North Rhine-Westphalia

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North Rhine-Westphalia

Nordrhein-Westfalen
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg
Flag
Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 51°28′N7°33′E / 51.467°N 7.550°E / 51.467; 7.550
Country Germany
Capital Düsseldorf
Government
  Body Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
  Minister-President Armin Laschet (CDU)
  Governing parties CDU / FDP
Area
  Total34,084.13 km2 (13,159.96 sq mi)
Population
(30 June 2018) [1]
  Total17,914,344
  Density530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Demonym(s) North Rhine-Westphalian(s) (English)
Nordrhein-Westfälisch (German)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code DE-NW
GDP (nominal) €691.518 billion (2017) [2]
GDP per capita €38,645 (2017)
NUTS Region DEA
Website land.nrw

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

States of Germany First-level administrative subdivisions of the Federal Republic of Germany

Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen states. Since today's Germany was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty. With an emphasis on geographical conditions, Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), as is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which in fact includes the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Contents

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.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,723,914 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which is, with 6,004,857 (2015) inhabitants and an area of 30,370 square km, Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Bremen Place in Germany

The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, which belongs to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a federal state of Germany.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

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.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

Province of Westphalia province of the Kingdom of Prussia

The Province of Westphalia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.

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.

Julius Caesar 1st-century BC Roman politician and general

Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, and historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He is also known as an author of Latin prose.

Eburones Germanic tribe

The Eburones, were a Gallic-Germanic tribe who lived in the northeast of Gaul, in what is now the southern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, and the German Rhineland, in the period immediately before this region was conquered by Rome. Though living in Gaul, they were also described as being both Belgae, and Germani.

Ubii

The Ubii were a Germanic tribe first encountered dwelling on the east bank of the Rhine in the time of Julius Caesar, who formed an alliance with them in 55 BC in order to launch attacks across the river. They were transported in 39 BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa to the west bank, apparently at their own request, as they feared the incursions of their neighbors, the Chatti.

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.

Ripuarian Franks

Ripuarian or Rhineland Franks were one of the two main groupings of early Frankish people, and specifically it was the name eventually applied to the tribes who settled in the old Roman territory of the Ubii, with its capital at Cologne on the Rhine river in modern Germany. Their western neighbours were the Salii, or "Salian Franks", who were named already in late Roman records, and settled with imperial permission within the Roman Empire in what is today the southern part of the Netherlands, and Belgium, and later expanded their influence into the northern part of France above the Loire river, creating a Frankish empire.

Saxons confederation of Germanic tribes on the North German Plain

The Saxons were a Germanic people whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country near the North Sea coast of what is now Germany. Earlier, in the late Roman Empire, the name was used to refer to Germanic inhabitants of what is now England, and also as a word something like the later "Viking", as a term for raiders. In Merovingian times, continental Saxons were associated with the coast of what later became Normandy. Though sometimes described as also fighting inland, coming in conflict with the Franks and Thuringians, no clear homeland can be defined. There is possibly a single classical reference to a smaller homeland of an early Saxon tribe, but it is disputed. According to this proposal, the Saxons' earliest area of settlement is believed to have been Northern Albingia. This general area is close to the probable homeland of the Angles.

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]

Carolingian Empire final stage in the history of the early medieval realm of the Franks, ruled by the Carolingian dynasty

The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the Lombards of Italy from 774. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III in an effort to revive the Roman Empire in the west during a vacancy in the throne of the eastern Roman Empire. After a civil war (840–43) following the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided into autonomous kingdoms, with one king still recognised as emperor, but with little authority outside his own kingdom. The unity of the empire and the hereditary right of the Carolingians continued to be acknowledged.

Treaty of Verdun treaty

The Treaty of Verdun, signed in August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms among the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, who was the son of Charlemagne. The treaty, signed in Verdun-sur-Meuse, ended the three-year Carolingian Civil War.

East Francia former country in Europe

East Francia or the Kingdom of the East Franks was a precursor of the Holy Roman Empire. A successor state of Charlemagne's empire, it was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided the former empire into three kingdoms.

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.

Map of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in 1799 by John Cary 1801 Cary Map of Westphalia, Germany - Geographicus - Westphalia-cary-1799.jpg
Map of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in 1799 by John Cary

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.

