Germany (GPS: 51 00 N, 9 00 E) located in Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark. The country’s area measurements are total: 357,022 sq km; land: 348,672 sq km, water: 8,350 sq km. This sovereign state is three times the size of Pennsylvania, slightly smaller than Montana. The total irrigated land is 6,500 sq km (2012).
One of Germany’s important features: Strategic location on the North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea. Most major rivers in Germany – the Rhine, Weser, Oder, Elbe – flow northward. The Danube, which originates in the Black Forest, flows eastward.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Berlin’s GPS coordinates are 52 31 N 13 24 E. Berlin’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
As Europe’s largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is 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 Cold War’s advent, 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 (now 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 reunification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and ten other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
Germany’s names conventional long form: the Federal Republic of Germany, traditional short form: Germany, local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, local short state: Deutschland, former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich, etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as “Germani,” a term the Romans adopted as “Germania”; the native designation “Deutsch” comes from the Old High German “diutisc” meaning “of the people.”
The Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as “Germani,” a term the Romans adopted as “Germania”; The native designation “Deutsch” comes from the Old High German “diutisc” meaning “of the people.”
Germany’s terrain is typically lowlands in the north, uplands in the center, Bavarian Alps in the south. The country’s mean elevation: 263 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m, highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m.
The country’s general climate is temperate and marine: cold, cloudy, wet winters and summers: occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind.
The total number of border countries is 9, Austria 801 km, Belgium 133 km, Czech Republic 704 km, Denmark 140 km, France 418 km, Luxembourg 128 km, Netherlands 575 km, Poland 467 km, Switzerland 348 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Germany’s coastline is 2,389 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: 7,467 km (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links the North Sea and the Black Sea) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 48%; arable land 34.1%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 13.3%; forest: 31.8%; other: 20.2% (2011 estimate).
The population in Germany 80,457,737 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 75.3% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: BERLIN (capital) 3.563 million; Hamburg 1.831 million; Munich 1.438 million; Cologne 1.037 million (2015), while Germany has the most populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Their spoken languages are German (official language). Note: Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romany are official language minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romany are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Main religions in Germany are Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%. The nation uses civil law system. It is a(n) federal parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Unity Day, 3 October (1990).
Economic overview for the country: The German economy – the fifth largest economy globally in PPP terms and Europe’s largest – is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment. Germany benefits from a highly skilled labor force, but, like its Western European neighbors, faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a massive increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country’s social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.
Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong economic growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-2009 recession – the deepest since World War II. The German Government introduced a minimum wage in 2015 that increased to $9.79 (8.84 euros) in January 2017. Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL’s second term increased Germany’s total budget deficit – including federal, state, and municipal – to 4.1% in 2010. Still, slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011, and in 2017 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.7%.
A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012. Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country’s 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately, and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany plans to replace nuclear power with renewable energy, which accounted for 29.5% of gross electricity consumption in 2016, up from 9% in 2000. Before the eight reactors’ shutdown, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production.
The German economy suffers from low levels of investment, and a government plan to invest 15 billion euros during 2016-2018, largely in infrastructure, is intended to spur needed private investment. Domestic consumption, investment, and exports are likely to drive German GDP growth in 2018, and the country’s budget and trade surpluses are likely to remain high.
Germany’s natural resources: coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land.
Main export partners for Germany, Europe are the US 9.6%, France 8.6%, UK 7.5%, Netherlands 6.6%, China 6%, Italy 4.9%, Austria 4.8%, Poland 4.4%, Switzerland 4.2% (2015) for motor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, metals, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, rubber and plastic products, while the main import partners for the country are: Netherlands 13.7%, France 7.6%, China 7.3%, Belgium 6%, Italy 5.2%, Poland 5%, US 4.7%, Czech Republic 4.5%, UK 4.2%, Austria 4.2%, Switzerland 4.2% (2015) for machinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, oil and gas, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, agricultural products.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in Germany: Flooding, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Germany faces the following environmental 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 by 2022, Government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU’s Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive.