North Rhine-Westphalia ( [ ˌnɔrtraɪ̯nvɛstˈfaːlən ] , country code NW , abbreviation NRW ) is the most populous of the 16 countries in Germany . The state capital is Düsseldorf , the most populous city is Cologne .
North Rhine-Westphalia borders on Lower Saxony in the north and northeast , Hesse in the southeast, Rhineland-Palatinate in the south and the Belgian province of Liège and the Dutch provinces of Limburg , Gelderland and Overijssel in the west . With around 17.9 million inhabitants, North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous, and with an area of around 34,100 square kilometers it is the fourth largest German state. 30 of the 81 major German cities are in its heavily urbanized area. The Rhine-Ruhr is in the center of the country with ten million inhabitants one of the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the world and a central portion of the compressed strongest region of Europe, the " blue banana ".
The northern part of the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation is formed by the heavily urbanized Ruhr area with the centers of Dortmund , Essen , Duisburg and Bochum . Its economic rise in the early 19th century was based on industrialization and the coal and steel industry , in particular ore and coal mining . Since the decline in mining in the 1960s, there has been a structural change that continues today towards a service and technology industry, which is accompanied by subsidized large-scale projects such as RUHR.2010 - European Capital of Culture . To this day, the economic structure of North Rhine-Westphalia is characterized by old industrial key industries , but overall there is a diversified economy . With a share of around 22 percent of the German gross domestic product , North Rhine-Westphalia is the state with the highest economic output.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established in 1946 by the British occupying power from the Prussian province of Westphalia and the northern part of the Prussian Rhine province ( North Rhine ) and expanded to include the state of Lippe in 1947 . Since 1949 it has been a country of the Federal Republic of Germany. Until 1999 Bonn was the seat of government of the Federal Republic. The federal ministries retained their offices in Bonn, which the Berlin / Bonn Act guarantees important government functions as a federal city .
In terms of culture , North Rhine-Westphalia is not a single area; There are significant differences, especially in traditional customs, between the Rhineland region on the one hand and the Westphalia and Lippe regions on the other. But further diversity can also be found within the Rhineland and Westphalia. Important educational and research institutions in the state are 14 universities under public law, 16 universities of applied sciences under public law, seven state colleges of art and music, 28 recognized private and church universities with headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia as well as five administrative universities, the Jülich Research Center and the NRW Graduate Schools and the DLR (German Aerospace Center) .
North Rhine-Westphalia is located in the west of the Federal Republic of Germany and borders in a clockwise direction with Lower Saxony , Hesse , Rhineland-Palatinate , Belgium and the Netherlands . The country extends from southwest to northeast around 260 kilometers. The north of the country lies in the North German Plain and is roughly divided into the Westphalian Bay , which is traversed by the rivers Lippe , Ems and Ruhr , and the Lower Rhine lowland on both sides of the Rhine , which is the largest river in the country (and at the same time Germany) . The lowest point is in the northwest of the country. The remaining areas of the country are part of the German low mountain range . The Weserbergland on the upper Weser characterizes the east of the country. The mountains of the Rhenish Slate Mountains occupy the south. The Rhenish Slate Mountains are roughly divided into the Eifel on the left bank of the Rhine in the southwest and Bergisches Land and Sauerland east of the Rhine. The Langenberg in the Rothaargebirge , part of the Sauerland, is the highest mountain in the country. The geographic center of the country is in Dortmund in the Aplerbecker Mark ; in Selfkant is the westernmost point of North Rhine-Westphalia, while in Germany.
The climate of North Rhine-Westphalia shows relatively balanced temperature and precipitation profiles . The mean annual temperatures are between 5 ° C and 10 ° C, depending on the altitude. The annual rainfall is between 600 millimeters in the lowlands and 1400 millimeters in the low mountain ranges.
By virtue of occupation law , the occupying power Great Britain founded the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on August 23, 1946 from the northern part of the Prussian Rhine Province ( North Rhine Province ) and the also Prussian Province of Westphalia . The political preparation for this ran under the code word Operation Marriage . After the incorporation of the for centuries independent state of Lippe in 1947, today's territorial layout was achieved.
On its territory , North Rhine-Westphalia has become the legal successor to the Free State of Prussia and the State of Lippe. In contrast to some other German states, North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole did not have a predecessor state that had a strong identity . When the state of North Rhine-Westphalia was founded, the focus was not on merging homogeneous areas, but rather on the desire of the British government to embed the Ruhr area and its significant industrial resources as a whole in one state.
In 1949 North Rhine-Westphalia founded the Federal Republic of Germany together with other states . The greatest challenges in the post-war period were the reconstruction of the war-torn country and the establishment of a democratic state. In particular as a result of the decline of the coal and steel industry as a result of the coal and steel crises and the trend towards tertiarization , the design of the necessary structural change developed into a central issue of state politics.
