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Free State of Saxony
Swobodny stat Sakska ( Upper Sorbian )
Flag of Saxony
Country flag
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State coat of arms of Saxony
State coat of arms
Basic data
Language : German , Upper Sorbian
State capital : Dresden
Form of government : parliamentary republic , partially sovereign member state of a federal state
Area : 18,449.99 km²
Foundation : November 10, 1918
October 3, 1990 (re-establishment)
ISO 3166-2 : DE-SN
Population : 4,071,971 (December 31, 2019)
Population density : 221 inhabitants per km²
Unemployment rate : 6.3% (July 2020)
GDP (nominal): 126.364 billion EUR  ( 8th ) (2018)
Debt : 3.904 billion euros (September 30, 2019)
Head of Government : Prime Minister
Michael Kretschmer ( CDU )
President of the State Parliament : State Parliament President
Matthias Rößler ( CDU )
Ruling parties: CDU , Alliance 90 / The Greens and SPD
Allocation of seats in the 7th state parliament :
Distribution of seats in the state parliament : Out of 119 seats:
  • CDU 45
  • AfD 38
  • Left 14
  • Green 12
  • SPD 10
  • Last choice: 1st September 2019
    Next choice : 2024
    Votes in the Federal Council : 4th
    Landkreis Nordsachsen Leipzig Landkreis Leipzig Landkreis Mittelsachsen Chemnitz Landkreis Zwickau Vogtlandkreis Erzgebirgskreis Landkreis Görlitz Landkreis Bautzen Dresden Landkreis Meißen Landkreis Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge Freistaat Bayern Tschechien Thüringen Sachsen-Anhalt Brandenburg PolenSaxony, administrative divisions - de - colored.svg
    About this picture
    Administrative structure of the Free State of Saxony:
    10 rural districts and 419 municipalities , including 3 independent cities
    Landscapes of Saxony
    Saxony topographically with the most important landscapes, rivers and cities

    The Free State of Saxony [zaksn̩] ( Upper Sorbian Swobodny stat Sakska ) is a country in the east of the Federal Republic of Germany . The state capital is Dresden , the most populous city is Leipzig , the third major city is Chemnitz . The Free State of Saxony was established in 1918 as the successor to the Kingdom of Saxony and was re-established in 1990. As was already the case as the Land of the Weimar Republic , Saxony describes itself as a Free State in the state constitution .

    With around four million inhabitants (sixth place) and an area of ​​around 18,400 square kilometers (tenth place), Saxony ranks in the middle among the 16  German states (as of 2017). Neighboring countries are Bavaria in the south-west, Thuringia in the west, Saxony-Anhalt in the north-west, Brandenburg in the north and the Republic of Poland in the east and the Czech Republic in the south.

    Since the district reform in 2008, the Free State of Saxony has been divided into ten districts and three independent cities .

    Geography and geology

    Location and Outlines

    Saxony is located in the east of Central Germany and borders the states of Bavaria (length of the border 41 km), Thuringia (274 km), Saxony-Anhalt (206 km), Brandenburg (242 km), the Republic of Poland (123 km) and the Czech Republic (454 km). Like Thuringia and parts of Saxony-Anhalt, the Free State of Saxony belongs to the region of Central Germany. The location of its center point is now assigned to different localities depending on the underlying calculation method.

    From a topographical point of view, it makes sense to divide Saxony into flat , hilly and low mountain ranges. The lowlands mainly include the Leipzig lowlands and northern Upper Lusatia . Both are characterized by more recent deposits from the Ice Age Pleistocene and the river plains, and in particular by their tertiary brown coal deposits in the subsurface. The central Saxon hill country further south with its extensive loess deposits (loess hill country ) and the associated high soil quality can be traced back to the formation of terminal moraine .

    The Saxon low mountain range is divided from west to east by rather blurred borders. In the southwest of Saxony is extending to Bavaria, Thuringia and Bohemia reaching Vogtland with the Ore Mountain Basin as a northern border and the Elstergebirge the southeast. To the east the following panel plaice of the Ore Mountains , the best in Western and Eastern Ore Mountains (divided by the Flöhatal ), less frequently, in addition to the Central Erzgebirge is divided. The altitudes slowly decrease from west to east, which is why the highest elevation in Saxony, the 1215 meter high Fichtelberg , belongs to the West or Middle Ore Mountains. South of the state border, the Erzgebirge drops steeply to the Egertalgraben . The Ore Mountains / Vogtland Nature Park occupies the southern part of the Ore Mountains along the ridges . To the east of the Ore Mountains, the Elbe breaks through the low mountain range and formed the Elbe Sandstone Mountains through deep cuts . On the northeastern edge of the Elbe Valley, the Lusatian Fault forms the sharp border to the Lusatian Bergland , which finally merges into the Lusatian Mountains in the extreme south-east of Saxony . In addition to these landscape units, there are numerous other distinctions and nuances, which are recorded in the list of landscapes in Saxony .


    Saxony can be broken down further according to hydrological criteria. The most important, largest and only navigable river is the Elbe . It runs through the Free State from southeast to northwest. Important source rivers are the Mulde , the Weißeritz , the Zschopau , the White Elster and the Spree , whose general direction of flow is north and which are also part of the Elbe river system . In the east, the Free State is bounded by the Lusatian Neisse , which flows into the Oder .

    Nowhere in Germany are the waters in a worse condition than in Saxony. The high quantities of liquid manure from factory farms make to create the waters.


    Map of forest areas in Saxony 2019

    With a total of 520,539 hectares, the Saxon forests take up a state-wide forest cover of 28.2%. Among the different types of property, the private and trustee forest has the highest share with 45.6% and the state forest with 39.4%. Other forms of ownership are the corporate forest (8.2%), the federal forest (4.7%) and the church forest (2.0%). Overall, 70% of the forests are dominated by conifer species.

    The most common tree species are spruce with 35% and pine with 31%. The most common types of deciduous trees are birch with 7%, oak with 6% and beech with 3%. In Saxony, 72% of all stocks are younger than 80 years.

    The forest areas in Saxony are inhomogeneously distributed. The Ore Mountains and Saxon Switzerland in the south and the north-eastern parts of Saxony are rich in forests . The intensively agriculturally used loess areas of Saxony, with a focus on the north-western part of the Free State, are less forested or even in some cases extremely poorly forested. The Erzgebirgskreis is the most densely forested district with 46.7% forest and the Leipzig district is the least covered with only 15% forest.

    According to the 5th Forest Report, the wood supply in the forests of Saxony increased by over 20% or 25.88 million m³ to 156.62 million today . For comparison: Hurricane Kyrill caused approx. 1.82 million m³ of litter and broken wood in January 2007.


    Saxony is located in the moderate climate zone of Central Europe with prevailing westerly winds. Since there are already some protective low mountain ranges between the western seas and the Free State, the climate is more continental than in western and northern Germany. This is particularly evident in colder winters and drier summers than in other parts of Germany.

