North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen, pronounced [ˈnɔɐ̯tʁaɪ̯n vɛstˈfaːlən] (listen), commonly shortened to NRW) is a state of Germany.

North Rhine-Westphalia is located in western Germany covering an area of 34,084 square kilometres (13,160 sq mi). With a population of 17.9 million, it is the most populous state in Germany. It is also the most densely populated German state apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg, and the fourth-largest by area. Düsseldorf is the state capital and Cologne is the largest city. North Rhine-Westphalia features four of Germany's 10 largest cities: Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dortmund, and Essen, and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest in Germany and the third-largest on the European continent.

North Rhine-Westphalia was established in 1946 after World War II from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the northern part of Rhine Province (North Rhine), and the Free State of Lippe by the British military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and the city of Bonn served as the federal capital until the reunification of Germany in 1990 and as the seat of government until 1999.

North Rhine-Westphalia

Nordrhein-Westfalen
Coordinates: 51°28′N 7°33′E / 51.467°N 7.550°E
CountryGermany
CapitalDüsseldorf
Government
 • BodyLandtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
 • Minister-PresidentArmin Laschet (CDU)
 • Governing partiesCDU / FDP
Area
 • Total34,084.13 km2 (13,159.96 sq mi)
Population
 (2017-12-31)
 • Total17,912,134
 • Density530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Demonym(s)North Rhine-Westphalian(s) (English)
Nordrhein-Westfälisch (German)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeDE-NW
GDP (nominal)702 billion (2018)[1]
GDP per capita39,358 (2018)
NUTS RegionDEA
HDI (2017)0.934[2]
very high · 7th of 16
Websiteland.nrw

History

Rhineland

The first written account of the area was by its conqueror, Julius Caesar, the territories west of the Rhine were occupied by the Eburones and east of the Rhine he reported the Ubii (across from Cologne) and the Sugambri to their north. The Ubii and some other Germanic tribes such as the Cugerni were later settled on the west side of the Rhine in the Roman province of Germania Inferior. Julius Caesar conquered the tribes on the left bank, and Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the right bank, where the Sugambri neighboured several other tribes including the Tencteri and Usipetes. North of the Sigambri and the Rhine region were the Bructeri.

As the power of the Roman empire declined, many of these tribes came to be seen collectively as Ripuarian Franks and they pushed forward along both banks of the Rhine, and by the end of the fifth century had conquered all the lands that had formerly been under Roman influence. By the eighth century, the Frankish dominion was firmly established in western Germany and northern Gaul, but at the same time, to the north, Westphalia was being taken over by Saxons pushing south.

The Merovingian and Carolingian Franks eventually built an empire which controlled first their Ripuarian kin, and then the Saxons. On the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun, the part of the province to the east of the river fell to East Francia, while that to the west remained with the kingdom of Lotharingia.[3]

By the time of Otto I (d. 973), both banks of the Rhine had become part of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine on the Moselle and Lower Lorraine on the Meuse. The Ottonian dynasty had both Saxon and Frankish ancestry.

As the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor weakened, the Rhineland split into numerous small, independent, separate vicissitudes and special chronicles. The old Lotharingian divisions became obsolete, although the name survives for example in Lorraine in France, and throughout the Middle Ages and even into modern times, the nobility of these areas often sought to preserve the idea of a preeminent duke within Lotharingia, something claimed by the Dukes of Limburg, and the Dukes of Brabant. Such struggles as the War of the Limburg Succession therefore continued to create military and political links between what is now Rhineland-Westphalia and neighbouring Belgium and the Netherlands.

In spite of its dismembered condition and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighbours in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospered greatly and stood in the foremost rank of German culture and progress. Aachen was the place of coronation of the German emperors, and the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine bulked largely in German history.[3]

Prussia first set foot on the Rhine in 1609 by the occupation of the Duchy of Cleves and about a century later Upper Guelders and Moers also became Prussian. At the peace of Basel in 1795, the whole of the left bank of the Rhine was resigned to France, and in 1806, the Rhenish princes all joined the Confederation of the Rhine.

After the Congress of Vienna, Prussia was awarded the entire Rhineland, which included the Grand Duchy of Berg, the ecclesiastic electorates of Trier and Cologne, the free cities of Aachen and Cologne, and nearly a hundred small lordships and abbeys. The Prussian Rhine province was formed in 1822 and Prussia had the tact to leave them in undisturbed possession of the liberal institutions to which they had become accustomed under the republican rule of the French.[3] In 1920, the districts of Eupen and Malmedy were transferred to Belgium (see German-speaking Community of Belgium).

