The World Factbook (1990)/Germany, Federal Republic of

Germany, Federal Republic of
(West Germany)

World Factbook (1990) Germany, Federal Republic of.jpg

 See regional map V


Total area: 248,580 km²; land area: 244,280 km²; includes West Berlin

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: 4,256 km total; Austria 784 km, Belgium 167 km, Czechoslovakia 356 km, Denmark 68 km, France 451 km, GDR 1,381 km; Luxembourg 138 km, Netherlands 577 km, Switzerland 334 km

Coastline: 1,488 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm (extends, at one point, to 16 nm in the Helgoländer Bucht)

Disputes: it is US policy that the final borders of Germany have not been established

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

Land use: 30% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 19% meadows and pastures; 30% forest and woodland; 20% other; includes 1% irrigated

Environment: air and water pollution

Note: West Berlin is an exclave (about 116 km by air or 176 km by road from FRG)


Population: 62,168,200 (July 1990), growth rate 0.5% (1990)

Birthrate: 11 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 11 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 5 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 81 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.4 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—German(s); adjective—German

Ethnic divisions: primarily German; Danish minority

Religion: 45% Roman Catholic, 44% Protestant, 11% other

Language: German

Literacy: 99%

Labor force: 27,790,000; 41.6% industry, 35.4% services and other, 18.2% trade and transport, 4.8% agriculture (1987)

Organized labor: 9,300,000 total; 7,760,000 in German Trade Union Federation (DGB); union membership constitutes about 40% of union-eligible labor force, 34% of total labor force, and 35% of wage and salary earners (1986)


Long-form name: Federal Republic of Germany; abbreviated FRG

Type: federal republic

Capital: Bonn

Administrative divisions: 10 states (länder, singular—land); Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein

Constitution: 23 May 1949, provisional constitution known as Basic Law

Legal system: civil law system with indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: NA

Executive branch: president, chancellor, Cabinet

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament (Parlament) consists of an upper chamber or Federal Assembly (Bundesrat) and a lower chamber or National Assembly (Bundestag)

Judicial branch: Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht)

Leaders: Chief of State—President Dr. Richard von WEIZSÄCKER (since 1 July 1984);

Head of Government—Chancellor Dr. Helmut KOHL (since 4 October 1982)

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Helmut Kohl; Christian Social Union (CSU), Theo Waigel; Free Democratic Party (FDP), Otto Lambsdorff; Social Democratic Party (SPD), Hans-Jochen Vogel; National Democratic Party (NPD), Martin Mussgnug; Republikaner, Franz Schoerhuber; Communist Party (DKP), Herbert Mies; Green Party—Realos faction, Joschka Fischer; Green Party—Fundis faction, Jutta Ditfurth

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: National Assembly—last held 25 January 1987 (next to be held by 18 January 1991); results SPD 37.0%, CDU 34.5%, CSU 9.8%, FDP 9.1%, Green Party 8.2%, others 1.4%; seats—(497 total, 22 are elected by the West Berlin House of Representatives and have limited voting rights) SPD 186, CDU 174, CSU 49, FDP 46, Green Party 42

Communists: about 40,000 members and supporters

Other political or pressure groups: expellee, refugee, and veterans groups


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Jeurgen RUHFUS; Chancery at 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington DC 20007; telephone (202) 298-4000; there are FRG Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, and Consulates in Miami and New Orleans; US—Ambassador Vernon WALTERS; Embassy at Deichmanns Avenue, 5300 Bonn 2 (mailing address is APO New York 09080); telephone 49 (228) 3391; there are US Consulates General in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and yellow; similar to the flag of the GDR which has a coat of arms in the center


Overview: West Germany, a major economic power and a leading exporter, has a highly urbanized and skilled population that enjoys excellent living standards and comprehensive social welfare benefits. The FRG is poor in natural resources, coal being the most important mineral. The FRG's comparative advantage lies in the technologically advanced production stages. Thus manufacturing and services dominate economic activity, and raw materials and semimanufactures constitute a large proportion of imports. In 1988 manufacturing accounted for 35% of GDP, with other sectors contributing lesser amounts. The major economic problem in 1989 is persistent unemployment of over 8%. The FRG is well poised to take advantage of the increasing economic integration of the European Community. The dramatic opening of the boundary with East Germany in late 1989 poses new economic challenges that could tax even this powerful economy.