From 1966 to 1976 there was a municipal territorial reform , which reduced the number of independent cities, municipalities and districts belonging to the district. The number of administrative districts has been reduced from 6 to 5 districts. The former administrative district of Aachen was merged with the administrative district of Cologne to form the new administrative district of Cologne.
Politics and administration
According to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany and the Constitution for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of the Federal Republic of Germany . According to its constitution, the country is organized according to the principles of a republican , social and democratic constitutional state . The legislature lies largely with the Landtag , which is elected by the electorate for a period of five years . Elements of direct democracy hardly play a role in practice. Since 2017 bear CDU and FDP , the state government . The executive , which is bound by parliament, is headed by the prime minister - since June 27, 2017 by Armin Laschet ( CDU ). The state administration is subordinate to the state government . The district governments for the administrative districts of Düsseldorf , Cologne , Münster , Detmold and Arnsberg are a middle level of the state administration. The state constitutional jurisdiction lies with the constitutional court for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . Due to its partial sovereignty , North Rhine-Westphalia, as a limited state subject to international law, can conclude international agreements in certain areas . The state participates in federal legislation and in matters of the European Union through the Bundesrat . As a federal city, Bonn is the seat of numerous federal institutions, as well as the location of various United Nations organizations .
The cities and municipalities of the state have the right to local self-government and take on tasks of the state administration on behalf of the state or by way of organ lending . At the municipal level, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into 30 districts and a city region . The districts and the urban region comprise 374 district (regional) municipalities and cities . There are also 22 independent cities in North Rhine-Westphalia . The city of Aachen is both a district and part of the Aachen city region. Overall, the country is divided into 396 municipalities. The country has 29 major cities . The two regional associations in North Rhine-Westphalia , as well as other municipal associations such as the Ruhr Regional Association or the Lippe Regional Association, are of particular importance in the cultural and social area as well as for other tasks of local government . The following is the division of the country into administrative districts and associated districts and urban districts (urban districts in italics):
|Counties, city regions and independent cities||Residents||Area
(inhabitants per km²)
|Arnsberg||Bochum , Dortmund , Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis , Hagen , Hamm , Herne , Hochsauerlandkreis , Märkischer Kreis , Olpe , Siegen-Wittgenstein , Soest , Unna||3,597,297||8011||449|
|Detmold||Bielefeld , Gütersloh , Herford , Höxter , Lippe , Minden-Lübbecke , Paderborn||2,057,996||6525||315|
|Dusseldorf||Duisburg , Düsseldorf , Essen , Kleve , Krefeld , Mettmann , Mönchengladbach , Mülheim an der Ruhr , Oberhausen , Remscheid , Rhein-Kreis Neuss , Solingen , Viersen , Wesel , Wuppertal||5,173,623||5292||978|
|Cologne||Aachen (city region) , Bonn , Düren , Euskirchen , Heinsberg , Cologne , Leverkusen , Oberbergischer Kreis , Rhein-Erft-Kreis , Rhein-Sieg-Kreis , Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis||4,422,371||7364||601|
|Muenster||Borken , Bottrop , Coesfeld , Gelsenkirchen , Münster , Recklinghausen , Steinfurt , Warendorf||2,614,229||6917||378|
December 31, 2019
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has 17,947,221 (as of December 31, 2019) inhabitants, making it the most populous German state . At the same time, the area, with a population density of 526 inhabitants per square kilometer, is by far the most densely populated country among the territorial states. However, the population is very unevenly distributed. The Münsterland , the Tecklenburger Land , the more mountainous regions in the south of the country and parts of East Westphalia-Lippe are rather sparsely populated . The Rhine-Ruhr with around ten million inhabitants one of the most densely populated and most densely populated regions of Europe. The following table shows the population development in the country.
In 2006, the proportion of people over 65 was around 19.7 percent (1950: 8.8 percent). In 2006, the proportion of people under the age of 15 was 14.7 percent (1950: 22.6 percent).
In 2006 there were around 8.5 million households in the country. The average household size is therefore 2.12 people. However, only one person lives in 37 percent of these households. In 1950 the average household size was over 3 people. The share of single-person households was only 16.9 percent in 1950. The proportion of single people is even higher than the proportion of single-person households. In 2006 around 39 percent of the population were single. Only around a quarter of North Rhine-Westphalia live in a “classic” couple relationship with children.
In 2006, North Rhine-Westphalia had the third highest fertility rate among the federal states with 1.36 children per woman . In 2007 this value rose to 1.39. However, there are strong regional differences. Comparatively high values of over 1.5 can be found in the north and east of the country. The Lippe district took the top spot with 1.61 (2007). Low values can be found in the Ruhr area, e.g. B. Bochum with 1.15 or Dortmund with 1.33. Duisburg has the highest value in the Ruhr area with 1.45. Remscheid is the independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia with the highest fertility rate, 1.56. The state capital Düsseldorf has very low values with 1.29 and the most populous city Cologne with 1.26. By 2017, the number of children in North Rhine-Westphalia had risen to 1.60 per woman.