Westphalia

Around AD 1, numerous incursions occurred through Westphalia and perhaps even some permanent Roman or Romanized settlements. The Battle of Teutoburg Forest took place near Osnabrück (as mentioned, whether this is in Westphalia is disputed) and some of the Germanic tribes who fought at this battle came from the area of Westphalia. Charlemagne is thought to have spent considerable time in Paderborn and nearby parts. His Saxon Wars also partly took place in what is thought of as Westphalia today. Popular legends link his adversary Widukind to places near Detmold, Bielefeld, Lemgo, Osnabrück, and other places in Westphalia. Widukind was buried in Enger, which is also a subject of a legend.

Along with Eastphalia and Engern, Westphalia (Westfalahi) was originally a district of the Duchy of Saxony. In 1180, Westphalia was elevated to the rank of a duchy by Emperor Barbarossa. The Duchy of Westphalia comprised only a small area south of the Lippe River.

Westfaelischer Friede in Muenster (Gerard Terborch 1648)
Ratification of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 in Münster by Gerard Terborch

Parts of Westphalia came under Brandenburg-Prussian control during the 17th and 18th centuries, but most of it remained divided duchies and other feudal areas of power. The Peace of Westphalia of 1648, signed in Münster and Osnabrück, ended the Thirty Years' War. The concept of nation-state sovereignty resulting from the treaty became known as "Westphalian sovereignty".

As a result of the Protestant Reformation, there is no dominant religion in Westphalia. Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism are on relatively equal footing. Lutheranism is strong in the eastern and northern parts with numerous free churches. Münster and especially Paderborn are thought of as Catholic. Osnabrück is divided almost equally between Catholicism and Protestantism.

After the defeat of the Prussian Army at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 made the Westphalian territories part of the Kingdom of Westphalia from 1807 to 1813. It was founded by Napoleon and was a French vassal state. This state only shared the name with the historical region; it contained only a relatively small part of Westphalia, consisting instead mostly of Hessian and Eastphalian regions.

After the Congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Prussia received a large amount of territory in the Westphalian region and created the province of Westphalia in 1815. The northernmost portions of the former kingdom, including the town of Osnabrück, had become part of the states of Hanover and Oldenburg.

North Rhine-Westphalia

Creation of the state

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established by the British military administration's "Operation Marriage" on 23 August 1946, by merging the province of Westphalia and the northern parts of the Rhine Province, both being political divisions of the former state of Prussia within the German Reich.[4][5] On 21 January 1947, the former state of Lippe was merged with North Rhine-Westphalia.[4] The constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia was then ratified through a referendum.

Geography

North Rhine-Westphalia Topography 08
Geographic map of North Rhine-Westphalia
Bonn Drachenfels4
Rhine near Bonn
Abendsonne über Glehn
Sunset near the Lower Rhine
Rhein-Ruhr-Region-LEP
Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest conurbation of the European continent (population: 11 million)

North Rhine-Westphalia encompasses the plains of the Lower Rhine region and parts of the Central Uplands (die Mittelgebirge) up to the gorge of Porta Westfalica. The state covers an area of 34,083 km2 (13,160 sq mi) and shares borders with Belgium (Wallonia) in the southwest and the Netherlands (Limburg, Gelderland and Overijssel) in the west and northwest. It has borders with the German states of Lower Saxony to the north and northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate to the south and Hesse to the southeast.

Approximately half of the state is located in the relative low-lying terrain of the Westphalian Lowland and the Rhineland, both extending broadly into the North German Plain. A few isolated hill ranges are located within these lowlands, among them the Hohe Mark, the Beckum Hills, the Baumberge and the Stemmer Berge.
The terrain rises towards the south and in the east of the state into parts of Germany's Central Uplands. These hill ranges are the Weser Uplands – including the Egge Hills, the Wiehen Hills, the Wesergebirge and the Teutoburg Forest in the east, the Sauerland, the Bergisches Land, the Siegerland and the Siebengebirge in the south, as well as the left-Rhenish Eifel in the southwest of the state. The Rothaargebirge in the border region with Hesse rises to height of about 800 m above sea level. The highest of these mountains are the Langenberg, at 843.2 m above sea level, the Kahler Asten (840.7 m) and the Clemensberg (839.2 m).

