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 Germany

Country Flag of Germany


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Introduction

Geography

People

Government

Economy

Communication

Transportation

Military

Transnational Issues

Country map of Germany

Germany

Introduction

Background: As Western Europe's richest and most populous nation, Germany remains a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed the country 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 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 formed a common European currency, the euro.

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: 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:
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 foehn wind

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Freepsum Lake -2 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m

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

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: 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 currently attempting to define mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power; 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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, 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, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

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

People

Population: 82,797,408 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16% (male 6,679,930; female 6,333,110)
15-64 years: 68% (male 28,638,814; female 27,693,630)
65 years and over: 16% (male 5,133,121; female 8,318,803) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.29% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 9.35 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 10.49 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.44 years
male: 74.3 years
female: 80.75 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.38 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: German(s)
adjective: German

Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Russian, Greek, Polish, Spanish)

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

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

Capital: Berlin

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 powers formally relinquished rights 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 Johannes RAU (since 1 July 1999)
head of government: Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (since 27 October 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundeskanzler 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 Land Parliaments; election last held 23 May 1999 (next to be held 23 May 2004); chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term; election last held 27 September 1998 (next to be held in the fall of 2002)
election results: Johannes RAU elected president; % of Federal Convention vote - 57.6%; Gerhard SCHROEDER elected chancellor; % of Federal Assembly - 52.7%

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (656 seats usually, but 669 for the 1998 term; 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 27 September 1998 (next to be held by the fall of 2002); 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 - % of vote by party - SPD 40.9%, Alliance '90/Greens 6.7%, CDU/CSU 35.1%, FDP 6.2%, PDS 5.1%; seats by party - SPD 298, Alliance '90/Greens 47, CDU/CSU 245, FDP 43, PDS 36; Federal Council - current composition - votes by party - SPD-led states 26, CDU-led states 28, grand coalitions 15

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 [Gunda ROESTEL and Antje RADCKE]; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Edmund STOIBER, chairman]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Wolfgang GERHARDT, chairman]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Lothar BISKY, chairman]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Gerhard SCHROEDER, chairman]

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

International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, 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, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNOMIG, UPU, WADB (nonregional), 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) 298-8141
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
consulate(s): Wellington (America Samoa)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John C. KORNBLUM
embassy: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5, 10117 Berlin
mailing address: PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265
telephone: [49] (30) 238-5174
FAX: [49] (30) 238-6290
consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

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

Economy

Economy - overview: Germany possesses the world's third most technologically powerful economy after the US and Japan, but its basic capitalistic economy has started to struggle under the burden of generous social benefits. Structural rigidities - like a high rate of social contributions on wages - have made unemployment a long-term, not just cyclical, problem, while Germany's aging population has pushed social security outlays to exceed contributions from workers. The integration and upgrading of the eastern German economy remains a costly long-term problem, with annual transfers from the west amounting to roughly $100 billion. Growth slowed to 1.5% in 1999, largely due to lower export demand and still-low business confidence. Recovering Asian demand, a push for fiscal consolidation, and newly proposed business and income tax cuts - if passed - are expected to boost growth back to trend rates around 2.5% in 2000 and beyond. The adoption of a common European currency and the general political and economic integration of Europe will bring major changes to the German economy in the early 21st century.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.864 trillion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $22,700 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.2%
industry: 30.4%
services: 68.4% (1999)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.8% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 40.5 million (1999 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: industry 33.7%, agriculture 2.7%, services 63.6% (1998)

Unemployment rate: 10.5% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $996 billion
expenditures: $1.036 trillion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries: among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages; shipbuilding; textiles

Industrial production growth rate: 0.9% (1999)

Electricity - production: 525.356 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 65.77%
hydro: 3.2%
nuclear: 29.06%
other: 1.97% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 488.041 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 39.1 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 38.56 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry

Exports: $610 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles (1999)

Exports - partners: EU 56.4% (France 11.1%, UK 8.6%, Italy 7.4%, Netherlands 6.8%, Benelux 5.7%), US 9.4%, Japan 1.9% (1998)

Imports: $587 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals (1999)

Imports - partners: EU 53.7% (France 11.1%, Netherlands 7.7%, Italy 7.8%, UK 6.8%, Benelux 5.6%), US 8.3%, Japan 5.0% (1998)

Debt - external: $NA

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

Currency: 1 deutsche mark (DM) = 100 pfennige

Exchange rates: euros per US$1 -0.9867 (January 2000), 0.9386 (1999); deutsche marks (DM) per US$1 - 1.69 (January 1999), 1.7597 (1998), 1.7341 (1997), 1.5048 (1996), 1.4331 (1995)
note: on 1 January 1999, the EU introduced a common currency that is now being used by financial institutions in some member countries at a fixed rate of 1.95583 deutsche marks per euro; the euro will replace the local currency in consenting countries for all transactions in 2002

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: NA; 46.5 million main lines are installed (July 1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 15.318 million (April 1999)

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 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 and includes roaming service to many foreign countries
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); 7 submarine cable connections; 2 HF radiotelephone communication centers; tropospheric scatter links

Radio broadcast stations: AM 51, FM 767, shortwave 4 (1998)

Radios: 77.8 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 9,513 (including repeaters) (1998)

Televisions: 51.4 million (1998)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 625 (1999)

Transportation

Railways:
total: 40,826 km including at least 14,253 km electrified and 14,768 km double- or multiple-tracked (1998)
note: since privatization in 1994, Deutsche Bahn AG (DBAG) no longer publishes details of the tracks it owns; in addition to the DBAG system there are 102 privately owned railway companies which own an approximate 3,000 km to 4,000 km of the total tracks

Highways:
total: 656,140 km
paved: 650,891 km (including 11,400 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,249 km (all-weather) (1998 est.)

Waterways: 7,500 km (1999); major rivers include the Rhine and Elbe; Kiel Canal is an important connection between the Baltic Sea and North Sea

Pipelines: crude oil 2,500 km (1998)

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

Merchant marine:
total: 475 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,395,990 GRT/8,014,132 DWT
ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 181, chemical tanker 12, container 239, liquified gas 2, multi-functional large load carrier 5, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 8, rail car carrier 2, refrigerated cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off 13, short-sea passenger 7 (1999 est.)

Airports: 615 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 320
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 67
914 to 1,523 m: 56
under 914 m: 122 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 295
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 55
under 914 m: 226 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 59 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Naval Air Arm), Air Force, Medical Corps, Border Police, Coast Guard

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 20,863,020 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 17,800,862 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 485,422 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $32.8 billion (FY98)

Military expenditures - % of GDP: 1.5% (FY98)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: remaining legal issues (restitution) arising from World War II and its aftermath

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

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