Germany in figures

Germany, which holds federal elections on 22 September, is Europe's dominant country.

Its large and strong economy has allowed it to bankroll the bailouts that have kept some of its neighbours - and the euro - afloat.

The graphics below help explain why it is so dominant, and powerful - and also some of the problems it faces.


Germany's large population (the biggest in Europe) and vibrant economy add up to a GDP that far outweighs other European powers.

It also has the strongest export sector and the lowest unemployment of any big European country.

Graphic showing size of European economies


The success of the economy and low unemployment - especially when compared to other EU countries - mean Germany has become a magnet for jobseekers. The number of immigrants has been rising and surpassed a million people in 2012 for the first time since 1995.

They come especially from former communist countries - as well as recession-hit Italy, Spain and Greece - and head for Berlin, the wealthy southern regions, and the industrial west.

Graphics showing immigration into Germany


Despite Germany's strong economy, not everyone is doing well. Under wage restraint agreements, many people's incomes have barely grown in years, and many people who have jobs still require benefit top-ups.

There is also still a clear divide, 22 years since reunification, between incomes in the old East Germany, and the old West.

Map showing income disparities in Germany

More on This Story

Merkel's third term

More Europe stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.