The planimetrically-determined centre of North Rhine-Westphalia is located in the south of Dortmund-Aplerbeck in the Aplerbecker Mark (51° 28' N, 7° 33' Ö). Its westernmost point is situated near Selfkant close to the Dutch border, the easternmost near Höxter on the Weser. The southernmost point lies near Hellenthal in the Eifel region. The northernmost point is the NRW-Nordpunkt near Rahden in the northeast of the state. The Nordpunkt has located the only 100  km to the south of the North Sea coast. The deepest natural dip is arranged in the district Zyfflich in the city of Kranenburg with 9.2 m above sea level in the northwest of the state. Though, the deepest point overground results from mining. The open-pit Hambach reaches at Niederzier a deep of 293 m below sea level. At the same time, this is the deepest man-made dip in Germany.

The most important rivers flowing at least partially through North Rhine-Westphalia include: the Rhine, the Ruhr, the Ems, the Lippe, and the Weser. The Rhine is by far the most important river in North Rhine-Westphalia: it enters the state as Middle Rhine near Bad Honnef, where still being part of the Mittelrhein wine region. It changes into the Lower Rhine near Bad Godesberg and leaves North Rhine-Westphalia near Emmerich at a width of 730 metres. Almost immediately after entering the Netherlands, the Rhine splits into many branches.

The Pader, which flows entirely within the city of Paderborn, is considered Germany's shortest river.

For many, North Rhine-Westphalia is synonymous with industrial areas and urban agglomerations. However, the largest part of the state is used for agriculture (almost 52%) and forests (25%).[6]

Subdivisions

The state consists of five government regions (Regierungsbezirke), divided into 31 districts (Kreise) and 23 urban districts (kreisfreie Städte). In total, North Rhine-Westphalia has 396 municipalities (1997), including the urban districts, which are municipalities by themselves. The government regions have an assembly elected by the districts and municipalities, while the Landschaftsverband has a directly elected assembly.

The five government regions of North Rhine-Westphalia each belong to one of the two Landschaftsverbände:

Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe
Landschaftsverband Rhineland
North rhine w Landschaftsverbände

The regional authorities Rhineland (green) and
Westphalia-Lippe (red)
Government districts
(Regierungsbezirke)
historical regions
Government districts
(Regierungsbezirke)
historical regions
Düsseldorf
Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf
Arnsberg
Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg
Köln
Regierungsbezirk Köln
Detmold
Regierungsbezirk Detmold
Münster
Regierungsbezirk Münster
Urban Districts (Kreisfreie Städte)
Rural Districts (Kreise)
NRW districts

Borders

The state's area covers a maximum distance of 291 km from north to south, and 266 km from east to west. The total length of the state's borders is 1,645 km. The following countries and states have a border with North Rhine-Westphalia:[7]

Demographics

Raddampfer Goethe bei Nacht001
Cologne (Köln) is the largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia has a population of approximately 17.5 million inhabitants (more than the entire former East Germany, and slightly more than the Netherlands) and is centred around the polycentric Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, which includes the industrial Ruhr region and the Rhenish cities of Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf. 30 of the 80 largest cities in Germany are located within North Rhine-Westphalia. The state's capital is Düsseldorf, the state's largest city is Cologne. The number of births reached 160.478 while 204.373 died in 2015. The TRF reached 1.52 (2015) and was highest in Lippe (1.72) and lowest in Bochum (1.29).

Significant foreign resident populations[8]
Nationality Population (31.12.2018)
 Turkey 495,245
 Poland 220,890
 Syria 206,240
 Italy 143,140
 Romania 128,820
 Greece 101,065
 Iraq 80,845
 Bulgaria 76,060
 Netherlands 70,340
 Croatia 54,080

The following table shows the ten largest cities of North Rhine-Westphalia:

Pos. Name Pop. 2017 Area (km²) Pop. per km2 Map
1 Cologne 1,080,394 405.15 2,668 North Rhine-Westphalia location map 02
2 Düsseldorf 617,280 217.01 2,839
3 Dortmund 586,600 280.37 2,090
4 Essen 583,393 210.38 2,774
5 Duisburg 498,110 232.81 2,140
6 Bochum 365,529 145.43 2,509
7 Wuppertal 353,590 168.37 2,100
8 Bielefeld 332,552 257.83 1,285
9 Bonn 325,490 141.22 2,307
10 Münster 313,559 302.91 1,034