    There are great climatic differences within Saxony. The average annual temperature in the northern flat and central hilly countries is between 8.5 and 10 degrees Celsius (period 1991-2005) with Dresden city center being the warmest region in Saxony with an annual mean of 10.4 °. In the low mountain ranges, the average temperature is around 6 to 7.5 degrees Celsius, on the Fichtelberg, the coldest region, around 4 degrees Celsius. The same applies to the average annual precipitation, at 500 to 800 millimeters in the lowlands (period 1991–2005) and around 900 to 1200 millimeters in the low mountain range (around 1250 millimeters on the Fichtelberg).

    Land use

    Land use in the Free State of Saxony in 2015
    use Area
    in hectares
    in percent
    Building and open space 0.131,887 07.15
    Operating area 0.034,375 01.87
    Recreation area 0.025,146 01.37
    traffic area 0.080.002 04.34
    Agricultural area 1,007,799 54.71
    Forest area 0.498.914 27.09
    Water surface 0.038,653 02.10
    Areas of other use 0.025,250 01.37
    total area 1,842,025 100.000

    The Free State of Saxony has designated a national park (9,350  ha ), the Upper Lusatian Heath and Pond Landscape Biosphere Reserve (30,000 ha) and three nature parks (a total of 198,837 ha). In addition, 218 nature reserves (a total of 54,110 ha) and 1,777 landscape protection areas (a total of 563,667 ha) have been established.


    Coat of arms of the margraviate of Meissen in the Ingeram Codex from 1459

    Today, Saxony is an area on the upper Middle Elbe, in southern Lausitz and in the Ore Mountains. The name of these landscapes, largely Germanized in the late Middle Ages , was transferred through various dynastic shifts. It was never part of the tribal duchy of Saxony , the settlement area of ​​the historic Saxons in northern Germany. The inhabitants of the Free State are therefore not the descendants of those Saxons who were referred to in antiquity and late antiquity with the Latin expression Saxones (Greek: Σάξονες). From 1247 to 1485, the history of Saxony also largely coincided with the history of Thuringia . For historical delimitation, today's Saxony is also called Upper Saxony , in contrast to Lower Saxony or Old Saxony.

    Even in prehistory, today's Saxony was an important area for those who wanted to travel across the low mountain range. Archaeological traces show that the area was settled by ceramic cultures around 5500 BC. After from later Bohemia. Preferred settlement areas were the wide floodplains of the Elbe, Mulde and Spree in the foreland of the mountains.

    Until the 6th century, parts of the later Free State were under the influence of the Thuringians , who lost their kingdom to the Franks in 531 , but some of their settlements continued into the 8th and 9th centuries. Century existed. From the 7th to the 10th century, Slavic peoples from the east settled the later territory of Saxony.

    The Margraviate of Meißen , founded in 929 with the construction of the castle in Meißen, can be regarded as the forerunner of today's Saxony. The further history of the margraviate has been shaped since 1100 by the settlement and conquest of land by immigrants mainly from Franconia ( eastern settlement of the Germans ) who took over and further developed existing Slavic castles, villages and town-like structures. A large number of place names and water body names in Saxony (for example those with the place name ending -itz ) are of Slavic origin.

    In the Ore Mountains in particular, ore mining and trade led to prosperity and the establishment of cities. In 1089 the margravate and its population came into the possession of the Wettins , who already ruled over possessions in Thuringia.

    Territory changes in the course of the Wittenberg surrender of 1547. The Ernestine countries became the duchy and forerunners of today's Thuringia . The Albertine states became the electorate and forerunners of today's Saxony.

    From 1423 the Wettins increased their domain. The most important gain they received was the former Ascanian duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg . It was connected with the electoral dignity . As a result of the historical change of name , the name "Saxony" became common for the entire domain of the Wettins. The previous Ascanian coat of arms was also continued. With the division of Leipzig in 1485, Saxony separated from Thuringia in further development. As a result, Dresden became the royal seat of the Saxon duke.

    With the Reformation triggered by Martin Luther in 1517 , the Ernestine Electoral Saxony fell increasingly into Catholic-imperial disgrace. The Ernestine elector converted to Lutheranism in 1525 . The Albertine Duke followed in 1539.

    After the Schmalkaldic War , which the Ernestine Electoral Saxony lost in the Schmalkaldic Confederation , the electoral dignity passed from the Ernestine to the Albertine line of the Wettins with the rule over parts of Electoral Saxony in 1547 . The denomination in both countries remained Lutheran.

    During the Thirty Years' War , Saxony sided with the Catholic Habsburgs and went against Bohemia. Electoral Saxony occupied Lusatia and initially received it as a pledge to cover its own war costs. Saxony then behaved neutrally, but later switched to the Protestant side when it saw its neutrality disregarded by looting in Lusatia. In the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) , Saxony and Sweden succeeded for the first time in defeating imperial troops. In 1635, in the so-called Separate Peace of Prague, Saxony finally received rule over both Lusatia with a simultaneous obligation of neutrality and a guarantee of existence for the denominational relationships there.

    Electoral Saxony around 1648 with the
    Lausitz region newly acquired during the Thirty Years War

    The will of Johann Georg I , opened on October 8, 1656, provided for parts of Electoral Saxony to be bequeathed to his three sons August , Christian and Moritz and to set them up as independent duchies in an Electoral Saxon secondary school. The duchies of Saxony-Weißenfels , Saxony-Merseburg and Saxony-Zeitz emerged . In the following decades, Saxony emerged comparatively strongly from the war and was one of the principalities that could recover the fastest. Saxony remained loyal to the emperor and, for example, provided troops in 1683 for the victorious battle of the Kahlenberg against the Turks. Under Friedrich August I (called August the Strong ), Electoral Saxony tried to expand its rule and position in the Holy Roman Empire. The country went through a "golden era" that led to an economic and cultural boom and is known as the Augustan age . The Wettin electors Friedrich August I and his son Friedrich August II ruled Poland as king and Saxony as elector in the personal union of Saxony-Poland . In the Great Northern War , the personal union of Saxony-Poland was devastated. Territorial gains were denied to the electorate, while its northern neighbor and competitor Prussia was strengthened.

    The Prussian-Saxon relations deteriorated since the 1740s and in the Seven Years War Saxony was occupied by Prussia. It later fought in an alliance of Austria , Russia and France against Prussia and Great Britain and was liberated from this alliance in 1759. In 1760 Prussia besieged Dresden unsuccessfully, but for the first time caused great damage in the capital. As a result, Silesia, which could have become a territorial link between Saxony and Poland, went to Prussia. The electorate was gradually restored .