The average life expectancy in the period 2015/17 was 78.1 years for men and 82.7 years for women. Men are 7th among the German federal states, while women are 13th. Regionally, in 2013/15 Münster (expectation of the total population: 82.43 years), Bonn (82.23) and Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis (81.81) had the highest, as well as Oberhausen (78.86), Herne (78.62) and Gelsenkirchen (78.49) have the lowest life expectancy.
In 2014, the share of residents with a migration background (registered residents with non-German citizenship or people born outside Germany and immigrants since 1950 and their children) was 23.6 percent. The proportion of foreigners (registered residents without German citizenship) in the total population on December 31, 2006 was 10.6 percent.
According to various forecasts, the population of North Rhine-Westphalia will shrink significantly in the coming decades. The population projection by the country's statistics agency predicts a total population of only 16.16 million by 2050. The proportion of people over 65 in the total population is forecast to rise to almost 30 percent by 2050. The Federal Statistical Office of Germany ( DESTATIS ) predicts a population decline of around one million people every 20 years for NRW. The Bertelsmann Foundation has published the "Guide commune" forecast in the 2011th A population decline of around one million people is forecast by 2030.
Lt. According to the forecast by IT.NRW from 3/2016, the population decline goes hand in hand with the decline in the labor force for the period 2014 to 2040. A decline of approx. 7.9% or 693,000 economically active persons (for men by 5.2% or 248,000 from 4,739,000 to 4,491,000 or for women by 11.1% or 445,000 from 4,013,000 to 3,568,000).
The results of these population projections are summarized in the following tables:
|December 31, 2010||17,818,000|
|December 31, 2015||17,596,000|
|December 31, 2020||17,364,000|
|December 31, 2025||17,112,000|
|December 31, 2030||16,832,000|
|December 31, 2035||16,510,000|
|December 31, 2040||16,136,000|
|December 31, 2045||15,702,000|
|December 31, 2050||15,219,000|
|December 31, 2055||14,716,000|
|December 31, 2060||14,230,000|
|December 31, 2009||17,860,460|
|December 31, 2015||17,659,710|
|December 31, 2020||17,445,490|
|December 31, 2025||17,196,820|
|December 31, 2030||16.907.040|
|Source: Bertelsmann Foundation|
|1st of January 2014||17,571,900|
|January 1, 2020||17,702,000|
|January 1, 2025||17,737,300|
|January 1, 2030||17,708,900|
|January 1, 2035||17.602.200|
|January 1, 2040||17,491,100|
|January 1, 2045||17,321,600|
|January 1, 2050||17.091.100|
|January 1, 2055||16,813,700|
|January 1, 2060||16,522,400|
In mid-2019, the State Statistical Office presented a new model calculation. According to this, North Rhine-Westphalia is expected to have 18.08 million inhabitants in 2040 and will therefore grow faster than previously assumed. According to this, the population will grow by 0.9 percent by 2040. The population is likely to develop very differently from region to region. While the population in the Rhineland with its agglomerations from the Lower Rhine to Bonn is growing noticeably, it is falling in structurally weaker regions such as the Sauerland, Siegerland and large parts of the Ruhr area.
Identification and cultural identity
North Rhine-Westphalia is referred to as a "hyphenated state" because it was formed from three historically different parts of the country under the significant influence of the occupying power Great Britain in 1946 and 1947 and since then there has been no particularly strong identification with the country . Cultural considerations joined the founding of the state behind geopolitical and economic considerations to embed the Ruhr region as a whole, back. Economically, the areas of the country were already intertwined early on, in some cases closely.
The residents of the three parts of Westphalia , Lippe and Rhineland have developed a certain identification with the state since 1946. A breakthrough towards a clear national identity has been observed especially since the 1980s. However, this awareness often takes a backseat to the awareness of belonging to a part of North Rhine-Westphalia. Above all, the historical, cultural and linguistic differences between the Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe have a dividing effect. Large parts of Westphalia-Lippe, especially in the north and east, feel culturally and historically connected to the neighboring regions of Lower Saxony . But there are also other distinct regional identities within the other regions of North Rhine-Westphalia, which can often be traced back to the territories formed in the Middle Ages and modern times, their ruling houses and the associated denominational ties. The current 285 km long Rhenish-Westphalian internal border between the former Prussian provinces within the present-day country is regarded as an ancient cultural border over the Prussian period, which can be traced back to the Franconian - Saxon tribal border of the 8th century. The regional awareness of the Lipper, which is remarkably pronounced for such a small area, is mainly fed by its long independence, because in terms of culture, the Lipperland can hardly be separated from the rest of Westphalia, especially the adjacent Minden-Ravensberg . The identity of the Rhinelander in their imagination also extends beyond the borders of North Rhine-Westphalia and mostly refers to a historical cultural area along the Rhine that roughly corresponds to the former Rhine province , i.e. also includes parts of today's Rhineland-Palatinate and the peripheral areas of East Belgium (→ Rhineland ). Another characteristic of the Rhinelanders' self-image is their awareness of their interdependence with and proximity to Western Europe .