Historical population

The following table shows the population of the state since 1930. The values until 1960 are the average of the yearly population, from 1965 the population at year end is used.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1930 11,407,000—    
1940 12,059,000+0.56%
1950 12,926,000+0.70%
1955 14,442,000+2.24%
1960 15,694,000+1.68%
1965 16,619,450+1.15%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1970 17,033,651+0.49%
1975 17,129,200+0.11%
1980 17,057,488−0.08%
1985 16,674,001−0.45%
1990 17,349,651+0.80%
1995 17,893,045+0.62%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2000 18,009,865+0.13%
2005 18,058,105+0.05%
2010 17,845,154−0.24%
2015 17,865,516+0.02%
2017 17,912,134+0.13%
Source: [9]

Vital statistics

[10]

  • Births from January-September 2016 = Increase 130,025
  • Births from January-September 2017 = Increase 130,088
  • Deaths from January-September 2016 = Positive decrease 150,018
  • Deaths from January-September 2017 = Negative increase 153,435
  • Natural growth from January-September 2016 = Increase -19,993
  • Natural growth from January-September 2017 = Decrease -23,347

Religion

According to studies of the Ruhr University Bochum in 2011[13][14] 42.2% of the North Rhine-Westphalian population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church, 28.4% are members of the Evangelical Church in Germany, 23.8% are unaffiliated, non-religious or atheists, 8% are Muslims, 0.49% are adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church, 1.1% are members of smaller Christian groups (half of them the New Apostolic Church), 1.0% are adherents of new religions or esoteric groups, 0.2% are adherents of Indian religions, and 0.2% are Jews.

North Rhine-Westphalia ranks first in population among German states for both Roman Catholics and Protestants.

In 2016, the interior ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia reported that the number of mosques with a salafist influence had risen from 30 to 55, which indicated both an actual increase and improved reporting.[15] According to German authorities, Salafism is incompatible with the principles codified in the Constitution of Germany, in particular, democracy, the rule of law and a political order based on human rights.[16]

Politics

The politics of North Rhine-Westphalia takes place within a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. The two main parties are, as on the federal level, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union and the centre-left Social Democratic Party. From 1966 to 2005, North Rhine-Westphalia was continuously governed by the Social Democrats or SPD-led governments.

The state's legislative body is the Landtag ("state diet").[17] It may pass laws within the competency of the state, e.g. cultural matters, the education system, matters of internal security, i.e. the police, building supervision, health supervision and the media; as opposed to matters that are reserved to Federal law.[17]

North Rhine-Westphalia uses the same electoral system as the Federal level in Germany: "Personalized proportional representation". Every five years the citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia vote in a general election to elect at least 181 members of the Landtag. Only parties who win at least 5% of the votes cast may be represented in parliament.[17]

The Landtag, the parliamentary parties and groups consisting of at least 7 members of parliament have the right to table legal proposals to the Landtag for deliberation.[17] The law that is passed by the Landtag is delivered to the Minister-President, who, together with the ministers involved, is required to sign it and announce it in the Law and Ordinance Gazette.[17]

List of Ministers-President

These are the Ministers-president of the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia:

Ministers-president of North Rhine-Westphalia
No. Name Image Born-Died Party affiliation Start of Tenure End of Tenure
1 Rudolf Amelunxen Rudolf Amelunxen - Ausschnitt aus Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F001946-0009, Berlin, Bundesversammlung wählt Bundespräsident 1888–1969 Centre Party 1946 1947
2 Karl Arnold Karl Arnold Briefmarke Detail 1901–1958 CDU 1947 1956
3 Fritz Steinhoff Bundesarchiv Fritz Steinhoff 1897–1969 SPD 1956 1958
4 Franz Meyers Franz Meyers ex Ludwig Erhard 1965 FdG 1 1908–2002 CDU 1958 1966
5 Heinz Kühn Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F023752-0007 Heinz Kühn cropped 1912–1992 SPD 1966 1978
6 Johannes Rau Johannes Rau 2003.jpeg 1931–2006 SPD 1978 1998
7 Wolfgang Clement Wolfgang Clement *1940 SPD 1998 2002
8 Peer Steinbrück Peer Steinbrück in Münster (2012) *1947 SPD 2002 2005
9 Jürgen Rüttgers Juergen Ruettgers *1951 CDU 2005 2010
10 Hannelore Kraft Hannelorekraft *1961 SPD 2010 2017
11 Armin Laschet 2016-02-01 Armin Laschet *1961 CDU 2017 incumbent

For the current state government, see Cabinet Laschet.

2012 election results

The results of the 2012 North Rhine-Westphalia state election were as follows. Voter turnout was at 59.6%, a slight increase from the previous election in 2010.