GDP: $945.7 billion, per capita $15,300; real growth rate 4.3% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.0% (1989)

Unemployment rate: 8.4% (1989)

Budget: revenues $539 billion; expenditures $563 billion, including capital expenditures of $11.5 billion (1988)

Exports: $323.4 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—manufactures 86.6% (including machines and machine tools, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel products), agricultural products 4.9%, raw materials 2.3%, fuels 1.3%; partners—EC 52.7% (France 12%, Netherlands 9%, Italy 9%, UK 9%, Belgium-Luxembourg 7%), other West Europe 18%, US 10%, Eastern Europe 4%, OPEC 3% (1987)

Imports: $250.6 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—manufactures 68.5%, agricultural products 12.0%, fuels 9.7%, raw materials 7.1%; partners—EC 52.7% (France 12%, Netherlands 11%, Italy 10%, UK 7%, Belgium-Luxembourg 7%), other West Europe 15%, US 6%, Japan 6%, Eastern Europe 5%, OPEC 3% (1987)

External debt: $500 million (June 1988) Industrial production: growth rate 3.3% (1988)

Electricity: (including West Berlin) 110,075,000 kW capacity; 452,390 million kWh produced, 7,420 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: accounts for about 2% of GDP (including fishing and forestry); diversified crop and livestock farming; principal crops and livestock include potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbage, cattle, pigs, poultry; net importer of food; fish catch of 202,000 metric tons in 1987

Aid: donor—ODA and OOF commitments (1970-87), $60.0 billion

Currency: deutsche mark (plural—marks); 1 deutsche mark (DM) = 100 pfennige

Exchange rates: deutsche marks (DM) per US$1—1.6918 (January 1990), 1.8800 (1989), 1.7562 (1988), 1.7974 (1987), 2.1715 (1986), 2.9440 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 31,443 km total; 27,421 km government owned, 1.435-meter standard gauge (12,491 km double track, 11,501 km electrified); 4,022 km nongovernment owned, including 3,598 km 1.435-meter standard gauge (214 km electrified) and 424 km 1.000-meter gauge (186 km electrified)

Highways: 466,305 km total; 169,568 km primary, includes 6,435 km autobahn, 32,460 km national highways (Bundesstrassen), 65,425 km state highways (Landesstrassen), 65,248 km county roads (Kreisstrassen); 296,737 km of secondary communal roads (Gemeindestrassen)

Inland waterways: 5,222 km, of which almost 70% are usable by craft of 1,000-metric ton capacity or larger; major rivers include the Rhine and Elbe; Kiel Canal is an important connection between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea

Pipelines: crude oil, 2,343 km; refined products, 3,446 km; natural gas, 95,414 km

Ports: maritime Bremerhaven, Brunsbuttel, Cuxhaven, Emden, Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, Lübeck, Wilhelmshaven; inland 27 major

Merchant marine: 422 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,436,568 GRT/4,297,520 DWT; includes 2 passenger, 7 short-sea passenger, 218 cargo, 4 refrigerated cargo, 95 container, 20 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 2 railcar carrier, 7 barge carrier, 2 multifunction large-load carrier, 12 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 21 chemical tanker, 15 liquefied gas, 5 combination ore/oil, 13 combination bulk

Civil air: 194 major transport aircraft

Airports: 466 total, 457 usable; 240 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways over 3,659 m; 41 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 55 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: highly developed, modern telecommunication service to all parts of the country; fully adequate in all respects; 40,300,000 telephones; stations—87 AM, 205 (376 relays) FM, 300 (6,400 relays) TV; 6 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations operating in INTELSAT (12 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), EUTELSAT, and domestic systems

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 16,006,352; 13,883,536 fit for military service; 326,666 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (1989 est.)