Geography and Demographics:
Germany, or ‘
as it is called in German, is a country located in Central Europe. Bordering theBaltic Sea and the North Sea, Germany is located between the Netherlands and Poland, just south of Denmark. The whole country is slightly smaller than Montana and enjoys a strategic location on NorthEuropean Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea. The climate in Germany is mostly temperate andmarine, with cool, cloudy, wet winters and warm summers. It enjoys the occasional warm mountain (
)wind and has the lowlands in the north, uplands in its centre, and the Bavarian Alps in south.
The topography of Germany is varied. The area along the Baltic coast issandy, with dunes and small hills. Adjacent to the coast are forestedridges and numerous lakes of the Mecklenburg lake plateau. Around thecapital, Berlin, the relief is less hilly. The southern limit of the lowlandarea is formed by a wide zone of fertile loess, reaching from Magdeburgto the highlands in the South. In the West are a wide rift valley and anarrow gorge carved by the Rhine River. A group of plateaus and lowmountains, the Black Forest and Odenwald Mountains form the greater part of southern Germany. Theymerge gradually with the highest walls of the Bavarian Alps which form the boundary between Germany,Switzerland, and Austria. The only major lake is Lake, which is shared with Switzerland and Austria. Exceptin the extreme south, all of Germany is drained by rivers that empty into the North Sea. The Rhine, with itstwo main tributaries, the Mosel and the Main, dominates the western areas; farther east are the Ems, theWeser, the Elbe, and the Oder. These rivers have estuaries that are important for the ports located there. Inthe South, the Danube flows from west to east.The demography of the Federal Republic of Germany is monitored by the "
or theFederal Statistical Office of Germany. Germany has a population of 82,329,758 (July 2009 est.) with an agestructure of 0-14 years
13.7%, 15-64 years
66.1%, 65 years and over: 20.3%. Its population growth rate is -0.053% (2009 est.) and is currently a matter of concern as it is characterized by zero or declining growth,with an aging population and smaller cohort of youths. Until the late 1950s, the population was 99%German; the Danes in Schleswig-Holstein were the sole national minority. The influx of foreigners as "guestworkers" beginning in the late 1950s led to a surge in the number of permanent foreign residents. Germansconstituted 91.5% of the total population in 1998. Of the foreigners in Germany, Turks were by far thelargest group constituting 2.4%, the other 6.1% is made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish ethnic groups. Presently, Germany has a rate of urbanization of 0.1% (2005-2010 est.) and
: coal, lignite, natural gas,iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt,construction materials, timber, arable land.