Location, Location, Location: Germany is located in central Europe, just south of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The terrain includes wide, lowlands in the north and the Bavarian Alps in the south.
Government: Germany is governed as a federal republic with a president and written constitution.
Size Matters: The total land area of Germany is 357,022 sq km, which is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Montana.
Cities: The national capital and largest city is Berlin, which is the second most populous city in the European Union. Germany’s next five largest cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, respectively.
Did You Know? Germany is one of only four nations serving as members of the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Group of Eight (G8) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Can you name the remaining three countries? Answer: (1) the United States; (2) the United Kingdom; and (3) France.
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Population: As of July 2009, Germany’s population was estimated at 82,329,758, thus standing as the most populous country in the European Union and the 16th most populous nation in the world.
Business Environment: Germany was ranked the 25th best country in the world for business in a 2009 Doingbusiness.com ranking.
Top Industries: In terms of paid jobs, the labor force in 2005 was divided between services (67.8%), industry (29.7%) and agriculture (2.4%).
Taxes: Germany sanctions a Corporate Income Tax of 30-33%; an Individual Income Tax of 14-45%; and a Value Added Tax of 19%.
Quality of Life: In a recent “Quality of Living Global City Ranking” by Mercer, Dusseldorf (#6), Munich (#7) and Frankfurt (#8) all ranked in the top ten cities in the world.
K-12: In the Programme for International Student Assessment 2006 ranking of 59 developed countries, Germany’s education systems ranked 20th in mathematics, 13th in science and 18th in reading.
College Education: According to US News and World Reports 2008 world college rankings, the top universities in Germany include Heidelberg University (#57), Technische University Munich (#78) and Ludwig-Maximillians University Munich (#93).
In General: Germany boasts the largest economy on the European continent and the fifth largest economy in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Since the beginning of the recognized industrial era, Germany has been reliably one of the world’s top exporters.
Services: The services sector typically makes up the greatest proportion of Germany’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and labor force. Leading components include finance and business activities along with tourist-related industries.
Industry: Consistently one of the top manufacturing countries in the world, Germany is a key producer of automobiles, machine tools and chemicals. It stands as the third largest producer of motor vehicles, behind Japan and the United States.
Agriculture: Although agriculture makes up an exceptionally small portion of Germany’s economy, key agricultural products include potatoes, wheat and barley along with cattle, pigs and poultry.
Mining: Germany is among the world’s leading producers iron, steel and coal.
A Closer Look: Major multi-national corporations based in Germany include BMW, Adidas, BASF and Siemens.
Did you know? Germany’s financial system is considered “bank-oriented,” distinguished by long-term corporate relationships with shareholders and a strong banking presence as opposed to the “market-oriented” system of the United States.
Sources: In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include: the CIA World Factbook, Worldwidetax.com and Wikipedia.com.