At a glance
The Federal Republic of Germany lies in the heart of Europe. It is a cosmopolitan, democratic country with a rich tradition as well as a vibrant modern life. Germany has one of the world’s strongest economies and offers an innovative research and education landscape. At the same time, it has a strong creative economy and a dynamic cultural scene. Germany is the European Union’s most populous nation with over 82 million inhabitants.
Germany is surrounded by nine neighbouring countries. Its territory encompasses roughly 357,000 square kilometers, stretching from the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the north to the Alps in the south. Some of the largest European rivers – the Rhine, the Danube and the Elbe – flow through the country. German landscapes are extraordinarily varied and attractive: low and high mountain ranges, extensive lake districts, forests, and roughly 2,390 kilometres of coastline.
Since 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany has been a democratic parliamentary federation. It is made up of 16 Länder (states), each with its own constitution, parliament and government. The highest government authority lies with the federation. In addition to the German Bundestag (federal parliament), the Bundesrat (federal council) of delegates from Länder governments also participates in the legislative process at the federal level.
Enlarge image Flags of European Union and Germany, in front of Berlin Reichstag Building (© picture alliance / Arco Images GmbH) The Basic Law forms the legal and political foundation of government. It binds legislation to the constitutional order. Special significance is attached to the basic rights anchored in the Basic Law. Germany supports peace, democracy and human rights as well as environmental and climate protection worldwide in cooperation with its European and transatlantic partners.
Germany is a member of important European and other international organizations. The Federal Republic of Germany is a founding member state of the European Union (EU) and has been a full member of the United Nations (UN) since 1973. The German Bundeswehr (armed forces) is engaged in foreign missions that are mandated by the UN and conducted by NATO and the EU.
Germany has over 82 million inhabitants. They include roughly 15 million with a migrant background, some seven million of whom are foreigners, while eight million hold German citizenship. German society is marked by pluralism of lifestyles and diversity of ethnic and cultural outlooks. Despite changes in society, the family remains the most important social reference group. Most people have good vocational training, a high standard of living in international terms and adequate scope for shaping their own personal lives.
High Quality of Life
Enlarge image Food and wine in Germany (© Deutsches Weininstitut (DWI)) Germany is a modern and open-minded country with high quality of life, influenced in many ways by multinational diversity. German cuisine is regionally diverse and produces the highest number of three-star restaurants after France. The winegrowers of the 13 winegrowing regions rely on high quality products and German Riesling is internationally successful.
Germany is also popular as a tourist destination – also among numerous visitors from abroad. Tourist attractions in Germany include not only the capital city Berlin and other cultural and historical centres, but also concert series, festivals and major sporting events. Germany boasts 14 national parks, 101 nature parks and 15 biosphere reserves. Fashion and design are highly regarded and members of Germany’s creative professions are as successful internationally as German architects, many of whom have specialised in the design of sustainable buildings.
Source: Facts about Germany