While in the 19th century individual territories in what would later become North Rhine-Westphalia (such as the Duchy of Kleve , the Grafschaft Mark and Minden-Ravensberg ) had been connected to Brandenburg-Prussia for centuries , many residents (especially the secularized, former spiritual territories) cultivated them like Kurköln and the prince-bishops of Münster and Paderborn ) as " Musspreußen " a largely distant relationship to the Prussian state . This was expressed, for example, during the Cologne turmoil , which culminated in the arrest of the Archbishop of Cologne Clemens August Droste zu Vischering and which promoted the development of political Catholicism in the Rhineland and Westphalia, and also in the Cologne-Düsseldorf fraternization festival in the summer of 1843, as Rhenish citizens committed to maintaining their Rhenish law . For many, the gap widened due to the failure of the March Revolution and the Kulturkampf , the repressive measures against the ties of many Rhinelander and Westphalians to the Roman Catholic Church and to ultra-montanism . The Rhenish and Westphalian identity development was promoted by the contrasts of the Prussian state, which was centrally controlled in "distant Berlin". Another great influence was the fact that Prussia not only united the Rhinelanders, who had previously been distributed over different rulers, in the Rhine Province, but also promoted the romanticism of the Rhine that shaped the Rhenish self-image , especially in the Middle Rhine area . The same can be said about the Westphalia, which were also united by Prussia in the province of Westphalia in the 19th century .
In the country's residents with foreign migration history , their share is not low, especially in the urbanized and industrialized regions comes as identity-building factor to bear that their culture and identity is shaped by the life-world of their different cultural backgrounds, such as so-called Ruhr Poles , resettlers and repatriates , People of Turkish origin and their descendants. In addition, the proportion of those country residents who have moved here from other federal states or as so-called displaced persons and who have “brought along” an identity that was previously shaped in other German or formerly German regions is also not small . The characteristic of the mixture and recording of different people, cultures and traditions in the Rhineland had the writer Carl Zuckmayer 1946 - ie long before the labor migration of so-called guest workers - to his metaphor of the Rhine as the " peoples of Europe mill out".
The old contrasts between the parts of the country are only slowly fading. The two regional associations for Westphalia-Lippe and the Rhineland are entrusted with the regional cultural maintenance and thus institutionalize the cultural separation of the country. With Ostwestfalen-Lippe and in particular the Ruhr area , which is characterized by industrial culture, cross-border and new identity-creating regions have now emerged. As a result of the process of European integration , a further level of identity - above the predominant self-image of North Rhine-Westphalia as Germans - has developed a European identity .
More than 60 years after the founding of North Rhine-Westphalia, it can be stated that the state awareness, promoted by publications, events (e.g. by the North Rhine-Westphalia Day ), awards , national emblems and state symbols , museums with state-specific topics, construction and the presence of representative state buildings and institutions such as B. the West German Broadcasting , is developing and that the identity of the country's residents is increasingly spatially oriented towards the national borders. The respective minister-presidents and state governments have tried to promote and use the North Rhine-Westphalian identity of the state residents in different ways and intensities, for example Franz Meyers (founding of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen ), Johannes Rau (election slogan We in NRW , later the name of a blog) and Jürgen Rüttgers (slogan We in the West , later Foundation of the North Rhine-Westphalia Day). Nevertheless, there is still no talk of a particularly strong general awareness of the country. With a house of the history of North Rhine-Westphalia , which is to be set up in the Mannesmann House on the Rheinuferpromenade in Düsseldorf's government district by the 75th anniversary in 2021 , the state of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to convey the development of the state to a wide audience up to the present and invite you to actively deal with the country's past, present and future. This is also intended to promote state awareness and a self-confident national identity.
Tolerance in a nationwide comparison
In the “ Mitte Study ” from 2015, the approval of xenophobic statements in individual German federal states was examined. 78.8% of North Rhine-Westphalia rejected xenophobic statements. This was the highest rejection rate for xenophobic statements in a large state (national average: 75.7%).
Religious and ideological communities
The largest religious group are the Roman Catholic Christians with around 37.5 percent of the total population in 2018. The second largest group are Protestant residents with 23.8 percent, also considered for 2018. Evangelical free churches make up 1.1 percent and Orthodox 1.5 percent of the population. The largest non-Christian population group with a religious creed is made up of Muslims with around 8 percent of the population, who predominantly belong to the Sunni denomination of Islam . There are also Alevis and other groups. Jews make up about 0.1 percent. The state constitution recognizes a special social role for the churches , especially in areas of education, and guarantees the right to freely practice a religion .
The proportion of people with no religious affiliation is accordingly around 28 percent.
