monastery is considered the most complete and best-preserved medieval monastic complex north of the Alps. Surrounded by fortified walls, the main buildings were constructed between the 12th and 16th centuries ...
1993
Messel Pit Fossil Site
Messel Pit is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and incl ...
1995
Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System
The Upper Harz mining water management system, which lies south of the Rammelsberg mines and the town of Goslar, has been developed over a period of some 800 years to assist in the process of extracting ore for the production of non-ferrous metals. I ...
1992
Monastic Island of Reichenau
The island of Reichenau on Lake Constance preserves the traces of the Benedictine monastery, founded in 724, which exercised remarkable spiritual, intellectual and artistic influence. The churches of St Mary and Marcus, St Peter and St Paul, and St G ...
2000
Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
The museum as a social phenomenon owes its origins to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The five museums on the Museumsinsel in Berlin, built between 1824 and 1930, are the realization of a visionary project and show the evolution of appr ...
1999
Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski
A landscaped park of 559.9 ha astride the Neisse River and the border between Poland and Germany, it was created by Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau from 1815 to 1844. Blending seamlessly with the surrounding farmed landscape, the park pioneered new ...
2004
Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof
Located on the Danube River in Bavaria, this medieval town contains many buildings of exceptional quality that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the region from the 9th century. A notable number of historic structures ...
2006
Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
With 500 ha of parks and 150 buildings constructed between 1730 and 1916, Potsdam's complex of palaces and parks forms an artistic whole, whose eclectic nature reinforces its sense of uniqueness. It extends into the district of Berlin-Zehlendorf, wit ...
1990
Pilgrimage Church of Wies
Miraculously preserved in the beautiful setting of an Alpine valley, the Church of Wies (1745–54), the work of architect Dominikus Zimmermann, is a masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo – exuberant, colourful and joyful. ...
1983
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany
The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, represent examples of on-going post-glacial biological and ecological evolution of terrestrial ecosystems and are indispensable to understanding the spread of the beech (Fagus sylvatica) in the Northern Hemisphe ...
2007
Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier
Trier, which stands on the Moselle River, was a Roman colony from the 1st century AD and then a great trading centre beginning in the next century. It became one of the capitals of the Tetrarchy at the end of the 3rd century, when it was known as the ...
1986
Speyer Cathedral
Speyer Cathedral, a basilica with four towers and two domes, was founded by Conrad II in 1030 and remodelled at the end of the 11th century. It is one of the most important Romanesque monuments from the time of the Holy Roman Empire. The cathedral wa ...
1981
St Mary's Cathedral and St Michael's Church at Hildesheim
St Michael's Church was built between 1010 and 1020 on a symmetrical plan with two apses that was characteristic of Ottonian Romanesque art in Old Saxony. Its interior, in particular the wooden ceiling and painted stucco-work, its famous bronze doors ...
1985
Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
The Town Hall and the statue of Roland on the marketplace of Bremen in north-west Germany are outstanding representations of civic autonomy and sovereignty, as these developed in the Holy Roman Empire in Europe. The old town hall was built in the Got ...
2004
Town of Bamberg
From the 10th century onwards, this town became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of Bamberg strongly influence ...
1993
Upper Middle Rhine Valley
The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It is intimately associated with history and lege ...
2002
Völklingen Ironworks
The ironworks, which cover some 6 ha, dominate the city of Völklingen. Although they have recently gone out of production, they are the only intact example, in the whole of western Europe and North America, of an integrated ironworks that was built ...
1994
Wartburg Castle
Wartburg Castle blends superbly into its forest surroundings and is in many ways 'the ideal castle'. Although it has retained some original sections from the feudal period, the form it acquired during the 19th-century reconstitution gives a good idea ...
1999
Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square
This magnificent Baroque palace – one of the largest and most beautiful in Germany and surrounded by wonderful gardens – was created under the patronage of the prince-bishops Lothar Franz and Friedrich Carl von Schönborn. It was built and decora ...
1981
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen
The Zollverein industrial complex in Land Nordrhein-Westfalen consists of the complete infrastructure of a historical coal-mining site, with some 20th-century buildings of outstanding architectural merit. It constitutes remarkable material evidence o ...
2001