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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.

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

  • total: 357,021 sq km
  • water: 7,798 sq km
  • land: 349,223 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-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: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants

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

    82,424,609 (July 2004 est.)

    Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 14.7% (male 6,197,490; female 5,879,052)
  • 15-64 years: 67% (male 28,119,536; female 27,132,713)
  • 65 years and over: 18.3% (male 6,096,106; female 8,999,712) (2004 est.)

    Median age:
  • total: 41.7 years
  • male: 40.4 years
  • female: 43.2 years (2004 est.)

    Population growth rate: 0.02% (2004 est.)

    Birth rate: 8.45 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)

    Death rate: 10.44 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)

    Net migration rate: 2.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 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: 0.68 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)

    Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 4.2 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
  • male: 4.64 deaths/1,000 live births

    Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 78.54 years
  • male: 75.56 years
  • female: 81.68 years (2004 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 1.38 children born/woman (2004 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 41,000 (2001 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - deaths: 660 (2001 est.)

  • 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

  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 99% (1997 est.)
  • male: NA
  • female: NA

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

    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)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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 NA 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, PDS 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, BDEAC, 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, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Wolfgang Friedrich ISCHINGER
  • consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
    FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
    telephone: [1] (202) 298-8140
    chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel R. COATS
  • embassy: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5, 10117 Berlin; note - a new embassy will be built near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin; ground was broken in October 2004 and completion is scheduled for 2008
  • mailing address: PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265
  • telephone: [49] (030) 8305-0
  • FAX: [49] (030) 8305-1215
  • consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

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

    Economy - overview:
    Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy- the fifth largest national economy in the world - has become one of the slowest growing economies in the entire euro zone, and a quick turnaround is not in the offing in the foreseeable future. Growth in 2001-03 fell short of 1%. 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 ageing 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. The government is also starting long-needed structural reforms designed to revitalize the country's economy. 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 - $2.271 trillion (2003 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: -0.1% (2003 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $27,600 (2003 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 1%
  • industry: 31%
  • services: 68% (2002 est.)

    Investment (gross fixed): 17.7% of GDP (2003)

    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): 1.1% (2003 est.)

    Labor force: 42.63 million (2003)

    Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 2.8%, industry 33.4%, services 63.8% (1999)

    Unemployment rate: 10.5% (2003 est.)

  • revenues: $1.079 trillion
  • expenditures: $1.173 trillion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003 est.)

    Public debt: 64.2% of GDP (2003)

    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: 0.2% (2003 est.)

    Electricity - production: 544.8 billion kWh (2001)

    Electricity - consumption: 506.8 billion kWh (2001)

    Electricity - exports: 43.9 billion kWh (2001)

    Electricity - imports: 44 billion kWh (2001)

    Oil - production: 85,860 bbl/day (2001 est.)

    Oil - consumption: 2.813 million bbl/day (2001 est.)

    Oil - exports: 404,300 bbl/day (2001)

    Oil - imports: 3.081 million bbl/day (2001)

    Oil - proved reserves: 327.3 million bbl (1 January 2002)

    Natural gas - production: 22.16 billion cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - consumption: 94.34 billion cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - exports: 6.674 billion cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - imports: 78.73 billion cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - proved reserves: 298.3 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

    Current account balance: $57.24 billion (2003)

    Exports: $696.9 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

    Exports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles

    Exports - partners: France 10.6%, US 9.3%, UK 8.4%, Italy 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Austria 5.3%, Belgium 5.1%, Spain 4.9%, Switzerland 4% (2003)

    Imports: $585 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

    Imports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals

    Imports - partners: France 9.2%, Netherlands 8.4%, US 7.3%, Italy 6.3%, UK 6%, Belgium 4.9%, China 4.7%, Austria 4% (2003)

    Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $96.84 billion (2003)

    Debt - external: NA (2000 est.)

    Economic aid - donor: ODA, $5.6 billion (1998)

    Currency: 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 - 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    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)

  • total: 46,039 km (20,100 km electrified)
  • standard gauge: 45,801 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 (2003)

  • 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: Berlin, Bonn, Brake, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cologne, Dresden, Duisburg, Emden, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Luebeck, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Rostock, Stuttgart

    Merchant marine:
  • total: 278 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 5,721,495 GRT/6,810,631 DWT
  • by type: cargo 71, chemical tanker 14, container 169, liquefied gas 3, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 5, rail car carrier 2, roll on/roll off 3, short-sea/passenger 7
  • registered in other countries: 2,295 (2003 est.)
  • foreign-owned: Finland 4, Iceland 1, Netherlands 3

    Airports: 550 (2003 est.)

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

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

    Heliports: 34 (2003 est.)

    Military branches:
    Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine; including 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 est.)

    Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 20,468,942 (2004 est.)

    Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 17,338,435 (2004 est.)

    Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 484,837 (2004 est.)

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $35.063 billion (2003)

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.5% (2003)

    Transnational Issues
    Disputes - international:

    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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