Dialects and languages
The colloquial and official language is German . The dialects and languages in North Rhine-Westphalia vary due to the cultural and spatial inconsistencies of the state area. In the Rhenish part of the country there are predominantly Franconian dialects , in Westphalia and Lippe mainly Westphalian regiolects of High German, which have their roots in Westphalian dialects of Low German . The Ruhr German , which emerged under the influence of immigration , is an example of a Regiolekt. Language teaching and immigration have increased the multilingualism of residents considerably over the last few decades. The pronunciation is in Low German Noordrhien-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia or the area of today's state has produced numerous important personalities. The composer Ludwig van Beethoven , the painter Peter Paul Rubens and the racing driver Michael Schumacher are among the best known internationally . Five federal presidents alone were born in what would later become North Rhine-Westphalia: Gustav Heinemann , Heinrich Lübke , Johannes Rau , Walter Scheel , Frank-Walter Steinmeier . With Konrad Adenauer and Gerhard Schröder , two Federal Chancellors also come from North Rhine-Westphalia. Other well-known personalities are Otto III. , Friedrich Engels , Joseph Beuys , Heinrich Böll , Annette von Droste-Hülshoff , Heinrich Heine , Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and Alfred Krupp .
Education and Research
The North Rhine-Westphalian school system provides for the attendance of one of the secondary school types of Hauptschule , Realschule , Gymnasium , Gesamtschule or secondary school after a four-year regular time at the primary school . The highest school final examination is the Allgemeine Hochschulreife , which is usually passed as a central high school diploma after three years of completing the upper level of a secondary school .
In the 1950s there were only a few universities in North Rhine-Westphalia, including the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, the University of Cologne and the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn . Since the 1960s, more and more new universities have been founded. More than 700,000 students were enrolled at the North Rhine-Westphalian universities in the 2014/2015 winter semester. The universities in Bochum , Duisburg / Essen , Hagen , Cologne and Münster as well as RWTH Aachen are the universities with the largest student numbers in the state and are among the ten largest universities in Germany . Overall, the state (as of 2015), including the universities of applied sciences, has 30 public universities, seven state colleges of art and music, 30 recognized private and church universities and five universities of applied sciences that are not subject to the state's official and technical supervision.
In addition to the other institutions of the Helmholtz Association , the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Society , the Jülich Research Center is known as one of the largest research institutions in Europe. The NRW Graduate Schools are institutions of cutting-edge research within the existing universities.
Economy and Transport
In the 1950s and 1960s, the land of coal and steel was an apt description of both self and others for North Rhine-Westphalia. The mining industry on the Rhine and Ruhr was one of the most important industrial regions in Europe and made a decisive contribution to the reconstruction and economic miracle not only in the country but in the entire Federal Republic. After the Second World War, its future was initially politically controversial internationally due to the Ruhr issue . From the end of the 1940s, the Ruhr Statute and the Schuman Plan paved the way for a European communitarisation of the coal and steel sector in the form of the European Coal and Steel Community . Since the 1960s at the latest, the strong orientation of the Ruhr area towards the coal and steel industry had a negative impact as a monostructure . Recurring steel and coal crises caused the mining industrial sector to melt more and more. In the manufacturing sector, on the other hand, companies outside the Ruhr area, especially in mechanical engineering and in the metal and iron processing industry, experienced a considerable upswing. The structural change in North Rhine-Westphalia was very different from region to region. While parts of the old district still have high unemployment figures, a structural change has taken place from a predominantly industrial society to a knowledge society.
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of 711.419 billion euros in 2019, North Rhine-Westphalia was the economically strongest state in Germany and one of the most important economic centers in the world. When looking at the gross domestic product per inhabitant, North Rhine-Westphalia is in the midfield of the states of western Germany . The unemployment rate is 8.1% (July 2020) . This value is above the federal German and clearly above the west German unemployment rate. The unemployment rate in North Rhine-Westphalia is the highest of all western German states .
According to surveys by the American business magazine Fortune , four of the hundred companies with the highest turnover in the world are based in North Rhine-Westphalia. According to a survey by the Wirtschaftsblatt , the ten companies with the highest sales in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2009 were E.ON (supplier), Metro (retail), Deutsche Telekom (telecommunications), Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd (retail), Rewe (retail), RWE (supplier ), Deutsche Post AG (logistics and transport), ThyssenKrupp (mechanical and plant engineering), Deutsche BP (supplier) and Bayer AG (pharmaceuticals and chemicals). Across Germany, the country can record the highest foreign direct investments of all German countries with around 135 billion euros (around 29 percent of all direct investments in Germany, both as of the end of 2009).
|Unemployment rate in%||9.2||8.8||9.2||10.0||10.2||12.0||11.4||9.5||8.5||8.9||8.7||8.1||8.1||8.3||8.2||8.0||7.7||7.4||6.8||6.5|
Along with the central location in the most important European economic area , the high population density, the strong urbanization and the numerous business locations , North Rhine-Westphalia has one of the densest transport networks in the world. In 2015, every third traffic jam report in Germany was in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Cologne Eifeltor station is Germany's largest container transhipment terminal for the combined freight rail / road transport . In terms of freight transport, the Hagen-Vorhalle station is one of the largest marshalling yards in Germany.
