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Baden-Württemberg ( ) is one of the 16 states of Germanymarker. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhinemarker—but one which has some of its major cities straddling the banks of the Neckar Rivermarker (Tübingenmarker, Stuttgartmarker, Heilbronnmarker, Heidelbergmarker, Mannheimmarker). It is third largest in both area and population among the country's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants (both almost equivalent to all of Belgiummarker). The state capital is Stuttgartmarker.


The area used to be covered by the historical states of Baden, the Prussian Hohenzollernmarker and Württembergmarker, part of the region of Swabia.After World War II Allied forces established three federal states: Württemberg-Hohenzollernmarker, South Baden (both occupied by France), and Württemberg-Baden (US-occupied). In 1949 these three states became founding members of the Federal Republic of Germanymarker. Article 118 of the new German constitution however had already prepared a procedure for those states to merge. After a plebiscite held on 9 December 1951 in four different regions, of which three approved the merger, the three states merged on 25 April 1952 into Baden-Württemberg.

In 1956 the Federal Constitutional Court of Germanymarker ruled that the plebiscite was unlawful because it had disadvantaged Baden's population. The plebiscite was then held again within the area of former Baden in 1970 resulting in a majority of more than 81% for the new state.


The Rhinemarker ( ) forms the western border as well as large portions of the southern border. The Black Forestmarker (Schwarzwald), the main mountain range of the state, rises east of the Rhine valley. The high plateau Swabian Albmarker between Neckar, Black Forest and Danube is an important European watershed. Baden-Württemberg shares both Lake Constancemarker (Bodensee) and the foothills of the Alps with Switzerland.

The Danube (Donau) river has its source in Baden-Württemberg near the town of Donaueschingenmarker, in a place called Furtwangenmarker in the Black Forest.


Baden-Württemberg is divided into 35 districts (Landkreise) and 9 independent cities (Stadtkreise), both grouped into the four Administrative Districts (Regierungsbezirke) of Freiburgmarker, Karlsruhemarker, Stuttgartmarker, and Tübingenmarker.


  1. Alb-Donaumarker
  2. Biberachmarker
  3. Bodenseemarker
  4. Böblingenmarker
  5. Breisgau-Hochschwarzwaldmarker
  6. Calwmarker
  7. Konstanzmarker (Constance)
  8. Emmendingenmarker
  9. Enzmarker
  10. Esslingenmarker
  11. Freudenstadtmarker
  12. Göppingenmarker
  1. Heidenheimmarker
  2. Heilbronnmarker
  3. Hohenlohemarker
  4. Karlsruhemarker
  5. Lörrachmarker
  6. Ludwigsburgmarker
  7. Main-Taubermarker
  8. Neckar-Odenwald-Kreismarker
  9. Ortenaukreismarker
  10. Ostalbkreismarker
  11. Rastattmarker
  12. Ravensburgmarker
  1. Rems-Murr-Kreismarker
  2. Reutlingenmarker
  3. Rhein-Neckar-Kreismarker
  4. Rottweilmarker
  5. Schwäbisch Hallmarker
  6. Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreismarker
  7. Sigmaringenmarker
  8. Tübingenmarker
  9. Tuttlingenmarker
  10. Waldshutmarker
  11. Zollernalbkreismarker

Furthermore there are nine independent cities, which do not belong to any district:

A. Baden-Badenmarker

B. Freiburgmarker

C. Heidelbergmarker

D. Heilbronnmarker

E. Karlsruhemarker

F. Mannheimmarker

G. Pforzheimmarker

H. Stuttgartmarker

I. Ulmmarker


Baden-Württemberg is among the most prosperous states in Germanymarker and is one of the wealthiest regions in Europe with a traditionally low unemployment rate. A number of well-known enterprises are headquartered in the state, for example Daimler AG, Porsche, Robert Bosch GmbH (automobile industry), Carl Zeiss AG (optics), and SAP AG (largest software enterprise in Europe). In spite of this, Baden-Württemberg's economy is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises. Although poor in workable natural resources (formerly lead, zinc, iron, silver, copper and salts) and still rural in many areas, the region is heavily industrialized. In 2003, there were almost 8,800 manufacturing enterprises with more than 20 employees, but only 384 with more than 500. The latter category accounts for 43% of the 1.2 million persons employed in industry. The Mittelstand or mid-sized company is the backbone of the Baden-Württemberg economy. Medium-sized businesses and a tradition of branching out into different industrial sectors have ensured specialization over a wide range. A fifth of the "old" Federal Republic's industrial gross value added is generated by Baden-Württemberg. Turnover for manufacturing in 2003 exceeded 240,000 million, 43% of which came from exports. The region depends to some extent on global economic developments, though the great adaptability of the region's economy has generally helped it through crises. Half of the employees in the manufacturing industry are in mechanical and electrical engineering and automobile construction. This is also where the largest enterprises are to be found. The importance of the precision mechanics industry also extends beyond the region's borders, as does that of the optical, clock making, toy, metallurgy and electronics industries. The textile industry, which formerly dominated much of the region, has now all but disappeared from Baden-Württemberg. Research and development (R&D) is funded jointly by the State and industry. In 2001, more than a fifth of the 100,000 or so persons working in R&D in Germany were located in Baden-Württemberg, most of them in the Stuttgartmarker area. Baden-Württemberg is also one of the Four Motors of Europe.

