Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in the central-western Europe.
It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres. With about 82.0 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the USA, it is the second most popular destination for immigration. The capital of Germany and at the same time its largest city is Berlin. Other metropolises include Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, and Frankfurt, the country’s largest agglomeration is Rhine-Ruhr.
Different Germanic tribes have occupied the northern parts of modern Germany since classic antiquity. A region that is named Germania was documented before 100 AD. The Germanic tribes expanded southward during the Migration Period. In the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation.
In 1871, Germany became a nation state and then most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and systematic genocide. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded: the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. In 1990, the country was reunified.
In the 21st century, Germany is a great power and is the the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the fifth-largest by PPP. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world’s third-largest exporter and importer of commodities. Germany is a well developed country with a high standard of living supported by a skilled and productive society. It maintains a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection and a free university education.
In 1993 Germany was a founding member of the European Union. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of NATO, the United Nations, the G20, the G8 and the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been constantly the home of influential artists, philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, business people, scientists and inventors.