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

total: 356,910 sq km
land: 349,520 sq km
water: 7,390 sq km
note: includes the formerly separate Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and Berlin, following formal unification on 3 October 1990

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Montana

Coastline: 2,389 km

Climate: temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm, tropical foehn wind; high relative humidity

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

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

Environment—current issues: emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries and lead emissions from vehicle exhausts (the result of continued use of leaded fuels) contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; heavy pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal

Population: 82,079,454 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16% (male 6,570,582; female 6,240,671)
15-64 years: 68% (male 28,688,052; female 27,532,099)
65 years and over: 16% (male 4,866,122; female 8,181,928) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.02% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 8.84 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 10.77 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.99 years
male: 73.83 years
female: 80.33 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, Italians 0.7%, Greeks 0.4%, Poles 0.4%, other 4.6% (made up largely of people fleeing the war in the former Yugoslavia)

Religions: Protestant 38%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 1.7%, unaffiliated or other 26.3%

Languages: German

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1977 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

National capital: Berlin
note: the shift from Bonn to Berlin will take place over a period of years, with Bonn retaining many administrative functions and several ministries even after parliament moves in 1999

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 power rights formally relinquished 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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Helmut KOHL, chairman]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Theodor WAIGEL, chairman]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Wolfgang GERHARDT, chairman]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Oskar LAFONTAINE, chairman]; Alliance '90/Greens [Christa NICKELS]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Lothar BISKY, chairman]; Republikaner [Rolf SCHLIERER, chairman]; National Democratic Party or NPD [Gunter DECKERT]; Communist Party or DKP [Rolf PRIEMER and Heinz STEHR, cochairpersons]

Economy—overview: In 1997 the German economy, the world's third most powerful, benefited from robust exports, particularly to other members of the EU and the US, as well as strengthening equipment investment. But anemic private consumption and a contraction in the construction industry limited the expansion. Unemployment continued to set post-war monthly records through the end of 1997 and averaged 4.3 million for the year. In preparation for the 1 January 1999 start of the European Monetary Union, the government has made major efforts in 1996-97 to reduce the fiscal deficit. This effort has been complicated by growing unemployment, an erosion of the tax base, and the continuing transfer of roughly $100 billion a year to eastern Germany to refurbish this ex-communist area. In recent years business and political leaders have become increasingly concerned about Germany's decline in attractiveness as an investment target. They cite increasing preference by German companies to locate new manufacturing facilities in foreign countries, including the US, rather than in Germany, to be closer to the markets and to avoid Germany's high tax rates, high wage costs, rigid labor structures, and extensive regulations. For similar reasons foreign investment in Germany has been lagging in recent years.

GDP—real growth rate: 2.4% (western 2.5%, eastern 1.7%) (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 34.5%
services: 64.4% (1995)

Agriculture—products: western: potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbage; cattle, pigs, poultry; eastern: wheat, rye, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, fruit; pork, beef, chicken, milk, hides

total value: $521.1 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: manufactures 88.2% (including machines and machine tools, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel products), agricultural products 5.0%, raw materials 2.3%, fuels 1.0%, other 3.5% (1995)
partners: EU 57.7% (France 11.7%, UK 8.1%, Italy 7.6%, Netherlands 7.5%, Belgium-Luxembourg 6.5%, Austria 5.5%), Eastern Europe 8.0%, other West European countries 7.5%, US 7.3%, NICs 5.6%, Japan 2.5%, OPEC 2.2%, China 1.4% (1996 est.)

total value: $455.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: manufactures 74.2%, agricultural products 9.9%, fuels 6.4%, raw materials 5.9%, other 3.6% (1995)
partners: EU 55.5% (France 10.8%, Netherlands 8.6%, Italy 8.4%, Belgium-Luxembourg 6.6%, UK 6.4%, Austria 3.9%), Eastern Europe 8.7%, other West European countries 7.2%, US 6.8%, Japan 5.3%, NICs 5.3%, China 2.4%, OPEC 1.7%, other 7.1% (1995)

Debt—external: $NA

Currency: 1 deutsche mark (DM) = 100 pfennige

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 20,915,978 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 17,888,396 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 465,179 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $42.8 billion (1995)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.5% (1995)

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