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North Rhine-Westphalia

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(Redirected from Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Landesflagge (civil flag)
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Landesdienstflagge (state service flag)
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Landeswappen (state coat-of-arms)
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Statistics
Capital:Düsseldorf
Area:34,080 km²
Inhabitants:18,060,211 (2002)
pop. density:530 inh./km²
GDP:Euro 463B (2002)
Homepage:http://www.nrw.de/
ISO 3166-2:DE-NW
Politics
Minister-president:Jürgen Rüttgers (CDU)
Ruling parties:CDU/FDP coalition
Map
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Germany_Laender_Nordrhein-Westfalen.png


North Rhine-Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen) is the largest in population (though only fourth in area) among Germany's 16 federal states. It has about 18 million inhabitants and comprises 34,080 km² (13,158 square miles) in western-northwestern Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia contributes about 22 percent of Germany's gross domestic product; its capital is Düsseldorf.

Contents

Geography

North Rhine-Westphalia borders on (from the west and clockwise) Belgium, the Netherlands, and the German states of Lower Saxony, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The state is centred on the sprawling Rhine-Ruhr urbanised region, which contains the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Bonn, as well as the Ruhr industrial complex. The Ruhr area consists, among others, of the cities of Essen, Dortmund, Duisburg, Bochum and Gelsenkirchen.

For many people North Rhine-Westphalia is synonymous with industrial areas and agglomerating cities. But the largest part of the state is covered with forests and fields. The southern parts of the Teutoburg Forest are located in the northeast. In the southwest, North Rhine-Westphalia shares in a small part of the Eifel, located on the borders with Belgium and Rhineland-Palatinate. 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.

See also List of places in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The state consists of 5 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:

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  1. Aachen
  2. Borken
  3. Coesfeld
  4. Düren
  5. Ennepe-Ruhr
  6. Rhein-Erft-Kreis
  7. Euskirchen
  8. Gütersloh
  9. Heinsberg
  10. Herford
  11. Hochsauerland

  1. Höxter
  2. Cleves (Kleve)
  3. Lippe
  4. Märkischer Kreis
  5. Mettmann
  6. Minden-Lübbecke
  7. Rhein-Kreis Neuss
  8. Oberbergischer Kreis
  9. Olpe
  10. Paderborn

  1. Recklinghausen
  2. Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis
  3. Rhein-Sieg
  4. Siegen-Wittgenstein
  5. Soest
  6. Steinfurt
  7. Unna
  8. Viersen
  9. Warendorf
  10. Wesel

The independent cities, which do not belong to any district:

  1. Aachen
  2. Bielefeld
  3. Bochum
  4. Bonn
  5. Bottrop
  6. Cologne (Köln)
  7. Dortmund
  8. Duisburg

  1. Düsseldorf
  2. Essen
  3. Gelsenkirchen
  4. Hagen
  5. Hamm
  6. Herne
  7. Krefeld
  8. Leverkusen

  1. Mönchengladbach
  2. Mülheim
  3. Münster
  4. Oberhausen
  5. Remscheid
  6. Solingen
  7. Wuppertal

The five administrative regions, belonging to one of two Landschaftsverbände:

History

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established by the British military administration in 1947. 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 a landslide victory. Their top candidate Jürgen Rüttgers will now build a new coalition government consisting of CDU and FDP that will replace the incumbent government headed by Peer Steinbrück. Rüttgers will soon be elected new Minister President of the state.

Flag

The flag of North Rhine-Westphalia is green-white-red with the combined coats of arms of the Prussian Rhine province (white line before green background), Westphalia (the white horse) and Lippe (the red rose).

According to legend the horse in the Westphalian coat of arms is the horse that the Saxonian leader Widukind rode after his baptism. Other theories attribute the horse to Henry the Lion.

List of Minister-presidents of North Rhine-Westphalia

  1. 1946 - 1947: Rudolf Amelunxen (Zentrum)
  2. 1947 - 1956: Karl Arnold (CDU)
  3. 1956 - 1958: Fritz Steinhoff (SPD)
  4. 1958 - 1966: Franz Meyers (CDU)
  5. 1966 - 1978: Heinz Kühn (SPD)
  6. 1978 - 1998: Johannes Rau (SPD)
  7. 1998 - 2002: Wolfgang Clement (SPD)
  8. 2002 - incumbent: Peer Steinbrück (SPD)

Following the defeat of the ruling SPG/Green coalition in the election of May 22 2005, Jürgen Rüttgers (CDU) will become the new Minister-president once elected by the new parliament.

External links

Template:Germany statesaf:Noordryn-Wesfalen da:Nordrhein-Westfalen de:Nordrhein-Westfalen et:Nordrhein-Westfalen es:Renania del Norte-Westfalia eo:Nord-Rejno-Vestfalio fr:Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie fy:Noardryn-Westfalen ko:노르트라인베스트팔렌 주 it:Nord Reno-Westfalia he:נורדריין-וסטפאליה la:Rhenum Septentrionale-Westphalia nl:Noordrijn-Westfalen nds:Noordrhien-Westfalen ja:ノルトライン=ヴェストファーレン州 no:Nordrhein-Westfalen pl:Nadrenia Północna-Westfalia pt:Renânia do Norte-Vestfália ro:Nordrhein-Westfalen simple:North Rhine-Westphalia fi:Nordrhein-Westfalen sv:Nordrhein-Westfalen zh:北莱茵-威斯特法伦

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