A study performed in 2007 by the pr campaign "Initiative for New Social Market Economy" ( (INSM)) and the trade newspaper "Wirtschaftswoche" awarded Baden-Württemberg for being the "economically most successful and most dynamic state" among the 16 states.


Baden-Württemberg is a popular holiday destination rivalled only by Bavariamarker in its natural landscapes. Main sights include the capital Stuttgartmarker, the spas of Baden-Badenmarker, the architecture of Ulmmarker, the university cities Heidelbergmarker and Tübingenmarker, and Freiburgmarker as an ideal base for exploring the Black Forestmarker and the vineyards of Breisachmarker. Lake Constancemarker ( ) is a draw in the summer.


Baden-Württemberg is home to some of the oldest, most renowned and prestigious Universities in Germany, such as the universities of Freiburg, Heidelbergmarker and Tübingenmarker. It also contains four of the nine German 'excellence universities' (Freiburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhemarker, and Konstanz). The International University in Germany is situated in Bruchsalmarker.

Other university towns are Tübingenmarker, Mannheimmarker and Ulmmarker. Furthermore, two universities are located in the state capital Stuttgartmarker, the University of Hohenheim and the University of Stuttgartmarker. Ludwigsburg is home to the renowned national film school Filmakademie Baden-Württembergmarker (Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg).


In many areas of Baden-Württemberg, residents still speak the distinctive dialects of Swabian ( ) and 'Badisch'/Allemanic, both of which are known for being almost unintelligible to northern Germans, especially in its stronger variants in the countryside. In the northern part of Baden-Württemberg, i.e., the area around Heidelbergmarker and Mannheimmarker, a third dialect known as Kurpfälzisch is spoken. The dialects spoken in most of Baden-Württemberg are related to those of the neighboring regions of Alsacemarker, northern Switzerlandmarker, Liechtensteinmarker and Vorarlbergmarker, being either of Swabian or Alemannic origin.


The population of Baden-Württemberg is 10,749,755 (2008), of which 5,466,966 is female and 5,282,789 is male, total population up 0.10 per cent over a year earlier. This was due to more births than deaths. In 2006, the birth rate was 8.61 per 1000, lower than that of 8.80 per 1000 in 2005. The death rate is decrease from 8.80 per 1000 in 2005 to 8.60 per 1000 in 2006. In 2008, Nearly 14.87 percent of the population under the age of 15, fell from 15.13 per cent over a previous year. The proportion of people aged 65 and over rose from 18.72 per cent to 18.99 per cent. Correspondingly, the median age (aged 15–64) of the population fell from 66.15 to 66.14 over the same period. The ratio of people aged under 15 and aged 65 and over to the population of working age (aged 15–64), the overall dependency ratio is 512 per 1000 in 2008. The Sex ratio of total population is 0.966 male(s)/female.


Religion %
Roman Catholics 37.8% 4.0M
Evangelical Church in Germany 33.8% 3.6M
Muslims 5.6% 600 000
Buddhists 0.23% 25 000
Hindu 0.14% 15 000
Jews 0.08% 9 000
Non Religious 22.3% 2.4M

Religious Freedom Controversy

Baden-Württemberg was the first of Germany's 16 states to outlaw the wearing of headscarves by Muslim teachers at state schools after a similar ban in Francemarker in 2004. Several resultant cases received international attention.

In one prominent example, one of the women affected, Doris Graber, had been teaching since 1973 but began wearing a headscarf in 1995. On March 18, 2008, a German court ruled that she could not wear a headscarf despite her argument that she should be permitted to do so under equal treatment laws since nuns were allowed to teach in a public school at that time while wearing religious habits. The state attorney spoke of a "historic exception" in the aforementioned public school where the nuns still teach in habit. The school, a former monastery, was taken over by the state and authorities are bound to a contract governing the "exceptions status" of the school.

In the Fereshta Ludin case, education minister Annette Schavan asserted that headscarves are "understood as a symbol of the exclusion of woman from civil and cultural society," after she, herself, excluded Ms. Ludin from a teaching position because Ms. Ludin wore a scarf.


The politics of Baden-Württemberg are dominated by the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), who have led all but one governments since the establishment of the state in 1952. The CDU currently have a minority of one in the state assembly, and rule in coalition with the liberal Free Democratic Party. The opposition is lead by the leftist Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Alliance '90/The Greens party. Until 2001 the anti-immigration The Republicans party also had seats in the state assembly.

Minister-presidents of Baden-Württemberg since 1952

|| 1
|| Reinhold Maier
|| 2
|| Gebhard Müller
|| 3
|| Kurt Georg Kiesinger
|| 4
|| Hans Filbinger
|| 5
|| Lothar Späth
|| 6
|| Erwin Teufel
|| 7
|| Günther Oettinger
Minister-presidents of Baden-Württemberg
Nr. Name Born-Died Party affiliation Begin of Tenure End of Tenure
1889-1971 DVP 1952 1953
1900-1990 CDU 1953 1958
1904-1988 CDU 1958 1966
1913-2007 CDU 1966 1978
*1937 CDU 1978 1991
*1939 CDU 1991 2005
*1953 CDU 2005 incumbent

See also


  1. Cooke, p. 84


External links

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