North Rhine-Westphalia


August 13, 2022

North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen; IPA: ˈnɔʁtʁaɪ̯n vɛstˈfaːlən), is a federal state (Bundesland) in the west of the Federal Republic of Germany. With 17,925,570 inhabitants (31 December 2020) on 34,112.44 km², it is the fourth largest federal state in terms of area and the largest in terms of population. The capital (Landeshauptstadt) is Düsseldorf.


North Rhine-Westphalia borders Belgium (province of Liège), the Netherlands (provinces of Limburg, Gelderland and Overijssel) and the German federal states of Lower Saxony, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. With an area of ​​34,112.44 km², North Rhine-Westphalia is smaller than the Netherlands and slightly larger than Belgium. The length of the state border is 1,662 kilometers. The following countries and federal states have a share in this: Belgium: 99 km Netherlands: 395 km Lower Saxony: 583 km Hesse: 272 km Rhineland-Palatinate: 312 kmThe state's main river is the Rhine, on which the state's two largest cities are located: Cologne, founded by the Romans, the largest city in Germany in the Middle Ages, and Düsseldorf, the political and an important economic center . The rivers include the Ruhr and the Lippe, with the Ruhr region in between with more than five million inhabitants in a number of cities and Kreise. The Ruhr area is located in both parts of the country, North Rhine and Westphalia-Lippe. Together with the cities that lie on the Rhine, one speaks of the Rhein-Ruhr-Gebiet with just under ten million inhabitants. This urban agglomeration is surrounded by the countryside in the north and the low mountain ranges in the south and east. The countryside mainly consists of the Niederrhein (Lower Rhine) and the Münsterlander (or: Westphalian) Bucht. The Eifel and the Sauerland enjoy great fame from the hilly areas. To the east is the hilly Teutoburg Forest. The highest point in the state is the Langenberg (843.2 m). The more famous Kahler Asten is slightly lower at 841.9 m. The lowest point is the village of Zyfflich near Kranenburg, near the Dutch border (9 m above sea level). The highest village center is Altastenberg (Winterberg) with 774 meters above NN and the lowest village center is Bimmen (Kleve) with 12 meters above NN. and Sittard. This is also the westernmost point of Germany.


With 17,925,570 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2020), North Rhine-Westphalia is the German state with the most inhabitants. With a population density of 525 inhabitants per km², with the exception of the federal states (cities) of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, it is by far the most densely populated German federal state. This population density is also higher than that of the Netherlands. The population is not evenly spread over the area. Sparsely populated areas are Ostwestfalen-Lippe, the Münsterland, as well as the hilly areas in the south. With around 10 million inhabitants, the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. The following table shows how the population has developed. In 2006, the proportion of people older than 65 was around 19.7 percent (1950: 8.8 percent). The proportion of the population younger than 15 years is 14.7 percent (1950: 22.6 percent). In 2006 the country had about 8.5 million households. The average household therefore amounted to 2.12 persons. However, only one person lives in 37 percent of these households. In 1950 the average household still had more than 3 people, so as in the rest of Europe, the number of people per household has also decreased. In 1950 the share of single-person households was only 16.9 percent. The share of singles is even greater than the share of single-person households. In 2006, around 39 percent of the population was single. Only a quarter of the population still lives