    Józef Brodowski, 1895: Napoléon Bonaparte crosses the Elbe in the Battle of Dresden (Napoleon's return in 1813, part of the Wars of Liberation )
    Territorial development of Saxony between its greatest expansion in 1815 and its current state in 1990

    According to the Pillnitz Declaration , Saxony was one of the countries that fought alongside Prussia against the French Revolution. After Napoleon had penetrated far into Germany in 1806, the Saxon and Prussian troops opposed him together, but were crushed in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt . The French then occupied Saxony as well as Prussia. After soon joining the Rhine Confederation , the electorate was elevated to the Kingdom of Saxony in 1806 . In the wars of liberation in 1813, which were particularly supported by Prussia , Saxony was the main theater of war and continued to fight alongside France until it was occupied by Prussians and Russians after the Battle of Leipzig in October. Therefore Prussia wanted to capture Saxony at the Congress of Vienna , which was only prevented by the protection of Austria and the French position. Saxony remained a kingdom after that, but had to cede about half of its territory to Prussia in the north. The revolution of 1848/1849 was put down in Saxony when Prussian troops, on behalf of the Reich Execution , made it possible for the king, who fled during the Dresden May Uprising , to return to Dresden.

    In the German War of 1866, Saxony and Austria were on the losing side. As in 1815, Prussia intended the complete annexation of Saxony, which could only be prevented for the ally through the express intercession of Emperor Franz Joseph. Saxony subsequently became a member of the North German Confederation and took part in the Franco-German War in 1870/71 . The Kingdom of Saxony had been a federal state of the German Empire since 1871 , which was shaped as a small German nation-state by Prussia.

    During the First World War , a separate Saxon army took part for the last time as part of the German army . In the course of the November Revolution, Saxony became a free state in the German Reich in autumn 1918 , which was now called the Weimar Republic after the constitution of 1919 (see: History of Saxony → Free State of Saxony (1918 to 1933) ). When the federal states were brought into line in 1934, the Free State of Saxony lost most of its political competences in favor of the NSDAP regional structure, which was territorially congruent in Saxony, but was not officially dissolved like the other states in the Reich. After the Second World War , the country was reconstituted by the Soviet occupying forces and the parts of the Prussian province of Silesia that had remained German were added. In 1952 the states were dissolved as part of the GDR administrative reform. On October 3, 1990, the federal state of Saxony was created at the same time as German reunification . It comprised the districts of Dresden , Karl-Marx-Stadt / Chemnitz and Leipzig (without the districts of Altenburg and Schmölln , but plus the districts of Hoyerswerda and Weißwasser ) of the former GDR.


    State people

    According to Art. 5 of the Saxon constitution , the people of the Free State of Saxony are citizens of German, Sorbian and other ethnic groups.

    Population development

    Population development in Saxony from 1905 to 2018 according to the table below

    The population of Saxony was declining between 1950 and 2013, after which it grew again on balance. The rural areas, various medium-sized centers and also some upper- central places lost population due to emigration and low birth rates. The population of the cities of Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz recorded some significant increases in the 2010s, as did their surrounding areas. Dresden experienced an increase of almost 52,000 inhabitants between the years 2000 to 2011, Leipzig in the same period an increase of more than 38,600 inhabitants and Chemnitz between 2011 and 2015 of a good 8,000 inhabitants (in each case without changing the territorial status). Further growth is forecast for these cities. The large district towns of Radebeul as a residential area for Dresden and Markkleeberg on the outskirts of Leipzig also grew significantly during this time.

    The proportion of foreigners in Saxony was 4.2 percent at the end of 2016, which corresponds to around 171,000 foreigners with a good four million inhabitants.

    The population development in Saxony since 1905:

    Map of the population density in Saxony in 1930 (Lange-Diercke, Sächsischer Schulatlas)
    year Residents
    1905 4,508,601
    1925 4,996,138
    1939 5,158,329
    1946 5,558,566
    1950 5,682,802
    1964 5,463,571
    1970 5,419,187
    1981 5,152,857
    1990 4,775,914
    year Residents
    1995 4,566,603
    2000 4,425,581
    2001 4,384,192
    2002 4,349,059
    2003 4,321,437
    2004 4,296,284
    2005 4,273,754
    2006 4,249,774
    2007 4,220,200
    year Residents
    2008 4,192,801
    2009 4,168,732
    2010 4,149,477
    2011 4,054,182
    2012 4.050.204
    2013 4,046,385
    2014 4,055,274
    2015 4,084,851
    2016 4,081,783
    year Residents
    2017 4,081,308
    2018 4,077,937
    Population pyramid for Saxony (data source: 2011 census)

    The population figures refer to the respective territorial status of the Saxon state. Until 1927 this was approx. 14,993 km². As a result of an area exchange with Thuringia this shrank to approx. 14,986 km². After the Second World War, the parts of the Prussian province of Lower Silesia to the west of the Neisse were added to Saxony . The Saxon territory was thus approx. 17,004 km². Between 1952 and 1990 there was no Saxon state, but in large parts of its territory the districts of Dresden , Leipzig and Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz) . The information relates to the current territorial status, which since 1990 and the reclassification of some Vogtland communities to Saxony in 1992 comprises approx. 18,450 km². The increase resulted largely from the allocation of the northern areas of the former Leipzig district to the cities of Torgau , Eilenburg and Delitzsch , which had not belonged to Saxony since 1815.

    In 2014, 3819 people emigrated from Saxony, but a total of 14,387 more people moved in than left the Free State. The average age of the Saxons is 46.6 years (2014). The youngest population lived in the Sorbian community Ralbitz-Rosenthal (39.7 years) , the oldest in Bad Brambach (50.7 years).

    The average number of children in Saxony in 2014 was 1.57 per woman, making it the first among the federal states in Germany. When their first child was born, Saxon mothers were on average 28.9 years old in 2015 (German average: 29.6). In 2017 the number of children was 1.62 children per woman.

    The average life expectancy in the period 2015/17 was 77.8 years for men and 83.8 years for women. Men are 10th among the German federal states, while women are 2nd. Regionally in 2013/15 Dresden (total population: 82.30 years), Meißen (81.35) and Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains (80.86) had the highest, as did Görlitz (80.12), Vogtlandkreis (80.08) and Zwickau (80.01) the lowest life expectancy. In Germany, the life expectancy of women in Dresden (84.89) was only exceeded by Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald (84.96).

    On April 19, 2016, the Free State published the 6th regionalized population projection with two variants. In variant V1, recent immigration (meaning the time the forecast was made) was given special consideration. Variant V2 is based on assumptions from the 13th coordinated population projection of the Federal Statistical Office (variant G1-L1-W2).

    Graphical representation of the adjacent table data compared to the real population development from 1990 to 2018
    year upper variant (V1) lower variant (V2)
    2015 4,107,700 4,053,700
    2020 4,186,300 4,019,200
    2025 4.102.100 3,945,400
    2030 3,997,500 3,851,400

    Languages ​​and dialects

    East Central German dialects are predominantly spoken in the Free State of Saxony . It concerns the Meissniche and the Osterländische , which together form the core group of Upper Saxon and thus belong to the Thuringian-Upper Saxon dialect group , as well as Lusatian . All these dialects are characterized by the lenization of voiceless consonants. The word "suitcase" is pronounced as "goffer". The Saxon chancellery language , a late medieval language to compensate for the predominantly East-Central German dialects in the Wettin territory, formed the basis of New High German for Martin Luther .

