Research Paper on Germany
1. Per Capita GDP
Germany is the world’s third biggest economy. Germany’s 2007 Per Capita GDP reached a sum of €29,453, an increase of 4.5% compared to 2006. In the first and second quarters of 2008 Per Capita GDP grew by 3.2 and 4.5 percent, respectively.
As of December 2007, there about 82.22 million residents in Germany, including registered foreigners. This figure represents a decline of 97,000 people, or 0.1% compared to 2006. The weight of foreigners (i.e. residence who hold only a foreign citizenship) was 6.74 million, which corresponds to 8.2 percent.
3. Illiteracy Rate
The German adult literacy rate is 99.9%. However, A recent report by the German National Association for Literacy and Basic Education has estimated that four million Germans over the age of 15 are to be regarded as functional illiterates, meaning that their reading and writing abilities do not exceed those of a 2nd grade pupil. When taking into account that there are 71.5 million above 14 years of age, these figures should represent a functional illiteracy rate of approximately 5.5%.
4. Life expectancy at birth
Newborn boys and girls in Germany have average life expectancies of 76.9 and 82.3 years, respectively1.
5. Main Language Spoken
Germany’s most spoken language is standard German (Deutsch or Hochdeutsch), with some regional dialects. Minority languages are divided between traditional languages (e.g., Frisian and Yiddish) and immigrants’ languages, mainly Turkish, different Arabic dialects and Slavic languages.
Many German companies use English as their corporate language.
6. Chief Industry
The industrial sector (including energy) contributed to 26.5% of Germany’s GDP in 2007. The main industries (in terms of turnover) are Automobiles, machine building, chemical manufacturing and foodstuff.
7. Main exports and imports
With more than 896 billion EUR of exports in 2006, Germany is the world’s biggest exporter. The main exporting destinations are other EU-countries (62%) and North America (10%). 71.5% of exports are finished goods.
In 2006 Germany reported an import turnover of 731.5 billion EUR. As in exports, the main countries from which Germany imports are the EU-countries and North America (57 and 7 percent, respectively). Finished goods consisted 55.8% of total import. Additional 11% were raw materials.
8. Main Religion
The homeland of Martin Luther is divided between Lutheran Protestants (40.9%) and Roman Catholics (41.9%). The east and north are generally more protestant, while the southern and the western regions are predominantly Catholic. The biggest religious minority are Muslims, who are accounted for approx. 2.5 of total population.
9. Please elaborate on the transportation and communication system
Germany has a highly developed transport infrastructure: 231,000 km of roads (excluding local roads), 41,000 km of railways and 75,000 km of waterways.
58 million Germans have internet access (about 70% penetration) and own 9.7 million computers as well as almost 40 million mobile phones.
10. Rates of inflation
The European Central Bank has reported an HICP of 3.3 percent in Germany (as of August 2008). This figure significantly exceeds the ECB’s inflation goal of 2%.
11. Please elaborate on health care, hospitals
The German total health expenditure amounted to a total of €245 billion in 2006, which corresponds to 10.6% of GDP. Health expenditure per inhabitant was €2,970, second only to US among the G8 countries.
There are about 7,000 new graduates each year from medical universities who work in 3,359 hospitals and rehabilitation centres. There are in total 510,767 beds or one bed for 160 inhabitants.
12. Infant mortality rate
There are 4.2 death cases for every 1,000 births.
13. Please elaborate on housing standards, including square footage per family, if possible.
The average German apartment is 85.8 m2 wide, has 4.4 rooms and is occupied by 2.1 people, which corresponds to 41.2 m2 and 2.1 rooms per inhabitant.
14. Please expound on the cultural and economic characteristics of Germany.
Since 1990, Germany is a unified federation with 16 states (Bundeslander), 5 of them consisted the former East Germany, or Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR). The last elections were held in September 2005 and have led to a grand coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Social democrats. Contemporary Germany has no territorial issues within Europe and usually participates in Western in European international military and peacekeeping campaigns.
Despite being Europe’s strongest economy, Germany records unemployment rate of 10.5%, with about 15% in the eastern States, where almost half of the population lives on welfare. The automotive industry employs one of each seven German workers. Nevertheless, 60% of employees work in medium and small businesses. The overall labour market is quite stagnant, partially due to heavy social legislation and strong unions, in particular in the industrial sector.
Germany has the third largest proportion of foreigners in Europe (8.9%). The biggest ethnical minority are the Turks, who constitute 2.3% of total population. Since 1990 there is a tremendous demographic shift, where east Germans move to the Western countries. This shift of young labour only worsens the problem in the Eastern countries. Recent governmental trends should lead to better infrastructures in the east and a decrease in unskilled asylum immigrants.
The German family structure follows the western world’s tendencies. The share of babies had decline to 0.9% of total population and is expected to continue on this course. The lack of babies, especially among the most educated women, is a symptom of the German population’s tendency to marry at older ages (the average age of first marriage for women is 28) or not at all (the marriage rate fell by 87% between 1990-2005), whereas the divorce rate continues to grow, as well as alternative family formations such as couples having children without a marriage and “Dinks” (double income no kids), no less than 35% of total population. The major reason for this trend is obviously woman’s career aspirations. Besides the lack of future workers, this trend also leads to higher disposable incomes.
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