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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2003
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2003.

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003

Map of Germany

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Germany
Definition Field Listing
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 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, 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 2002, Germany and 11 other EU countries introduced a common European currency, the euro.
   Geography    Germany
Definition Field Listing
Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
51 00 N, 9 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 357,021 sq km
water: 7,798 sq km
land: 349,223 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
2,389 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm foehn wind
Definition Field Listing
lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, nickel, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 33.88%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 65.47% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
4,850 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, 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:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea
   People    Germany
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
82,398,326 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.9% (male 6,312,614; female 5,988,681)
15-64 years: 67.3% (male 28,213,316; female 27,240,648)
65 years and over: 17.8% (male 5,842,457; female 8,800,610) (2003 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 41.3 years
male: 39.9 years
female: 42.8 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.04% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.6 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.34 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4.23 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 4.68 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 78.42 years
male: 75.46 years
female: 81.55 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.37 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
41,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
660 (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: German(s)
adjective: German
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Russian, Greek, Polish, Spanish)
Definition Field Listing
Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1977 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Germany
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
federal republic
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
Definition Field Listing
23 May 1949, known as Basic Law; became constitution of the united German people 3 October 1990
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
civil law system with indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Johannes RAU (since 1 July 1999)
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 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 22 September 2002 (next to be held NA September 2006)
head of government: Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (since 27 October 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor
election results: Johannes RAU elected president; percent of Federal Convention vote - 57.6%; Gerhard SCHROEDER elected chancellor; percent of Federal Assembly vote 50.7%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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 [Gerhard SCHROEDER, chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
employers' organizations; expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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
mailing address: PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265
telephone: [49] (30) 238-5174
FAX: [49] (30) 238-6290
consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold
   Economy    Germany
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy has turned in a weak performance throughout much of the 1990s and early 2000s. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy continues to be a costly long-term problem, 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. Growth in 2002 and 2003 fell short of 1%. 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. 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.
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $2.16 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $26,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 1%
industry: 31%
services: 68% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.1% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
30 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
41.9 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
industry 33.4%, agriculture 2.8%, services 63.8% (1999)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.8% (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $802 billion
expenditures: $825 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-2.1% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
544.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 61.8%
hydro: 4.2%
other: 4.1% (2001)
nuclear: 29.9%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
506.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
43.9 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
44 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
85,860 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.813 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
404,300 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.081 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
327.3 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing
22.16 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
94.34 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing
6.674 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing
78.73 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
298.3 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$608 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 10.7%, US 10.3%, UK 8.4%, Italy 7.3%, Netherlands 6.1%, Austria 5.1%, Belgium 4.8%, Spain 4.6%, Switzerland 4.2% (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$487.3 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 9.5%, Netherlands 8.2%, US 7.7%, UK 6.5%, Italy 6.4%, Belgium 5.2%, Austria 4%, China 4% (2002)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $5.6 billion (1998)
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 1.06 (2002), 1.12 (2001), 1.09 (2000), 0.94 (1999), 1.76 (1998)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Germany
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
50.9 million (March 2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
55.3 million (June 2001)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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: 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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 51, FM 787, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
373 (plus 8,042 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
200 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
32.1 million (2002)
   Transportation    Germany
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 45,514 km (21,000 km electrified)
standard gauge: 45,276 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 (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 230,735 km
paved: 230,735 km (including 11,515 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (1999)
Definition Field Listing
7,500 km
note: major rivers include the Rhine and Elbe; Kiel Canal is an important connection between the Baltic Sea and North Sea (1999)
Definition Field Listing
condensate 325 km; gas 25,289 km; oil 3,743 km; refined products 3,827 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Berlin, Bonn, Brake, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cologne, Dresden, Duisburg, Emden, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Luebeck, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Rostock, Stuttgart
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 337 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,036,397 GRT/7,334,067 DWT
ships by type: cargo 94, chemical tanker 15, container 203, liquefied gas 3, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 5, railcar carrier 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 4, short-sea passenger 7
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Chile 1, Finland 5, Iceland 1, Netherlands 3, Switzerland 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
551 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 328
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 54
914 to 1,523 m: 69
under 914 m: 131 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 63
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 223
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 189 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 31
Definition Field Listing
40 (2002)
   Military    Germany
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (including naval air arm), Air Force, Medical Corps, Joint Support Service
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 20,509,838 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 17,399,936 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 472,946 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$38.8 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.38% (2002)
   Transnational Issues    Germany
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003

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