    A total of around 700,000 speakers from the Vogtland and Ore Mountains live in the low mountain ranges of southern Saxony . Both are independent dialects with a relationship to East Franconian and North Bavarian . When Südvogtländischen in the southernmost area corner of the Vogtland is in fact a (now) isolated altbairisches language area. This is explained by the fact that until 1945 it was the northernmost part of a closed language area from Old Bavaria via the Sudetenland ( Ascher Zipfel ) to this point.

    Bilingual Sorbian-German signs in Rosenthal

    In the Lausitz several dialects are Upper Sorbian and transitional dialects between the upper and Lower Sorbian spoken. The Sorbian language belongs to the West Slavic language group; In the Free State of Saxony, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people speak Sorbian as an everyday language. Upper Sorbian is also the second official language , but is now only actively used by a minority in the Sorbian settlement area . An exception is the Upper Sorbian core settlement area, the only area in Germany where a non-German language is primarily spoken in everyday life in several municipalities. The Upper Lusatian dialect is widespread in southern Upper Lusatia .

    Presumably with the emergence of New High German , a regional or colloquial language that is commonly referred to as "Saxon" emerged, starting from the larger cities and benefiting from the relatively high population density and density of the infrastructure in Central Germany . This Saxon is spoken in a fuzzy area that also includes parts of Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg.

    The motto “We can do everything. In addition to High German "for Baden-Württemberg , the advertising agency Scholz & Friends initially offered the Free State of Saxony, which, however, refused to use it.


    The majority of the Saxon population is non-denominational .

    Most of the parishes belong to the Protestant religious society, represented in the Free State of Saxony by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony , the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia , the Evangelical Church in Central Germany and the Moravian Brethren . At the end of 2019, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saxony had 663,525 people.

    The Roman Catholic Church is also represented in many places and forms the denomination with the largest number of numbers in some predominantly Sorbian communities between Bautzen, Kamenz and Hoyerswerda; the majority of its communities belong to the diocese of Dresden-Meißen , and also to the dioceses of Görlitz and Magdeburg . In the Catholic diocese of Dresden-Meißen with parishes in Saxony and East Thuringia, 140,363 members were counted in 2019.

    The Old Catholic Church is only represented in a few places.

    Congregations of the Evangelical Methodist religious society belong to the Evangelical Methodist Church in Germany .

    Seventh-day Adventist congregations belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Free Church in Saxony, K. d. ö. R.

    Beyond the religious societies under public law, there are numerous free churches , including the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (ELFK) , which was founded in Saxony, and other Christian communities.

    There are three Jewish communities in Saxony, each with its own synagogue. The number of parishioners has increased steadily - mainly due to immigration from Eastern Europe - from 190 in 1992 to 2,524 in 2018. The number of people of the Muslim faith in Saxony in 2015 was around 0.48 percent.

    According to the population census of 2011, 0.3 percent also feel that they belong to the Orthodox churches; of the Jewish and Muslim minorities (approx. 0.4 percent in autumn 2014), as well as communities and groups of other denominations or religions, only a few Saxons belong.

    According to the results of the 2011 census (reporting date May 9, 2011), the proportions of the population in terms of religions were distributed as follows:

    Religions in the Free State of Saxony (according to the 2011 census)
    Denomination Share of the population
    in percent
    evangelical 21.4
    Roman Catholic 03.8
    Protestant free churches 00.9
    orthodox churches 00.3
    Others 01.0
    does not belong to any
    religious society under public law



    The basis of the Saxon political system is the constitution of the Free State of Saxony of May 27, 1992. With the accession of the GDR to the scope of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany , the State of Saxony became the Free State of Saxony, one of the 16 member states of the Federal Republic. This Free State, which gave itself its state constitution on May 26, 1992 , is a parliamentary republic and the first democratic Saxon state with its own constitutional jurisdiction and three divided state powers . As a German state, the Free State of Saxony is an original subject of constitutional law . On November 9, 1990, the Free State of Saxony was represented for the first time at a meeting of the Federal Council and has since been able to participate in federal legislation and administration through this representation of the member states .

    State government

    The seat of government is the Saxon State Chancellery
    Prime Minister Kretschmer
    The plenary hall of the Saxon State Parliament in Dresden

    The Saxon state government is led by a prime minister who is elected by the state parliament . The seat of government is the Saxon State Chancellery in Dresden's Inner New Town .

    The CDU has been by far the strongest party in Saxony since reunification and has been the prime minister ever since. Kurt Biedenkopf ruled from 1990 to April 2002 in a single CDU government . He was followed by Georg Milbradt , who after the 2004 election entered into a black-red coalition with the SPD. After Milbradt's resignation in May 2008, Stanislaw Tillich took over the office of Prime Minister and continued the CDU-SPD coalition until the 2009 state elections . Between September 2009 and 2014 Tillich ruled in a black-yellow coalition together with the FDP, and since the state elections in 2014 , when the FDP left the state parliament, again with the SPD. Michael Kretschmer took over the office of Prime Minister from December 2017 . After the state elections in 2019, Kretschmer has been ruling since December 2019 with a coalition of the CDU, the Greens and the SPD.

    Composition of the incumbent state government (see also Cabinet Kretschmer I and Cabinet Kretschmer II ):

    The main buildings of the state government are located in Dresden - spatially separated from the legislature - in the government quarter in the Inner Neustadt .

    legislative branch

    The legislature of the Free State of Saxony is the Saxon Landtag . In the seventh electoral term (since 2019), it consists of 119 members (normally 120). These are divided as follows: CDU 45 seats, AfD 38 seats, Left 14 seats, Greens 12 seats and SPD 10 seats. The President of the State Parliament is Matthias Rößler (CDU). There are three vice-presidents: Andrea Dombois (CDU), André Wendt (AfD) and Luise Neuhaus-Wartenberg (left). The chairman of the CDU parliamentary group is Christian Hartmann , the AfD parliamentary group Jörg Urban , the left parliamentary group Rico Gebhardt , the Greens parliamentary group Wolfram Günther and the SPD parliamentary group Dirk Panter .


    Constitutional Court and Regional Court of Leipzig
    Higher Regional Court of Dresden

    The Constitutional Court of the Free State of Saxony is located in Leipzig. In addition to the state government and the state parliament, this is a supreme and independent state body in terms of the separation of powers .

    The other courts in Saxony are subordinate authorities to the Saxon State Ministry of Justice . The jurisprudence is independent and only subject to the law.

    The Dresden Higher Regional Court is the highest court in Saxony's ordinary jurisdiction . It is subordinated to five regional courts in Chemnitz , Dresden , Görlitz , Leipzig and Zwickau .

    There are also specialized courts in Saxony . The seat of the Saxon Higher Administrative Court is Bautzen . The Saxon state social and state labor court is located in Chemnitz . The Saxon Finance Court is located in Leipzig.

    The General Prosecutor's Office is based in Dresden. This subordinate public prosecutor's offices are there at the locations of the regional courts. The Free State of Saxony runs ten penal institutions . The State Judicial Examination Office at the Saxon State Ministry of Justice is the Saxon examination office for the state legal examinations .

    In Saxony there are federal justice institutions that are subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Justice . The Federal Administrative Court and the 5th Criminal Senate of the Federal Court of Justice with part of the authority of the Federal Public Prosecutor are located in Leipzig .

    European politics

    Many decisions made by the European institutions have a direct impact on people and organizations in the regions of Europe, including Saxony. Saxony's European policy is shaped by a large number of actors and institutions. The interests of the Free State in the European Union are represented in various ways. The Saxon State Chancellery coordinates Saxony's European policy in the state government.

    At the federal level, the state government also participates in European legislation through the Bundesrat , the Representation of the Free State of Saxony at the federal level and the Conference of European Ministers.

    In Brussels, the state government maintains the Saxony Liaison Office Brussels , which u. a. observes the current developments and decisions of the European institutions, then identifies topics relevant to the Free State and transmits them to the responsible bodies in the state government and the state parliament. In the Committee of the Regions Sachsen by Europe Minister Juergen Martens and member of parliament is Heinz Lehmann (CDU) represented. Five MPs currently represent the Saxon citizens in the European Parliament : Cornelia Ernst (left), Peter Jahr (CDU), Holger Krahmer (FDP), Constanze Krehl (SPD) and Hermann Winkler (CDU).

    In order to cooperate with its immediate European neighbors, the Free State has had two further foreign representations in the Czech Republic and Poland since 2012 - the liaison office in Prague (in the baroque building of the Wendish seminary ) and the liaison office in Wroclaw .

    In the Saxon state parliament , the constitutional, legal and European committee chaired by Martin Modschiedler (CDU) deals with fundamental questions of European policy. In April 2011 the state parliament and the state government signed a subsidiarity agreement that regulates the government's information obligations vis-à-vis parliament and the state parliament's rights to participate in the state's European political positions.

    Right-wing populism and right-wing extremism

    The Sachsen-Monitor 2016 study published by the Saxon government in 2016 states: “Resentments against people because of their group membership - especially against foreigners and Muslims - are widespread in parts of the Saxon population. A majority of Saxons is of the opinion that Germany is dangerously 'foreigned' because of the foreigners living here. ”According to research by the Tagesspiegel , the population is“ significantly more xenophobic than the average population in the rest of the republic ”.

    Xenophobic slogans at a Pegida event in Dresden 2015

    In 2014, by far the most racially motivated bodily harm against refugees occurred in Saxony. In 2015, too, there was an above-average frequency of racist attacks on foreigners and refugees , in absolute numbers the second-most in a comparison of the federal states after the significantly more populous North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2015, one fifth of all attacks on asylum seekers' homes in Germany were committed in Saxony.

    Organized right-wing populism and right-wing extremism also have an above-average presence in Saxony. Volkish , racist organizations like Pegida developed in Saxony and are stronger there than in any other federal state. In no other federal state are there so many properties that are permanently used by right-wing extremists for political purposes. In 2012, by far the greatest number of neo-Nazi concerts took place in Saxony, almost a quarter of them in a single inn in Staupitz in northern Saxony .

    The eight members of the right-wing terrorist group Freital , who had carried out several bomb attacks on refugee shelters and political opponents in Freital and Dresden and were sentenced to several years imprisonment by the Dresden Higher Regional Court for forming a terrorist organization and attempting murder or aiding it, were active in Saxony.

    The right-wing extremist NPD moved into the Dresden state parliament in 2004 and 2009 . Today Saxony is one of the strongholds of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD). In the 2017 federal election , the AfD in Saxony became the strongest party after second votes, albeit not after first votes, and won three of Saxony's sixteen federal constituencies directly.

    The political scientist Hans Vorländer stated in February 2016 based on his research: "According to what we know from surveys, Saxony are not more xenophobic or Islamophobic than the residents of other federal states in the west or east." The sometimes aggressive attitudes towards them Rather, immigrants are an expression of a primarily petty-bourgeois dissatisfaction with political decisions. The state's monopoly of force - against both left and right-wing extremism - is not enforced by the state government with the necessary "decisiveness" or the necessary "sense of proportion".

    Administrative division

    State Directorate Saxony

    In 2012, the previous three administrative districts of Chemnitz , Dresden and Leipzig were merged to form the State Office of Saxony with headquarters in Chemnitz. It contains a total of ten rural districts and three independent cities .

    The ten Saxon districts:

    Landkreis Nordsachsen Leipzig Landkreis Leipzig Landkreis Mittelsachsen Chemnitz Landkreis Zwickau Vogtlandkreis Erzgebirgskreis Landkreis Görlitz Landkreis Bautzen Dresden Landkreis Meißen Landkreis Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge Freistaat Bayern Tschechien Thüringen Sachsen-Anhalt Brandenburg PolenSaxony, administrative divisions - de - colored.svg
    About this picture

    The three independent cities of Saxony:


    The majority of the counties that existed until July 31, 2008 were formed in the county reforms of 1994 and 1996 . As part of the administrative reform of the state authorities, ten new districts were created on August 1, 2008 through another district reform. The number of independent cities decreased from seven to three. 2,832,288 inhabitants live in the municipalities of the state, and 1,304,763 in the independent cities (December 2011).

    New county Former urban and rural districts License Plate Area in km² Population on December 31, 2008 Inhabitants per km² in 2008 Population on Dec. 31, 2018 Inhabitants per km² 2018 Population
    forecast 2025
    Population forecast per km² in 2025
    Bautzen (Budyšin) Bautzen , Kamenz , Hoyerswerda BZ, BIW, HY, KM 2,395.61 328,990 138 302.634 126 273,500 114
    Erzgebirgskreis Stollberg , Annaberg , Aue-Schwarzenberg , Middle Ore Mountains ERZ, ANA, ASZ, AU, MAB, MEK, STL, SZB, ZP 1,827.91 377.245 206 340.373 186 307,300 168
    Görlitz (Zhorjelc) Lower Silesian Upper Lusatia District , Löbau-Zittau , Görlitz GR, LÖB, NOL, NY, WSW, ZI 2,111.41 284,790 135 256,587 122 232.100 110
    Leipzig (district) Leipziger Land , Muldental District L , BNA, GHA, GRM, MTL, WUR 1,651.30 271,863 165 258.008 156 241,800 147
    Meissen Meissen , Riesa-Grossenhain MEI, GRH, RG, RIE 1,454.59 256,638 177 242,862 167 223,900 154
    Central Saxony Freiberg , Mittweida , Döbeln FG, BED, DL, FLÖ, HC, MW, RL 2,116.85 335.797 159 308.153 146 277,500 132
    North Saxony Delitzsch , Torgau-Oschatz TDO, DZ, EB, OZ, TG, TO 2,028.56 211,356 105 197,794 098 182,000 090
    Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains Weißeritzkreis , Saxon Switzerland PIR, DW, FTL, SEB 1,654.19 255.459 154 245.418 148 232.200 140
    Vogtland district Vogtland district , Plauen V, AE, OVL, PL, RC 1,412.42 250.246 177 229,584 163 205,000 145
    Zwickau Chemnitzer Land , Zwickauer Land , Zwickau Z, GC, HOT, WDA 0.949.78 348,834 368 319.998 337 288,500 304

    cities and communes

    Saxony consists of a total of 423 politically independent cities and municipalities (as of January 1, 2017). These are divided into 170 cities, including three independent cities and 50 large district cities as well as 253 non-urban communities. Some of the municipalities belonging to the district have come together to form administrative communities to carry out their administrative business . 164 municipalities are involved in 67 administrative communities and 21 municipalities in six administrative associations .

    After reunification, many cities quickly lost their inhabitants. The cities of Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and the then large city of Zwickau, where the consequences of suburbanization and migration to the old federal states had the greatest impact, were hardest hit. Since reunification in 1990, the number of inhabitants in the Free State of Saxony has declined by 600,000 due to emigration and excess deaths due to low birth rates.

    Since the turn of the millennium, however, this development began to differentiate, and this became even more pronounced in the years that followed. Leipzig and Dresden, as well as their neighboring cities of Markkleeberg and Radebeul, respectively, have been able to grow continuously again since around 2000 thanks to slight excess births and positive migration balance, thus counteracting the shrinking trend. The Saxon state capital has even been one of the cities with the highest average population growth in the Federal Republic in recent years. In Chemnitz, shrinkage has largely decreased and greater stabilization is taking place. Zwickau, on the other hand, has not been a major city since 2003 and is gradually losing its inhabitants.

    All other cities in the Free State, especially those in rural areas, are affected by a greater or lesser degree of emigration ( spatial population development ) as well as a birth deficit and the resulting aging ( natural population development ). There are also regional differences, for example areas in East and South Saxony are more affected by the population decline than areas in Central and West Saxony. Cities with a large and diverse number of educational, research and cultural institutions as well as distinct trade and industry in particular benefit from population growth.

    The following table lists all of Saxony's medium-sized and large cities , sorted according to their number of inhabitants on December 31, 2018.

    city district Residents
    October 3, 1990
    Territorial status 2012
    December 31, 2000
    Territorial status 2012
    December 31, 2011
    Territorial status 2012
    Change from
    2000 to 2011 in%
    December 31, 2018
    new calculation
    basis based on the 2011 census
    2011 to 2017 in%
    Leipzig circular 560.387 493.208 531,809 0+7.83 581.980 0+9.4
    Dresden circular 514.071 477,807 529.781 +10.88 551.072 0+4.0
    Chemnitz circular 317,486 259.246 243.173 0−6.20 246,855 0+1.5
    Zwickau Zwickau 124,788 103.008 093,128 0−9.59 090.192 0−3.2
    Plauen Vogtland district 077.191 071,543 065,738 0−8.11 065,148 0−0.9
    Goerlitz Goerlitz 076,603 061,599 055,350 −10.15 056,391 0+1.9
    Freiberg Central Saxony 050,896 045,428 041,498 0−8.65 041,496 +00.0
    Bautzen (Budyšin) Bautzen 052,884 043,353 040,457 0−6.68 039,429 0−2.6
    Freital Saxon Switzerland -
    Eastern Ore Mountains
    041,480 040.129 039,329 0−2.00 039,300 0−0.1
    Pirna Saxon Switzerland -
    Eastern Ore Mountains
    046,081 042,108 038,735 0−8.01 038.276 0−1.2
    Radebeul Meissen 031,195 032,246 033,769 0+4.72 033,954 0+0.5
    Hoyerswerda (Wojerecy) Bautzen 068,982 050.203 036,687 −26.92 033,116 0−9.7
    Riesa Meissen 047,049 039,367 033,549 −14.78 030,392 0−9.4
    Grimma 1 Leipzig 034,904 031,459 029,779 0−5.35 028,153 0−5.5
    Meissen Meissen 035,187 029,398 027,555 0−6.27 028,061 0+1.8
    Zittau 2 Goerlitz 041,404 032,775 027,845 −15.04 025,575 0−8.2
    Delitzsch 3 North Saxony 31,284 029,287 026,035 −11.04 024,794 0−4.8
    Markkleeberg Leipzig 019,624 023,157 024,402 0+5.37 024,644 0+1.0
    Limbach-Oberfrohna Zwickau 028,916 027,552 025.141 0−8.75 024,066 0−4.3
    Chub 4 Central Saxony 028,697 024,322 021,077 −13.34 023,728 +12.6
    Glauchau Zwickau 029,509 027,285 024,234 −11.18 022,718 0−6.3
    Werdau Zwickau 028,162 026,077 022.303 −14.47 020,795 0−6.8
    Coswig Meissen 026,123 024,035 021,157 −11.97 020,899 0−1.2
    Annaberg-Buchholz Erzgebirgskreis 028,492 024,495 021,604 −11.80 020,000 0−7.4

    1 incorporation of Großbardau on January 1, 2007, incorporation of Großbothen and Nerchau on January 1, 2011, incorporation of Mutzschen on January 1, 2012
    2 incorporation of Hirschfelde (with Dittelsdorf and Schlegel ) on January 1, 2007
    3 incorporation of Döbernitz on January 1, 2012 March 2004
    4 incorporation of Ebersbach on July 1st, 2011

    Culture and sport


    Nationwide, the people of Saxony recognize the buildings (e.g. Residenzschloss , Zwinger and Semperoper Dresden, Pleasure Palace Pillnitz , hunting castles Moritzburg and Hubertusburg ) and collections (e.g. Green Vault , Picture Gallery Old and New Masters , Armory ) of the Saxon Electors as Saxon cultural assets perceived. The Free State of Saxony operates this in succession to the aristocratic Wettin family. This is personified at public festivals with the court of August the Strong including Prime Minister Heinrich von Brühl , mistress Countess Cosel and court jester Fröhlich , although other electors also contributed to the buildings and collections. Focusing on August the Strong is mainly due to the films The gallant king - Augustus the Strong (1920) and Saxony gloss and Prussia Gloria (1985-1987) due, the latter based on the books of Saxony trilogy Józef Ignacy Kraszewski .

    The pictures in the Dresden picture galleries are due to the early collection of the Electors i. A. counted as part of Saxon culture, even if the artists only spent part of their lives in Saxony. This applies in particular to paintings with typical Saxon landscape motifs, e.g. B. the representations of Dresden and Pirna by the Italian painter Canaletto and Saxon Switzerland by Caspar David Friedrich, who was born in Greifswald .


    Several festivals are held in Saxony, with festivals such as the Internationales Dixieland Festival Dresden , Kosmonaut Festival , Leipzig Jazz Days , Highfield Festival , Bach Festival Leipzig , Th! Nk? , Nachtdigital , Dresdner Guitar Festival , Dresden Festival of Contemporary Music , Wave Gothic Meeting , With Full Force and the Endless Summer Open Air serves many different musical styles.