 Summary of the 13 May 2012 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia elections results
< 2010  Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg  2017 >
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands - SPD
3,050,160 39.1% Increase4.6% 99 Increase32
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands - CDU
2,050,633 26.3% Decrease8.3% 67 Steady
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
884,136 11.3% Decrease0.8% 29 Increase6
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
669,971 8.6% Increase1.9% 22 Increase9
Pirate Party Germany
Piratenpartei Deutschland
608,957 7.8% Increase6.2% 20 Increase20
Left
Die Linke
194,239 2.5% Decrease3.1% 0 Decrease11
Other parties 335,730 4.4% Increase0.9% 0 Steady
Valid votes 7,794,126 98.6% Steady
Invalid votes 107,796 1.4% Steady
Totals and voter turnout 7,901,922 59.6% Increase0.3% 237 Increase56
Electorate 13,264,231 100.00
Source: Die Landeswahlleiterin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Latest election results

CDU became the largest party, whereas the ruling SPD and Greens lost votes. The Pirates were ousted from the Landtag, whereas the AfD gained parliamentary representation. FDP got their best result in history. Die Linke narrowly failed to get parliamentary representation. Voter turnout was higher than in the previous election.

 Summary of the 14 May 2017 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia elections results
< 2012  Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg  Next >
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU
2,796,683 33.0 Increase6.7 72 Increase5
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD
2,649,205 31.2 Decrease7.9 69 Decrease30
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
1,065,307 12.6 Increase4.0 28 Increase6
Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland – AfD
626,756 7.4 Increase7.4 16 Increase16
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
539,062 6.4 Decrease4.9 14 Decrease15
The Left
Die Linke
415,936 4.9 Increase2.4
Pirate Party
Piratenpartei Deutschland
80,780 1.0 Decrease6.8 Decrease20
Valid votes 8,487,373 99.0% Steady
Invalid votes 89,808 1.0% Steady
Totals and voter turnout 8,577,221 65.2% Increase5.6% 199 Decrease38
Electorate 13,164,887 100.00
Source: Die Landeswahlleiterin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Protection for possible nuclear disasters

Although there are no nuclear reactors located inside the state, the reactors in Tihange, Belgium are near the German border. People in the Netherlands and Germany are concerned about their safety given the age of these reactors. Billions of iodine tablets were ordered to protect the population in case of a serious nuclear accident in Tihange. In 2015 the German government extended the availability of iodine tablets: now all pregnant women, nursing mothers, and minors in the state will be eligible. Tablets will also be available for those living less than 100 km from the Tihange reactors and younger than 45 years of age.[18]

Culture

The flag of North Rhine-Westphalia is green-white-red with the combined coats of arms of the Rhineland (white line before green background, symbolizing the river Rhine), Westfalen (the white horse) and Lippe (the red rose).

According to legend, the horse in the Westphalian coat of arms is the horse that the Saxon leader Widukind rode after his baptism. Other theories attribute the horse to Henry the Lion. Some connect it with the Germanic rulers Hengist and Horsa.

Architecture and building monuments

The state is not known for its castles like other regions in Germany.[19] However, North Rhine-Westphalia has a high concentration of museums, cultural centres, concert halls and theatres.[19]

Historic monuments

Löwenstein House Aachen (Germany)

Medieval architecture in Aachen

Alte Markt Dortmund

Reinoldikirche and Alter Markt in Dortmund

Alt Monschau - geo.hlipp.de - 6903

Timber framing in Monschau

Modern architecture

Zeche-Zollern 2138

Art Nouveau Zeche Zollern in Dortmund

World Heritage Sites

The state has Aachen Cathedral, the Cologne Cathedral, the Zeche Zollverein in Essen, the Augustusburg Palace in Brühl and the Imperial Abbey of Corvey in Höxter which are all World Heritage Sites.[19]

Cuisine

Schwarzwaelder Schinken-01
Maultaschen beim Metzger
Pumpernikiel

Drinks

Festivals

North Rhine-Westphalia hosts film festivals in Cologne, Bonn, Dortmund, Duisburg, Münster, Oberhausen and Lünen.[19]

Other large festivals include Rhenish carnivals, Ruhrtriennale.

Every year GamesCom is hosted in Cologne. It is the largest video game convention in Europe.