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

Geographic map of North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia Topography 08.png
Geographic map of North Rhine-Westphalia
Rhine near Bonn Bonn Drachenfels4.JPG
Rhine near Bonn
Sunset near the Lower Rhine Abendsonne über Glehn.JPG
Sunset near the Lower Rhine
Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest conurbation of the European continent (population: 11 million) Rhein-Ruhr-Region-LEP.png
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 Rhineland Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe North rhine w Landschaftsverbände.svg
The regional authorities Rhineland (green) and
Westphalia-Lippe (red)
Government districts
(Regierungsbezirke)
historical regions
Government districts
(Regierungsbezirke)
historical regions
Düsseldorf
Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf RB Düsseldorf.svg
Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf
Arnsberg
Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg NRW rbarnsberg grey.png
Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg
Köln
Regierungsbezirk Köln NRW rbkoeln grey.png
Regierungsbezirk Köln
Detmold
Regierungsbezirk Detmold RB Detmold.svg
Regierungsbezirk Detmold
Münster
Regierungsbezirk Münster NRW rbmuenster grey.png
Regierungsbezirk Münster
Rural Districts (Kreise)Urban Districts (Kreisfreie Städte) NRW districts.png

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

Cologne (Köln) is the largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia Raddampfer Goethe bei Nacht001.jpg
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]
NationalityPopulation (31.12.2017)
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 497,630
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 216,230
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 190,360
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 141,375
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 114,520
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 99,945
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 76,370
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 70,855
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 67,490
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 64,550
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 54,260
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 52,450

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

Pos.NamePop. 2017Area (km²)Pop. per km2Map
1 Cologne 1,080,394405.152,668 North Rhine-Westphalia location map 02.svg
2 Düsseldorf 617,280217.012,839
3 Dortmund 586,600280.372,090
4 Essen 583,393210.382,774
5 Duisburg 498,110232.812,140
6 Bochum 365,529145.432,509
7 Wuppertal 353,590168.372,100
8 Bielefeld 332,552257.831,285
9 Bonn 325,490141.222,307
10 Münster 313,559302.911,034

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]

Religion

Religion in North Rhine-Westphalia, 2011/2015 [11] [12]
ReligionPercent
Roman Catholicism
42%
EKD Protestantism
28%
Islam
8%
Other Christianity
1.1%
New religions
1.0%
Eastern Orthodox Church
0.5%
Indian religions
0.2%
Judaism
0.2%
Unaffiliated
19%

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, 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.NameImageBorn-DiedParty affiliationStart of TenureEnd of Tenure
1 Rudolf Amelunxen Rudolf Amelunxen - Ausschnitt aus Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F001946-0009, Berlin, Bundesversammlung wählt Bundespräsident.jpg 1888–1969 Centre Party 19461947
2 Karl Arnold Karl Arnold Briefmarke Detail.jpg 1901–1958CDU19471956
3 Fritz Steinhoff Bundesarchiv Fritz Steinhoff.jpg 1897–1969SPD19561958
4 Franz Meyers Franz Meyers ex Ludwig Erhard 1965 FdG 1.jpg 1908–2002CDU19581966
5 Heinz Kühn Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F023752-0007 Heinz Kühn cropped.jpg 1912–1992SPD19661978
6 Johannes Rau Johannes Rau 2003.jpeg 1931–2006SPD19781998
7 Wolfgang Clement Wolfgang Clement.jpg *1940SPD19982002
8 Peer Steinbrück Peer Steinbrück in Münster (2012).jpg *1947SPD20022005
9 Jürgen Rüttgers Juergen Ruettgers.jpg *1951CDU20052010
10 Hannelore Kraft Hannelorekraft.jpg *1961SPD20102017
11 Armin Laschet 2016-02-01 Armin Laschet.jpg *1961CDU2017incumbent

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.