    Musically, the performances of the world-famous Saxon State Orchestra in the Semperoper and the Kreuzchor in the Kreuzkirche deserve special mention. The organ landscape of Saxony is shaped by the work of Gottfried Silbermann , the finisher of the Central German baroque organ. 31 of his famous instruments are still preserved, almost all of them are in Saxony.

    Leipzig is widely known as a city of music. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach was the best known Thomaskantor of the Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, which had existed since 1212 . The Bachfest Leipzig is a festival for classical music. The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, like the Leipzig Opera, is a civil foundation. The Museum of Fine Arts shows, among other things, the painting Christ in Olympus , which was still controversial at the Saxon-Thuringian trade exhibition in 1897 , and the Beethoven sculpture Max Klinger .

    Other cultural assets

    Other cultural assets of Saxony that are well-known beyond its borders are Meißner porcelain , which is the first European porcelain, and the Erzgebirge woodcut art , which is particularly at home in Seiffen . The festivals and customs of the Sorbs in Lusatia are known nationwide and have been registered as intangible cultural heritage since 2014 .

    Cultural monuments

    The cultural monuments in the cities and municipalities of the Free State are made accessible via the list of cultural monuments in Saxony .

    public holidays

    In addition to the nationwide public holidays of New Year, Good Friday, Easter, Labor Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Day of German Unity and Christmas, the Reformation Festival and the Day of Repentance and Prayer are public holidays in Saxony ( Section 1 (1) SächsSFG). In certain municipalities and parts of the municipality of the Bautzen district (Catholic parts of the Sorbian settlement area ), Corpus Christi is a public holiday ( § 1 Corpus Christi Ordinance). In the other congregations and parts of the congregation, Corpus Christi (as well as the Festival of Apparitions, Spring Day of Penance, Maundy Thursday, St. John's Day, Peter and Paul, Assumption of Mary, All Saints' Day and Mary's Conception) is a religious holiday ( Section 3 (1) SächsSFG).

    Saxon Citizen Award

    The Free State of Saxony, together with the Frauenkirche Dresden Foundation and the Dresden Cultural Foundation, awards the Dresdner Bank the Saxon Citizens' Prize . It is awarded in the categories of social and cultural engagement and cultural and spiritual engagement and is endowed with 5000 euros each. The first award ceremony took place in 2011.


    In 2016, 641,213 members were registered in 4,486 clubs and currently 656,577 athletes were registered in 4,462 clubs in Saxony.

    American football

    The American Football Team, founded as Saxonia Monarchs at the beginning of 1992, was renamed Dresden Monarchs in mid-1992 and has been successfully participating in the German Football League since 2003 .


    The Dresden Titans play in the second highest basketball league and the NINERS Chemnitz in the first basketball league

    Floorball / floorball

    The teams of Floor Fighters Chemnitz and MFBC Leipzig play in the Floorball Bundesliga , the teams of Unihockey Igels Dresden and SC DHfK Leipzig in the 2nd Floorball Bundesliga .


    Football is the sport with the highest audience response, so in the 2019/20 season RB Leipzig are in the 1st Bundesliga , SG Dynamo Dresden and FC Erzgebirge Aue in the 2nd Bundesliga and FSV Zwickau in the 3rd division and the Chemnitzer FC represented in the Regionalliga Nord-Ost .


    The women's team of HC Leipzig , multiple German champions and cup winners, had to relegate from the women's handball league to the third division in 2017 due to insolvency . The women of HC Rödertal from Großröhrsdorf moved up to the 1st Bundesliga for the 2017/18 season. Both women's teams will compete in the 2nd handball Bundesliga from the 2019/20 season . The men of DHfK Leipzig have been playing in the handball Bundesliga since 2015 . In addition, the plays EHV Aue in since the 2012/13 season 2. Bundesliga . With HC Elbflorenz from Dresden , another Saxon team was promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga for the 2017/18 season.


    The first women's team of the TC Blau-Weiß Dresden-Blasewitz rose to the 2nd Bundesliga in 2016 and has played in the 1st Bundesliga since 2019 .

    The first men's team played in 2007 and from 2014 to 2016 in the 2nd Bundesliga and since 2019 in the Regionalliga Südost (3rd division).


    The teams of the women of the Dresdner SC are represented in the 1st Bundesliga , the women of the VC Olympia Dresden in the 2nd Bundesliga South , and the men of the LE Volleys from Leipzig and the GSVE Delitzsch in the 2nd Bundesliga South . The men of VC Dresden compete in the 3rd League East .

    ice Hockey

    Ice hockey is also one of the most popular sports in Saxony. The teams of the Eispiraten from Crimmitschau , the Lausitzer Füchse from Weißwasser and the Dresdner Eislöwen take part in the 2nd ice hockey Bundesliga .

    In the third highest division, the Icefighters Leipzig are represented in the Oberliga Nord .

    The EHV Schönheide 09 since the season 2017/18 descended Schönheider under the new name Wolves because of insolvency in the Regional League East. The teams of SV Rot-Weiß Bad Muskau , Chemnitz Crashers , Dresdner Eislöwen 1b, ELV Tornado Niesky and ESC Black Panther Jonsdorf are on the hunt for points in the fourth-class ice hockey regional league .

    Para ice hockey

    In 1998 the Dresden para-ice hockey team Dresdner Eislöwen Sledge was founded, which is organized as a department in the ESC Dresden . The team has been playing in the German Sledge Ice Hockey League since the 2000/01 season and became German champions in the 2019/20 season .


    Motorsport has a long tradition, with the international German championship in supermoto taking place on the airfield in Großenhain since 1995 and the German motorcycle world championship Grand Prix on the Sachsenring in Hohenstein-Ernstthal every year since 1998 . In the off-road sector, auto and rallycross , enduro , motocross and speedway have been a tradition in various regions of the Free State for many years. Ice speedway races are also held in various ice arenas and halls .

    Other regional competitions

    • Winter sports

    There is the Olympic center around Oberwiesenthal with bobsleigh and luge runs as well as ski jumps and cross-country trails. Talented athletes are often sponsored by renowned companies.

    • Three dams marathon

    Since 1995 the sports club Eibenstock has organized a marathon for the Saxon administrations , which is held as part of the Saxon authorities' championship. The runners cover the usual marathon route, which runs on the dams of the Eibenstock , Carlsfeld and Sosa dams .

    Economy and Infrastructure


    At the end of the Second World War , many branches of industry in Germany were restructured into state- owned enterprises (VEB) on behalf of the Soviet military administration and until the law on the privatization and reorganization of state-owned assets (Treuhandgesetz) of June 17, 1990, Saxony had its own economic development within of the GDR .

    After the German reunification , the Saxon economy experienced a major structural change. Many of the mostly backward industrial companies were closed. Open-cast lignite mines and power plants were shut down or replaced by new ones. Numerous former opencast mining holes are currently being recultivated .

    Today, Saxony is at the top of the East German economy, ahead of Thuringia. In December 2018, around 118,000 people were unemployed in Saxony, which corresponds to an unemployment rate of 5.6%.