Music

Economy

Thyssen-Krupp-Quartier-Essen-Q1-2013
ThyssenKrupp headquarters in Essen

In the 1950s and 1960s, Westphalia was known as Land von Kohle und Stahl or the land of coal and steel. In the post-World War II recovery, the Ruhr was one of the most important industrial regions in Europe, and contributed to the German Wirtschaftswunder. As of the late 1960s, repeated crises led to contractions of these industrial branches. On the other hand, producing sectors, particularly in mechanical engineering and metal and iron working industry, experienced substantial growth. Despite this structural change and an economic growth which was under national average, the 2007 GDP of 529.4 billion euro (21.8 percent of the total German GDP) made NRW the economically strongest state of Germany, as well as one of the most important economical areas in the world.[23] Of Germany’s top 100 corporations, 37 are based in North Rhine-Westphalia. On a per capita base, however, North Rhine-Westphalia remains one of the weaker among the Western German states.[24]

North Rhine-Westphalia attracts companies from both Germany and abroad. In 2009, the state had the most foreign direct investments (FDI) anywhere in Germany.[25] Around 13,100 foreign companies from the most important investment countries control their German or European operations from bases in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In February 2014 North Rhine-Westphalia was ranked as the European Region of the Future[26] in the 2014/15 list by FDi Magazine.[27]

There have been many changes in the state's economy in recent times. Among the many changes in the economy, employment in the creative industries is up while the mining sector is employing fewer people.[19] Industrial heritage sites are now workplaces for designers, artists and the advertising industry.[19][28] The Ruhr region has – since the 1960s – undergone a significant structural change away from coal mining and steel industry. Many rural parts of Eastern Westphalia, Bergisches Land and the Lower Rhine ground their economy on "Hidden Champions" in various sectors.

As of June 2014, the unemployment rate is 8.2%, second highest among all western German states.[29] In October 2018 the unemployment rate stood at 6.4% and was higher than the national average.[30]

Year[31] 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Unemployment rate in % 9.2 8.8 9.2 10.0 10.2 12.0 11.4 9.5 8.5 8.9 8.7 8.1 8.1 8.3 8.2 8.0 7.7 7.4

Education

RWTH Aachen is one of Germany's leading universities of technology and was chosen by DFG as one of the German Universities of Excellence in 2007 and again in 2012.

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to 14 universities and over 50 partly postgraduate colleges, with a total of over 500,000 students.[32] Largest and oldest university is the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), founded in 1388 AD, since 2012 also one of Germany's eleven Universities of Excellence.

Sports

Westfalenstadion von oben
Signal Iduna Park, the stadium of Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, is the largest stadium in Germany

Golf

Home of Kolner Golf Club founded 1906

Football

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to several professional football clubs including:

Bundesliga:

2. Bundesliga:

Other divisions:

Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 are the most successful teams in the state, with Dortmund winning 8 German Titles and Schalke winning 7. Borussia Mönchengladbach have won 5 titles while FC Köln have won it 3 times. Fortuna Düsseldorf and Rot-Weiß Essen have each been German Champions once. North Rhine-Westphalia has been a very successful footballing state having a combined total of 25 championships, fewer only than Bavaria.

North Rhine-Westphalia have hosted several matches in the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cups and hosted matches in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. In 1974 the matches were played at Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, Parkstadion in Gelsenkirchen and Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, in 2006 they were played at RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkichen and Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach, BayArena in Leverkusen and Ruhrstadion in Bochum hosted matches for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Ice hockey

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to DEL teams Düsseldorfer EG, Kölner Haie, Krefeld Pinguine, and Iserlohn Roosters.

See also

References

  1. ^ "GDP NRW official statistics". Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
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  4. ^ a b "History of North Rhine-Westphalia". Government of North Rhine-Westphalia. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
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  6. ^ Tatsachen über Deutschland (2003) Nordrhein-Westfalen, p. 44
  7. ^ Length of borders taken from Statistisches Jahrbuch NRW 2005, 47. Jahrgang, Landesamt für Datenverarbeitung und Statistik Nordrhein-Westfalen, p. 22
  8. ^ [1] 31 December 2014 German Statistical Office. Zensus 2014: Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2014
  9. ^ "Bevölkerung NRW". Landesdatenbank Nordrhein-Westfalen. Landesbetrieb für Information und Technik Nordrhein-Westfalen. Retrieved 26 August 2010. Zahlen sind Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes. Die Zahlen ab 1965 beziehen sich auf die Bevölkerung zum 31. Dezember des jeweiligen Jahres. Bis 1960 Mittlere Jahresbevölkerung. Bis einschließlich 1986 geschätzte Werte. Die Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes basiert ab 1987 auf den Ergebnissen der Volkszählung von 1987. Daten vor 1977 wurden auf den Gebietsstand 1. Juli 1976 umgerechnet
  10. ^ "Bevölkerung". Statistische Ämter des Bundes Und der Länder. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Religionszugehörigkeit nach Bundesländern in Deutschland – Statista". Statista.
  12. ^ "Membership statistics as of 31 Dec 2015" (PDF).
  13. ^ Markus Hero. "Volkhard Krech: ''Was glauben die Menschen in Nordrhein-Westfalen? Erste Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung über religiöse Pluralität'', Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2006" (PDF). Ruhr-uni-bochum.de. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  14. ^ Markus Hero. "Lehrstuhl für Religionswissenschaft an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum; Volkhard Krech: ''Religion plural''". Ruhr-uni-bochum.de. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  15. ^ ONLINE, RP. "Verfassungsschutz: Salafisten agitieren in NRW in 55 Moscheen". RP ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 18 November 2018.
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  18. ^ AD.NL (8 August 2016)(Dutch)German State fears nuclear disaster
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External links