The port of Duisburg is regarded as the transport hub for German inland shipping . The most important inland waterway in North Rhine-Westphalia is the Rhine. In addition, the Rhine-Herne Canal (RHK), the Wesel-Datteln Canal (WDK), the Datteln-Hamm Canal (DHK) and the Dortmund-Ems Canal (DEK) play an important role for inland shipping.
The two most important hubs in international air traffic are the airports of Düsseldorf ( third largest German airport in terms of passenger numbers) and Cologne / Bonn (third largest German airport in terms of freight volume). Other airports with regular scheduled and charter services are the Dortmund airport , the Niederrhein Airport , the airport Münster / Osnabrück and Paderborn / Lippstadt .
Culture and leisure
Art and cultural landscape
The promotion of art and culture in North Rhine-Westphalia is set out in the state constitution as a national goal. North Rhine-Westphalia supports a large number of artistic and cultural projects and institutions, almost exclusively in the state, at the federal level the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation , the State Cultural Foundation , the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe Institute . Due to the sheer population of the country alone, numerous cultural workers live in the country, according to an estimate around 30,000 artists. The Film- und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen plays an important role in the national and international funding of film and the media . The Kunststiftung NRW does a similar job in the field of art and culture.
The art and culture scene in North Rhine-Westphalia is characterized by its diversity and polycentrism . Reasons for this are, among other things, the pronounced regional differences in the state in terms of cultural space, the most noticeable cultural boundary between Westphalia-Lippe and the Rhineland , and in the state's history , which did not allow the emergence of a metropolis or residential city that was also dominant in cultural terms. There are therefore important cultural institutions spread across the country. The impetus for the development of culture and art in today's country rarely came “from above”. The working-class culture in the Ruhr area is a particularly good example. The working-class culture formed one of the roots for the transformation of the Ruhr area from an industrially dominated region to a “cultural metropolis” which - like other industrial regions in North Rhine-Westphalia - continues to see its industrial culture as an important part of its cultural identity . In 2010 the Ruhr area was the European Capital of Culture .
With Art Cologne , North Rhine-Westphalia is home to the largest art fair in Germany and the oldest in the world. Other well-known art fairs are Art Düsseldorf , the Great Art Exhibition NRW Düsseldorf and the tour of the Düsseldorf Art Academy . Düsseldorf and Cologne are known as centers of art and the art trade as well as the locations of important art collections and exhibition houses, including in Düsseldorf the Art Collection North Rhine-Westphalia , the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf , the Museum Kunstpalast and the NRW-Forum , in Cologne the Wallraf-Richartz Museum & Fondation Corboud as well as the Museum Ludwig . The Ostwall Museum is located in Dortmund . Essen is the location of the Folkwang Museum and the LWL Museum for Art and Culture is located in Münster . The Museum Mile in Bonn is home to the Bonn Art Museum and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, two of the most important art museums in the country. The Schauspielhaus Bochum and the Schauspiel Köln are among the most important theaters in Germany . The only state theater in North Rhine-Westphalia is the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus . The most famous opera houses are the Cologne Opera , the Dortmund Opera House, the Aalto Theater in Essen and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg. The Dortmund Theater is one of the large three-part houses in Germany. The Dortmund Concert Hall , the Düsseldorf Tonhalle , the Essen Philharmonic and the Cologne Philharmonic are the most famous concert halls in the country. The best-known art universities are the Düsseldorf Art Academy, the Detmold University of Music and the Folkwang University of the Arts .
The biggest tourist attraction in the country and at the same time in the Federal Republic is Cologne Cathedral with around six million visitors annually. Next to the cathedral include the Aachen Cathedral and Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust , since 2001, the coal mine and coking plant and, since 2014, the monastery Corvey on the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the country. The colliery is the most outstanding example of numerous industrial monuments in the cities on the Rhine and Ruhr, whose historic inner-city areas, on the other hand, were destroyed many times during the Second World War or during industrialization. As a state, North Rhine-Westphalia expresses itself through a large number of state buildings, in particular through the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and the buildings of the state government in the government district of Düsseldorf. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is probably the world's best-known architect from what is now North Rhine-Westphalia.
The nature in North Rhine-Westphalia is typical of the Central European natural area. Species that have been adapted to cleared cultivated landscapes or wooded low mountain ranges are particularly widespread in North Rhine-Westphalia. The original species-rich flora and fauna are, however, threatened like in hardly any other region of Europe due to the high density of settlements, the large industrial centers of the country, mining, the almost extensive agricultural and forestry use as well as the almost complete traffic development. The structural change in the Ruhr area and environmental protection measures led overall to a strong improvement in air and water quality in the Rhine-Ruhr region. North Rhine-Westphalia is about 25 percent forested. For nature conservation and local recreation for the residents of the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr region, the forested low mountain range regions of the state play an important role. North Rhine-Westphalia has a share in 14 nature parks . The largest of these parks is the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge nature park in East Westphalia-Lippe . With the Eifel National Park , the country has had a national park since 2004 .