e    d  Summary of the 13 May 2012 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia elections results
< 2010    Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg    2017 >
PartyPopular voteSeats
Votes%+/–Seats+/–
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands - SPD
3,050,16039.1%Increase2.svg4.6%99Increase2.svg32
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands - CDU
2,050,63326.3%Decrease2.svg8.3%67Steady2.svg
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
884,13611.3%Decrease2.svg0.8%29Increase2.svg6
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
669,9718.6%Increase2.svg1.9%22Increase2.svg9
Pirate Party Germany
Piratenpartei Deutschland
608,9577.8%Increase2.svg6.2%20Increase2.svg20
Left
Die Linke
194,2392.5%Decrease2.svg3.1%0Decrease2.svg11
Other parties335,7304.4%Increase2.svg0.9%0Steady2.svg
Valid votes7,794,12698.6%Steady2.svg
Invalid votes107,7961.4%Steady2.svg
Totals and voter turnout7,901,92259.6%Increase2.svg0.3%237Increase2.svg56
Electorate13,264,231100.00
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.


< 2012    Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg    Next >

e    d  Summary of the 14 May 2017 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia elections results
PartyPopular voteSeats
Votes%+/–Seats+/–
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU|| 2,796,683
33.0Increase2.svg6.772Increase2.svg5
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD|| 2,649,205
31.2Decrease2.svg7.969Decrease2.svg30
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP|| 1,065,307
12.6Increase2.svg4.028Increase2.svg6
Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland – AfD|| 626,756
7.4Increase2.svg7.416Increase2.svg16
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen|| 539,062
6.4Decrease2.svg4.914Decrease2.svg15
The Left
Die Linke|| 415,936
4.9Increase2.svg2.4
Pirate Party
Piratenpartei Deutschland|| 80,780
1.0Decrease2.svg6.8Decrease2.svg20
Valid votes8,487,37399.0%Steady2.svg
Invalid votes89,8081.0%Steady2.svg
Totals and voter turnout8,577,22165.2%Increase2.svg5.6%199Decrease2.svg38
Electorate13,164,887100.00
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.[ citation needed ]

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] [ improper synthesis? ]

Historic monuments

Modern architecture

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

Food Native to the North Rhine Westphalia State/Region
Black Forest Ham (auf Deutsch: Schwarzwälder Schinken) The German Black Forest region is known for its history with butchery and meat production. This ham has a special recipe for curing and preparing the meat. Initially the recipe was only passed on by oral tradition, but it has since been recorded.The meat is a cured leg of pork which is then smoked, dried, and served cold. Germans eat this during breakfast or lunch, often on charcuterie boards. [20]
Schwarzwaelder Schinken-01.jpg
Maultaschen are a dough "pockets" which are usually filled ground meat or spinach. [20] It is similar to the Italian ravioli. This dish is common for dinner in the NRW Region and is often consumed during the holidays as a traditional favorite. The history of this dish dates back to the 17th century during the Thirty Year's War when Italian missionaries spread their message and culture. [21]
Maultaschen beim Metzger.jpg
Pumpernickel bread one of the most famous German breads. It's made from a dark rye, and has a unique and subtly sweet flavor. This bread has been baked for centuries and has acquired its popular name from the war era, when bread was being rationed. It means flatulence and bad spirits. [20] [22]
Pumpernikiel.jpg

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

ThyssenKrupp headquarters in Essen Thyssen-Krupp-Quartier-Essen-Q1-2013.jpg
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] 200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Unemployment rate in %9.28.89.210.010.212.011.49.58.58.98.78.18.18.38.28.07.77.4

Education

RWTH Aachen 1196-18-rwth-aachen-hg-von-hendrik-brixius.jpg
RWTH Aachen

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

Signal Iduna Park, the stadium of Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, is the largest stadium in Germany Westfalenstadion von oben.jpg
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 1. 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

Related Research Articles

Westphalia State part and historic region of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany

Westphalia 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.

Rhineland historic region of Germany

The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.

Ruhr Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Ruhr is a polycentric urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With a population density of 2,800/km2 and a population of over 5 million (2017), it is the largest urban area in Germany and the third-largest in the European Union. It consists of several large cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to the west, and Lippe to the north. In the southwest it borders the Bergisches Land. It is considered part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of more than 12 million people, which is among the largest in Europe.