1987 Rheindahlen bombing

The 1987 Rheindahlen bombing was a car bomb attack on 23 March 1987 at JHQ Rheindahlen military barracks, the British Army headquarters in West Germany, injuring thirty-one. The large 300 lb (140 kg) car bomb exploded near the visitors officers' mess of the barracks. The Provisional IRA later stated it had carried out the bombing. It was the start of the IRA's campaign on mainland Europe from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Although British soldiers were targeted, most of the injured were actually German officers and their wives.

Borussia-Park

Borussia-Park (German pronunciation: [boˈʁʊsi̯aːˌpaʁk]; stylised as BORUSSIA-PARK) is a football stadium in Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany which serves as the home stadium of Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach. It replaced the smaller Bökelbergstadion, which no longer satisfied modern safety standards and international requirements, in July 2004.

Borussia-Park has a capacity of 54,057, of which 16,145 are standing places in the terraces due to popular demand. For international games, the terraces are converted into temporary seating which reduces stadium's seating capacity to 46,249.The new stadium features amenities such as VIP lounges, fanshop and sports bar, and cost 85 million euro to construct.

Despite its large capacity and relative youth, the stadium missed out on holding matches during the 2006 World Cup, which Germany hosted. It was the largest capacity Bundesliga stadium not to host World Cup matches, although it did host matches in the 2011 Women's World Cup. It faced the same destiny when there was selected venues for Germany's first bid as united nation for the UEFA flagship event as EURO 2024.

Brühl (Rhineland)

Brühl is a town in the Rhineland, Germany. It is located in the district of Rhine-Erft, 20 km south of the Cologne city center and at the edge of the Rhineland Nature Park, a famous nature reserve.

DSC Wanne-Eickel

DSC Wanne-Eickel is a German association football club that plays in Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia

Herne (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛʁnə] (listen)) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area directly between the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen.

Kleve

Kleve (English: Cleves; Dutch: Kleef; French: Clèves; Latin: Clivia) is a town in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany near the Dutch border and the river Rhine. From the 11th century onwards, Cleves was capital of a county and later a duchy. Today, Cleves is the capital of the district of Cleves in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city is home to one of the campuses of the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

Leverkusen

Leverkusen (, German: [ˈleːvɐˌkuːzn̩] (listen), also [leːɐˈkuːzn̩]) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on the eastern bank of the Rhine. To the South, Leverkusen borders the city of Cologne and to the North is the state capital Düsseldorf.

With about 161,000 inhabitants, Leverkusen is one of the state's smaller cities. The city is known for the pharmaceutical company Bayer and its associated sports club Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Lippe (district)

Lippe (German pronunciation: [ˈlɪpə]) is a Kreis (district) in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Herford, Minden-Lübbecke, Höxter, Paderborn, Gütersloh, and district-free Bielefeld, which forms the region Ostwestfalen-Lippe.

The district of Lippe is named after the Lords of Lippe, who originally lived on the river Lippe and founded Lippstadt there, and their Principality of Lippe. It was a state within the Holy Roman Empire and retained statehood until 1947, when it became a district of North Rhine-Westphalia.