The country's accommodation providers had around 20 million guests in 2012, who stayed around 45.4 million times. Most overnight stays in 2012 were recorded in the Teutoburg Forest travel area (6.5 million), followed by the Sauerland and the “Cologne and Rhein-Erft-Kreis” travel area with 6.2 million overnight stays each. The number of overnight stays by foreign guests in 2012 was over 9.2 million. The guests from the Netherlands are the most important group with around 25.2 percent of the overnight stays. Tourists from the United Kingdom (7.7 percent), Belgium (6.3 percent), the USA (5.2 percent) and France (4.1 percent) follow at a considerable distance.
With regard to the North Rhine-Westphalian cuisine, the division into a Rhenish and Westphalian-Lippe part can be seen again. The cuisine of the Lower Rhine and the Bergisches Land also belong to the Rhenish cuisine . The Westphalian cuisine and the associated Lippe cuisine are, in the broader sense, a part of the North German cuisine. The Westphalian cuisine is above all hearty, one example is Westphalian ham on pumpernickel . Other meat, sausage and bread specialties also play a major role there. Rhenish cuisine is also down-to-earth, but appears a bit more refined compared to Westphalian cuisine. A well-known example of Rhenish cuisine is the Rhenish sauerbraten . In the south-west of the country on the Rhine, wine is grown in the Middle Rhine wine-growing region ( Petersberg location ). Otherwise North Rhine-Westphalia is a "beer country". In addition to the Pils , which was particularly widespread in Westphalia and which pushed back the export beer that had prevailed until then , there are two top-fermented beer types, Altbier and Kölsch , which are particularly widespread in the Rhineland.
Sport in North Rhine-Westphalia is primarily shaped by football. Not only to be explained by its size and population density, the Rhine-Ruhr region has a particularly high density of successful football clubs. Football has always been part of the tradition of the miners in the area . In terms of the number of inhabitants, North Rhine-Westphalia is mostly overrepresented in the Bundesliga . Bundesliga clubs are currently Borussia Dortmund , Borussia Mönchengladbach , FC Schalke 04 , Bayer 04 Leverkusen , Arminia Bielefeld and 1. FC Cologne . The largest football stadium in Germany is the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund with over 80,000 seats . In addition to soccer, many other sports are also practiced in North Rhine-Westphalia. Handball, ice hockey and basketball attract a particularly large number of spectators.
In addition to the national holidays, New Year, Good Friday, Easter, Labor Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Day of German Unity and Christmas, Corpus Christi and All Saints' Day are public holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia .
On June 24, 2015, the state parliament decided that Reformation Day would be celebrated once as a public holiday on October 31, 2017 .
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia awards the following awards:
- Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Sponsorship award from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for young artists
- Graphics award of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Rheinisch-Westphalian State Prize for Monument Preservation
- Sports badge of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Children's Book Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Straelen Translator Prize from the Kunststiftung NRW
- Fire Brigade Decoration of Honor of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Civil Protection Decoration of Honor of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Rescue medal of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Flag ribbon of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
Well-known prizes awarded by private organizations in North Rhine-Westphalia are:
- Ulrich von Alemann : North Rhine-Westphalia. A country looks ahead. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-17-024191-6 .
- Jürgen Brautmeier and others: (Ed.): Heimat Nordrhein-Westfalen. Identities and regionality in transition . Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2010, ISBN 978-3-8375-0155-1 .
- Georg Cornelissen : Small language history of North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-7743-0654-7 .
- Winfrid Halder , Michael Serrer (ed.): The long way to the west. Fled - expelled - arrived at the Rhine and Ruhr . Schöningh, Paderborn 2008, ISBN 978-3-506-76683-0 .
- Susanne Hilger: Small economic history of North Rhine-Westphalia. Of model boys and problem children . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-7743-0498-7 .
- State Center for Political Education (publisher): NRW-Lexikon. Politics, society, economy, law, culture. 2nd Edition. Leske + Budrich, Leverkusen 2000, ISBN 3-8100-2336-1 .
- Sabine Mecking: Territorial reform and civic will. Development of democracy and reorganization of state and society in North Rhine-Westphalia 1965–2000 (= Studies on Contemporary History. Volume 85). Oldenbourg, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-70314-6 .
- Christoph Nonn : History of North Rhine-Westphalia . CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58343-8 .
- Christoph Nonn: A short history of migration from North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2011, ISBN 978-3-7743-0479-6 .
- Christoph Nonn: Environmental history of North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-7743-0691-2 .