Rhine-Ruhr Place in North Rhine-Westphalia ----, Germany

The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region is the largest metropolitan region in Germany with over 10 million inhabitants. It is of polycentric nature. It covers an area of 7,268 square kilometres (2,806 sq mi) and lies entirely within the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region spreads from Dortmund-Bochum-Essen-Duisburg in the north, to the urban areas of the cities of Mönchengladbach, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Leverkusen, Cologne, and Bonn in the south. The location of the Rhine-Ruhr at the heart of the European blue banana makes it well connected to other major European cities and metropolitan areas like the Randstad, the Flemish Diamond and the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region.

Lippstadt Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Lippstadt is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the largest town within the district of Soest. Lippstadt is situated about 60 kilometres east of Dortmund, 40 kilometres south of Bielefeld and 30 kilometres west of Paderborn.

Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn Suburban railway in Rhine-Ruhr area (Western Germany)

The Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn is a polycentric and electrically driven S-train network covering the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This includes most of the Ruhr, the Berg cities of Wuppertal and Solingen and parts of the Rhineland. The easternmost city within the S-Bahn Rhine-Ruhr network is Unna, the westernmost city served is Mönchengladbach.

Duchy of Westphalia Principality of the Holy Roman Empire

The Duchy of Westphalia was a historic territory in the Holy Roman Empire, which existed from 1180. It was located in the greater region of Westphalia, originally one of the three main regions in the German stem duchy of Saxony and today part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The duchy was held by the Archbishops and Electors of Cologne until its secularization in 1803.

Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn station

Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof is the main railway station of Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westphalia coat of arms

The coat of arms of North Rhine-Westphalia is the official coat of arms of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Westphalian Lowland landscape

The Westphalian Lowland, also known as the Westphalian Basin is a flat landscape that mainly lies within the German region of Westphalia, although small areas also fall within North Rhine and in Lower Saxony. Together with the neighbouring Lower Rhine Plain to the west, it represents the second most southerly region of the North German Plain, after the Cologne Bight. It is variously known in German as the Westfälische Bucht, the Münsterländer or Westfälische Tieflands- or Flachlandsbucht.

The Constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia in the constitutional document that governs the responsibilities and rights of various offices and the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany.

Rhenish Railway Company transport company

The Rhenish Railway Company was along with the Cologne-Minden Railway Company (CME) and the Bergisch-Märkische Railway Company (BME) one of the railway companies that in the mid-19th century built the first railways in the Ruhr and large parts of today's North Rhine-Westphalia.

North Rhine-Westphalia was established by the British military administration's "Operation Marriage" on 23 August 1946 by merging the Rhine province with the province of Westphalia. On 21 January 1947, the former state of Lippe was merged with North Rhine-Westphalia.

Education in North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to 14 universities and over 50 partly postgraduate colleges, with a total of over 500,000 students. Largest and oldest university is the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), founded in 1388 AD.

NRW-Express Regional railway line in North Rhine-Westphalia

The NRW-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Aachen via Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Dortmund to Hamm as line RE 1. The line is operated by DB Regio NRW.

Rhein-Weser-Express

The Rhein-Weser-Express is a Regional-Express service route in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, connecting the most important cities in Westphalia with the Ruhr. Cologne, Neuss, Düsseldorf and Duisburg lie on the Rhine and Minden lies on the Weser.

Rhein-Hellweg-Express

The Rhein-Hellweg-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Hamm via Dortmund, Bochum, Essen, Duisburg and Düsseldorf Airport to Düsseldorf Hbf. It is named after the Rhine and the Westphalian Hellweg.

Rhein-Emscher-Express

The Rhein-Emscher-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Düsseldorf via Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen and Dortmund to Hamm. It connects with the rest of the regional rail network of NRW in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Wanne-Eickel, Dortmund and Hamm. In addition, it connects in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Dortmund and Hamm with long-distance services.

The Hellweg net consists of the four Regionalbahn lines in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia: RB 50, RB 59, RB 69 and RB 89. It has a length of about 370 km. The RB 50 is referred to as Der Lüner, the RB 59 as Die Hellweg-Bahn and the RB 69 and RB 89 together as Die Ems-Börde-Bahn. On 14 December 2008 operations were taken over by eurobahn. Previously these four Regionalbahn services were operated by DB Regio NRW.

North Rhine

The Province of North Rhine, also called North Rhine Province, was a short-lived administrative region in the British occupation zone of Germany, which was formed from the northern part of the Rhine Province after the end of the Second World War.

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