List of cities and towns in Germany

This is a complete list of the 2,056 towns and cities in Germany (as of January 1st, 2019). Only independent municipalities that have the right to call themselves Stadt are included. Historically, this title was associated with town privileges but today it is a mere honorific title. The title can be bestowed to a municipality by its respective state government and is generally given to such municipalities that have either had historic town rights or have attained considerable size and importance more recently. In this list, only the town names are given. For more restricted lists with more details, see:

List of cities in Germany by population (only Großstädte, i.e. cities over 100,000 population)

Metropolitan Regions in GermanyNumbers of cities and towns in the German states:

Bavaria: 317 towns and cities

Baden-Württemberg: 313 towns and cities

North Rhine-Westphalia: 272 towns and cities

Hesse: 191 towns and cities

Saxony: 169 towns and cities

Lower Saxony: 159 towns and cities

Rhineland-Palatinate: 129 towns and cities

Thuringia: 121 towns and cities

Brandenburg: 113 towns and cities

Saxony-Anhalt: 104 towns and cities

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: 84 towns and cities, see list

Schleswig-Holstein: 63 towns and cities

Saarland: 17 towns and cities

Bremen: 2 cities

Berlin: 1 city

Hamburg: 1 city

List of districts of Germany

Germany is divided into 401 administrative districts; these consist of 294 rural districts (German: Kreise [in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein] and Landkreise), and 107 urban districts (Kreisfreie Städte or, in Baden-Württemberg only, Stadtkreise – cities that constitute districts in their own right).

List of municipalities in Germany

Below is a list of municipalities in Germany with over 20,000 inhabitants in the year 2000. The list is sorted by population and gives the state of every municipality. In cases where the municipality's name in German differs from its name in English, the English name is listed first with the German name given in parentheses.

In German, the term Mittelstadt (literally "middle [sized] city") is used for a settlement with 20,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, while a settlement of 100,000 or more is called a Großstadt (literally "big city", but usually translated "city"). Population is counted either in terms of a continuous urban area or by municipal boundaries. If going by municipal borders, that also makes this a list of Groß- and Mittelstädte.

List of regional railway lines in North Rhine-Westphalia

The List of regional rail lines in North Rhine-Westphalia provides a list of all Regional-Express and Regionalbahn railway lines in North Rhine-Westphalia. The passenger rail service in North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the densest train services in Germany, comprising 100 millions train kilometers and is mainly operated on an integrated timetable, which has been in effect since 1998 with the introduction its current version, known as 1998 NRW-Takt.

Mönchengladbach

Mönchengladbach (German pronunciation: [mœnçn̩ˈɡlatbax] (listen)) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located west of the Rhine, halfway between Düsseldorf and the Dutch border.

Sieg

The Sieg is a river in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is a right tributary of the Rhine.

The river is named after the Sicambri. It is 155 kilometres (96 mi) in length.

The source is located in the Rothaargebirge mountains. From here the river runs southwestwards to the city of Siegen and the hills of Siegerland, both named after the river. Further west the Sieg valley forms the boundary of the Bergisches Land (northern) and Westerwald (southern). The river finally runs through a protected area east of the city of Bonn.

After passing the cities of Hennef and Siegburg, the river flows into the Rhine at the Naturschutzgebiet Siegaue, a protected area immediately to the northeast of the city of Bonn, near Niederkassel/Mondorf.

SpVgg Erkenschwick

SpVgg Erkenschwick is a German football club based in Oer-Erkenschwick in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Westfalenhallen

Westfalenhallen (English: Halls of Westphalia) are three multi-purpose venues located in Dortmund, Germany. The original building was opened in 1925, but was destroyed during World War II. New halls were built, the Große Westfalenhalle opened in 1952. The capacity of the arena is 16,500. The Kleine Westfalenhalle served also for balls, exhibitions and concerts, such as the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, until the Opernhaus Dortmund was opened in 1966.

The Bundesliga was founded at the Westfalenhallen in 1962.

Westphalia

Westphalia (; German: Westfalen [vɛstˈfaːlən]; Low German: Westfalen [vεs(t)'fɔːln̩]) is a region in northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 20,208 km2 (7,802 sq mi) and 7.9 million inhabitants.

The region is almost identical to the Province of Westphalia, which was a part of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1918 and the Free State of Prussia from 1918 to 1946. In 1946, Westphalia merged with the Northern Rhineland, another former part of Prussia, to form the newly created state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1947, the state with its two historic parts was joined by a third one: Lippe, a former principality and free state.All of the seventeen districts and nine independent cities of Westphalia and Lippe's only district are members of the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association (Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe).Previous to the formation of Westphalia as a province of Prussia and later state part of North Rhine-Westphalia, the term "Westphalia" was applied to different territories of different sizes such as a part of the ancient Duchy of Saxony, the Duchy of Westphalia or the Kingdom of Westphalia. The Westphalian language, a variant of the German language, spreads beyond Westphalia's borders into southwestern Lower Saxony and northwestern Hesse.

States
City-states
Former states
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia Urban and rural districts in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany Flag of Germany
Urban districts
Rural districts

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