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- State portal North Rhine-Westphalia. State government of North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on December 10, 2015 .
- State database NRW. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), Statistics Division, accessed on February 25, 2011 .
- Vacation in NRW. Tourism NRW e. V., accessed February 25, 2011 .
- Open Directory - North Rhine-Westphalia
- Discover North Rhine-Westphalia: the state, its economy, science and culture (PDF; 5.7 MiB). Information brochure from the Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf 2010.
In addition to the pronunciation variant of Dudens (Stefan Kleiner, Ralf Knöbl, Max Mangold: Duden. The pronunciation dictionary . 7th edition. Volume 6 . Dudenverlag. Bibliographisches Institut, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-411-04067-4 . ) with the transcription [ ˌnɔrtraɪ̯nvɛstˈfaːlən ], there are further variants:
1. [ nˌɔʶtʁ̥aɛ̯n vɛstfˈaːln ] according to Eva-Maria Krech, Eberhard Stock, Ursula Hirschfeld, Lutz Christian Anders: German pronunciation dictionary . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6 . 2. [ nɔɐdʀa͡en vɛstfaːln̩ ] according to adaba: Austrian pronunciation dictionary. Austrian pronunciation database. University of Graz. Research Center for Austrian German, accessed on April 6, 2010 (the German version for "North Rhine-Westphalia", in particular not the one used in Austria) is given.
- In the UK, was the Ruhr ( English the Ruhr ) since the participation in the Allied occupation of the Rhineland after the First World War, one by heavy industry understood embossed area of industrial cities along the Rhine and Ruhr, not the Ruhrgebiet after widespread today view.
- Examples are the Prince Diocese of Münster , which historically extends far into what is now Lower Saxony, or the territories of the House of Lippe and its Schaumburg branch line , which lay on both sides of today's state borders.
- the 17th century, the city of Kleve was one of the three royal cities of the Electorate of Brandenburg, along with Königsberg and Berlin .
- See also a scene from George Hurdalek, Helmut Käutner, Gyula Trebitsch , Carl Zuckmayer : Des Teufels General . Ed .: Helmut Käutner . February 23, 1955 ( excerpt (duration 2:06 min) on YouTube [accessed on March 5, 2015] conversation between General Harras and Lieutenant Hartmann). See. Also The Devil's General (1955) in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Low German is neither standardized in writing nor in spoken form. In addition to the variant "Noordrhien-Westfalen", which is predominantly widespread in northwestern Germany, the variant Nuordrien-Westfaolen , for example, is widespread in the Westphalian Münsterland , cf. Klaus-Werner Kahl: Dictionary of the Münsterländer Platt . 3. Edition. Aschendorf Verlag, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-402-06447-4 .
- "The official language is German", cf. Administrative Procedure Act for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (VwVfG NRW). Announcement of the new version of November 12, 1999. § 23. Official language. Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia, November 12, 1999, accessed on November 14, 2012 .
- Law on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe of November 5, 1992 of July 9, 1998 . In: Federal Ministry of Justice (Ed.): Federal Law Gazette . Year 1998 Part II, No. 25 . Bonn July 16, 1998 ( zfn-ratzeburg.de [PDF] Note: Part II and individual provisions of Part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages are applied to the regional language Low German in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ).
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- Art. 1 Para. 1 of the constitution for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
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- Karsten Bron, Andrea Glende: Investigations on the guidelines for the inclusion of the state of Lippe in the area of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (punctures) . Ed .: Parliamentary advisory and expert service of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia . Düsseldorf March 27, 2003 ( landtag.nrw.de [PDF; 145 kB ; retrieved on August 29, 2012] Information 13/0719 of the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament , 13th electoral period ).
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- Microcensus. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on January 1, 2009 .
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- Birth rate - children per woman in Germany by federal state in 2017. Accessed on October 28, 2019 .
- Life expectancy in Germany by federal state and gender in 2015/2017. Retrieved October 22, 2019 .
- BBSR Homepage - Federal Institute for Building, Urban and Spatial Research (BBSR) - Research and policy advice - Where life expectancy is highest in Germany. Retrieved October 22, 2019 .
- Federal Statistical Office: Foreign population
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- Kerstin Ströker: projection of the population 2005 to 2025/2050 in NRW . In: State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia [formerly State Office for Data Processing and Statistics] (Ed.): Statistical analyzes and studies North Rhine-Westphalia . Corrected edition. tape 31 , 2006, ISSN 1619-506X ( it.nrw.de [PDF; accessed on August 27, 2010]). it.nrw.de ( Memento of the original from May 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
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- Statistical Analyzes and Studies, Volume 84 Ulrich Cicholas, Dr. Kerstin Ströker (Landesbetrieb IT.NRW [PDF; accessed on September 3, 2018])
- Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR 1): NRW population will soon grow to over 18 million. Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR 1), July 15, 2019, accessed on March 6, 2020 .
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