West Germany


July 3, 2022

West Germany was the colloquial term used between 1949 and 1990 to indicate the Federal Republic of Germany, or FRG (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or BRD), also known as the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), to distinguish it from East Germany, properly German Democratic Republic or GDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or DDR). West Germany was located in central-western Europe and bordered to the north with Denmark, to the east with the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia, to the south with Austria and Switzerland, to the west with the Netherlands, the Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Only in the north did it have access to the sea: the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The capital was Bonn, on the River Rhine. It was born in 1949 with the onset of the Cold War and the border with East Germany represented the Iron Curtain that divided Western Europe under NATO hegemony from Eastern Europe under the influence of the Soviet Union.



West Germany can be divided into four zones: Northern plains: they extend from the coasts of the North Sea to the central reliefs. Along the coasts, with deep estuaries, were the major ports of the country: Emden on the Ems, Bremerhaven and Bremen on the Weser and Hamburg on the Elbe. Central area: consists of reliefs crossed by the Rhine, the Moselle, the Neckar and the Main. Swabian-Bavarian Plateau: stretches from the Alps to the Danube and is rich in lakes, such as Lake Constance, Lake Ammersee and Lake Chiemsee. German Alps: are formed by the Allgäu Alps, the Bavarian Alps and the Salzburg Alps.


The main rivers are the Danube, the Elbe (which was mostly found in East Germany), the Rhine and the Main.


The climate is continental, with cool summers and severe winters.


West Germany had an annual increase of 0.4% and the population went from 59,660,000 inhabitants in 1977 to 63,254,000 inhabitants in 1990. The population density was around 240 inhab / km². The birth rate was 9.8 ‰, the mortality rate was 11.9 ‰ and the infant mortality rate was 19.8 ‰. 26,817,000 people made up the active population and the urbanization rate was 38.3%. Germans made up 98.6% of the population. The minorities were represented by the Dutch, Poles, Austrians and Italians.


The official language was German. Linguistic minorities were due to the presence of immigrants, with the exception of Frisian, spoken by a smaller minority in Schleswig-Holstein.


50% of the population in West Germany professed Protestantism and 45.1% Catholicism, while the most widespread religious minority was the Jewish one.

Major cities

Form of government

West Germany was a federal parliamentary republic. Legislative power was exercised by the federal parliament; executive power by the Chancellor and the Council of Ministers. The Federal Republic of Germany was part of the UN, IAEA, ILO, FAO, WHO, UNESCO, ICAO, UPU, WMO, OECD, NATO, EURATOM, CECA, CEE.


7% of the population was dedicated to agriculture; he grew rye, wheat, barley, potatoes, beets, hops, grapevines, vegetables and fruit. Agricultural subdivision of the territory: West Germany had 25,513,000 m2, which, however, was not sufficient to meet the needs, as it tended to conserve the forest heritage. Cattle, pigs and goats were raised, in order of importance, from which milk, butter, cheese . 441,711 tons of fish were caught annually. West Germany enjoyed important mineral resources, mainly coal and iron, but also lead, zinc, uranium, copper, potassium salts and rock salt. They also extracted oil (5,532,000 t) and natural gas (18,408,000,000 m³). Thanks to its many mineral resources, West Germany had a meta industry