Germany experienced rapid industrialisation in the second half of the 19th century. Agricultural production and heavy industries were replaced by modern industries such as manufacturing (electrical products - Siemens and AEG), chemicals and motor construction (Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler) as the most important sectors of the German economy. Unification in 1871 accelerated the process of industrialisation and by 1900 Germany had the largest industrial economy in Europe.
This huge expansion of industry led to significant demographic changes. By 1910 60% of Germans lived in towns and cities. The population of Berlin doubled between 1875 and 1910 and other cities like Munich, Essen and Kiel grew rapidly. By 1910 there were 48 German towns with populations over 100,000. In 1871 there had only been 8.