on 7 April 1944 in Mossenburg/Lippe,
1951 - 1958 Primary and secondary schooling
1959 - 1961 Apprenticeship as retail sales assistant
1962 - 1964 Evening school, obtaining secondary school leaving
1964 - 1966 Adult education college, obtaining Abitur (university
1966 - 1971 Law studies at Göttingen University, first
1972 - 1976 Practical training in legal work; second state
examination; admitted to practise as lawyer
1978 - 1990 Independent lawyer in Hanover
1963 - Joins the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
1978 -1980 Federal Chairman of the Young Socialists in the
Since 1986 Member of the SPD party executive
Since 1989 Member of the SPD Presidium
1980 - 1986 Member of the German Bundestag
1986 - 1990 Chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the
Landtag of Lower Saxony
1990 - 1998 Minister-President of Lower Saxony
1994 - 1998 Chairman of the Lower Saxony SPD association
Since 27 October 1998 Chancellor of the Federal Republic of
The Federal Republic of Germany is an original
member of the G8. Germany first hosted the G8 summit in 1978
in Bonn, Germany. The last time Germany hosted the summit
was 1999 in Cologne, Germany. They have hosted the G8 summit
a total of four times; Bonn 1978, Bonn 1985, Munich 1992,
Cologne 1999. Germany will host the summit again in 2007.
His Excellency Gerhard Schröder the Chancellor of the
Federal Republic of Germany. Chancellor Schröder was
first elected to office in 1998.
Name: Federal Republic of Germany
Area: 357,000 sq. km. (137,821 sq. mi.); about the size
Cities: Capital--Berlin (population about 3.4 million).
Other cities--Hamburg (1.7 million), Munich (1.2 million),
Cologne (964,000), Frankfurt (644,000), Essen (603,000),
Dortmund (592,000), Stuttgart (582,000), Dusseldorf
(568,000), Bremen (543,000), Hanover (516,000).
Terrain: Low plain in the north; high plains, hills,
and basins in the center and east; mountainous alpine
region in the south.
Climate: Temperate; cooler and rainier than much of
the United States.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--German(s).
Population (2001 est.): 83 million.
Ethnic groups: Primarily German; Danish minority in
the north, Sorbian (Slavic) minority in the east; 7.3
million foreign residents.
Religions: Protestants (27.9 million) slightly outnumber
Roman Catholics (27.3 million); approximately 3.2 million
Education: Years compulsory--10; attendance--100%; literacy--99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (1998 est.)--5.0/1,000;
life expectancy (1999 est.)--women 80 years, men 74
Persons employed (2001 avg.): 38.8 million; unemployed
(2001 avg.): 3.9 million--9.1% of labor force.
Type: Federal republic.
Founded: 1949 (Basic Law, i.e., Constitution, promulgated
on May 23, 1949). On October 3, 1990, the Federal Republic
of Germany and the German Democratic Republic unified
in accordance with Article 23 of the F.R.G. Basic Law.
Branches: Executive--president (titular chief of state),
chancellor (executive head of government); legislative--bicameral
parliament; judicial--independent, Federal Constitutional
Administrative divisions: 16 Laender (states).
Major political parties: Social Democratic Party (SPD);
Christian Democratic Union (CDU); Christian Social Union
(CSU); Alliance 90/Greens; Free Democratic Party (FDP);
Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
GDP (2001): $1.8 trillion.
Annual growth rate (2001): 0.6%; forecast (2003): 0.5%.
Per capita income: $22,900.
Inflation rate (consumer prices, 2001): 2.5%.
Natural resources: Iron, hard coal, lignite, potash, natural
Agriculture (accounts for 1% of GDP): Products--corn,
wheat, potatoes, sugar, beets, barley, hops, viticulture,
Industry (34% of GDP): Types--iron and steel, coal, chemicals,
electrical products, ships, vehicles, construction.
Trade (2001): Exports--$628 billion: chemicals, motor
vehicles, iron and steel products, manufactured goods,
electrical products. Major markets--France, U.S., and
U.K. Imports--$594 billion: food, petroleum products,
manufactured goods, electrical products, motor vehicles,
apparel. Major suppliers--France, U.S., Netherlands.