North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen, usually shortened to NRW, official short form NW) is the westernmost and - in terms of population and economic output - the largest Federal State of Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia has over 18 million inhabitants, contributes about 22% of Germany's gross domestic product and comprises a land area of 34,083 km² (13,158 square miles). North Rhine-Westphalia is situated in the Western part of Germany and shares borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. It has borders with the German states of Lower Saxony to the North and Northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate to the Southwest and Hesse to the Southeast.
The capital city is Düsseldorf, and the largest city is Cologne (Köln). Other major cities are Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Aachen, Bielefeld, Bonn, Bochum, Bottrop, Bergisch Gladbach, Mönchengladbach, Mülheim, Münster, Gelsenkirchen, Krefeld, Hagen, Hamm, Herne, Iserlohn, Leverkusen, Neuss, Paderborn, Recklinghausen, Remscheid, Siegen, Solingen, Witten and Wuppertal.
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:
For many people North Rhine-Westphalia is synonymous with industrial areas and agglomerating cities. But the largest part of the state is used for agriculture (almost 52%), forests cover 25%. The southern parts of the Teutoburg Forest are located in the northeast. In the southwest, Nordrhein-Westafalen shares in a small part of the Eifel, located on the borders with Belgium and Rheinland-Pfalz. The southeast is occupied by the sparsely populated regions of Sauerland and Siegerland. The northwestern areas of the state are part of the Northern European Lowlands.
The most important rivers that run at least partially through North Rhine-Westphalia include: Rhine, Ruhr, Ems, Lippe and Weser. The Pader, which runs only through the city of Paderborn, is considered the shortest river in Germany.
The state consists of five administrative 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 districts of North Rhine-Westphalia:
The urban districts:
The five administrative regions, belonging to one of two Landschaftsverbände:
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established by the British military administration on 25 October, 1946. Originally it consisted of Westphalia and the northern parts of the Rhine Province, both formerly belonging to Prussia. In 1947 the former state of Lippe was merged with North Rhine-Westphalia, hence leading to the present borders of the state.
The North Rhine-Westphalia state election on May 22, 2005 granted the CDU an unexpected victory. Their top candidate Jürgen Rüttgers built a new coalition government consisting of CDU and FDP that replaced the former government headed by Peer Steinbrück. Rüttgers was elected new Prime Minister (German: Ministerpräsident) of the federal state on June 22, 2005.
A regional anthem is the Lied für NRW (Song for NRW).
The results of the North Rhine-Westphalia state election, 2005 were as follows. Note that overall seat totals have been reduced, lowering the seat counts for all parties.
Voter turnout was at 63%, an increase of 7% over the previous election in 2000. Prior to the election, some analysts had predicted that a CDU victory might result from disenchanted SPD voters staying home, but the turnout figures appear to reject this scenario.
|Party||Party List votes||Vote percentage (change)||Total Seats (change)||Seat percentage|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||3,059,074||37.1%||-5.7%||74||-28||39.6%|
|Christian Democratic Union (CDU)||3,695,806||44.8%||+7.9%||89||+1||47.6%|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||508,354||6.2%||-3.7%||12||-12||6.4%|
|Alliance '90/The Greens||509,219||6.2%||-0.9%||12||-5||6.4%|
|Electoral Alternative for Labor and Social Justice (WASG)||181,886||2.2%||+2.2%||0||+0||0.0%|
|National Democratic Party (NPD)||73,959||0.9%||+0.9%||0||+0||0.0%|
|Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)||72,982||0.9%||-0.2%||0||+0||0.0%|
Survey office: portal; North-Rhine Westphalia has discovered a new customer approach: since April 2006, the surveying office of the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia sells its geodata via the new portal for geo base data.
Feb 01, 2007; The solution is fast and safe, makes spatial information available for anybody at any time--and continues growing towards a...
SPEECH BY COMMISSIONER GEOGHEGAN-QUINN AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA PRIZE FOR EU-FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS.
Apr 07, 2011; BRUSSELS -- The following information was released by the European Union: SPEECH/ 11/240 Maire Geoghegan-Quinn Commissioner for...