    With growth rates in individual industrial sectors between eight and ten percent, Saxony has the highest in Germany and can already catch up with the western federal states in some important prosperity indicators. The disposable income of the age group from 20 to 35 is above the national average, but the overall result is compensated by the low income of the groups over 40. Overall, the structural change is not yet complete. In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union (EU-27: 100) in terms of purchasing power standards, Saxony achieved an index of 85.9 in 2004. In 2010 an index of 86 was determined, with Dresden reaching 87, Chemnitz 83 and Leipzig 91 broken down by administrative district. It should be noted, however, that with these numbers the commuter flows z. B. to Bavaria are not taken into account.

    History of the number of tax cases with a gross income of more than 1 million euros per district / urban district. The figure shows the total of the cases assessed according to the basic tariff and splitting tariff.

    In 2016, the economic output in Saxony measured by gross domestic product was around 118.5 billion euros.

    The debt level of the Free State of Saxony is 2,656 euros per inhabitant, which is the lowest nationwide alongside Bavaria.

    In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union , expressed in purchasing power standards, Saxony achieved an index value of 94.0 (EU-28: 100.0 Germany: 126.0) in 2014. This means that Saxony is slightly below the EU average, however well below the value of Germany.

    In 2014, there were 139 income millionaires in Saxony, with 36 most of them in the city of Dresden, 30 in the city of Leipzig and 21 in the district of Leipzig.

    Most important locations of employment subject to social insurance
    workplace social insurance
    June 30, 2012
    Change since
    June 30, 2007
    in percent
    Commuter balance
    June 30, 2012
    Job density 1
    Dresden 233,540 0+6.65 +38,256 0.715
    Leipzig 222,949 +11.44 +36,833 0.694
    Chemnitz 108.037 0+2.58 +23,650 0.741
    Zwickau 049,982 +11.40 +15,763 0.870
    Bautzen 025.906 0+7.90 +12,004 1,054
    Plauen 024,147 0−3.16 0+1,111 0.619
    Freiberg 020,584 +11.43 0+6,262 0.855
    Goerlitz 020,260 +15.80 0+4,009 0.640
    Pirna 013,847 +11.50 00.+940 0.644
    Schkeuditz 013,260 +42.38 0+6,321 1,242
    1Jobs subject to social security contributions per 1000 inhabitants between the ages of 18 and 64; Figures as of May 9, 2011 according to the 2011 census.
    Development of the unemployment rate from 2000 to 2018
    year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
    Unemployment rate in% 17.0 17.5 17.8 17.9 17.8 18.3 17.0 14.7 12.8 12.9 11.8 10.6 9.8 9.4 8.8 8.2 7.5 6.7 6.0

    Metropolitan areas and infrastructure

    Map of the airports and landing fields in Saxony

    In terms of gross domestic product, the Dresden metropolitan area is the economically strongest area in Saxony. Dresden plays an important role in microtechnology, the so-called Silicon Saxony , thanks to the settlement of Globalfoundries and Infineon as well as many suppliers . In addition, the agglomerations of Leipzig-Halle and Chemnitz-Zwickau are also the driving force behind the Saxon economy. Leipzig, Zwickau and Chemnitz belong to the metropolitan region of Central Germany .

    In addition, there are also densely populated rural areas in southern Lausitz, the Vogtland and the Ore Mountains, as opposed to sparsely populated areas in northern Saxony.

    The Autobahn 4 runs through Saxony on a west-east axis. The most important sections of the route were built in the 1930s. They were brought up to date after 1990. At the same time, the expansion from Bautzen to the border town of Görlitz closed the gap in the European motorway network. An important motorway construction project is the connection of the A 72 between Chemnitz and Leipzig. The A 17 between Dresden and Prague and the A 38 as the southern bypass of Leipzig have already been completed .

    In the first half of the 20th century, Saxony had the densest railway network in Europe. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, there was hardly a place in Saxony that was more than 15 km away from a train station or a stop. The narrow-gauge railways in the lowlands around Mügeln , around Wilsdruff and in the Ore Mountains played an important role . Even today, seven narrow-gauge railways are mainly used for tourist purposes in Saxony. However, a large number of lines were closed.

    The Leipzig – Riesa – Dresden and Dresden – Berlin routes are currently being expanded for express traffic. In December 2015, the new Leipzig / Halle – Erfurt line was completed. The construction of the Leipzig City Tunnel , which is the basis for the new Central German S-Bahn network , was completed at the end of 2013. Another S-Bahn network exists in the greater Dresden area.

    Despite the dense railway network, Saxony is the state with the fewest long-distance train stations in the new federal states (six train stations compared to seven in Thuringia, eight in Brandenburg, nine in Saxony-Anhalt and 13 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). Four of these stations are in or near Dresden and Leipzig. The Chemnitz-Zwickau metropolitan area is one of the metropolitan regions with the worst rail connections in Germany. The Leipzig Central Station is the geographically largest station in Europe.

    Dresden and Leipzig have international airports, as well as a number of airfields and special airports (see map).

    In international traffic, the connections to the Czech Republic are important, while the majority of traffic in the direction of Poland runs via Görlitz.


    The Bastei Bridge , built in 1851 , is a landmark of Saxon Switzerland

    In terms of tourism, the Free State can be divided into six regions: the Ore Mountains in the south, castles and heathland in the northwest, Elbe in the north, Saxon Switzerland in the southeast, Upper Lusatia in the east and the Vogtland in the southwest.

    In particular, the Ore Mountains, Vogtland, Saxon Switzerland and the Zittau Mountains are the Saxon landscapes that are shaped by tourism . The main travel destination in Saxony is Dresden with around 4.5 million overnight stays (2018), other city tourism destinations are Leipzig, Bautzen, Görlitz and Chemnitz. In addition to recreational and sporting opportunities, the tourism industry is based in particular on the architecture and cultural conditions, especially in the large and small towns. Likewise, the culinary ( Saxon cuisine ) and handicraft products ( Erzgebirge folk art ) of the Free State are an important branch of the tourism industry.

    The number of overnight stays in the Free State has been increasing steadily since reunification. The number of overnight and lodging establishments almost tripled in the period from 1992 to 2012. While in 1992 6,749,402 holidaymakers in Saxony stayed overnight in 862 accommodation establishments, in 2012 there were already 18,355,248 guests in 2,182 accommodation establishments. The number of beds on offer in June 2012 was 120,929, with an average occupancy rate of 41.3%.

    In 2012, 75.4% of the total of 779,239 foreign guests were Europeans, 10.8% Asians, 10.7% American, 1.3% tourists from Oceania and 0.5% African (no information is available for 1.4%) .

    Not least because of its many cultural and historical sights, Saxony led the ranking of domestic cultural holiday destinations at the end of 2007, ahead of Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia. The city tourism into the country is often combined with purchases, the big shopping centers can thereby act as driving forces.

    Since 1990 several tourist cycle routes have been designed in Saxony and implemented on existing or newly built infrastructure.


    The final energy consumption in the country has dropped sharply since the turn, reaching in 1992 a temporary low point with 320.7 petajoules . In 1990 it was 544.1 petajoules. Since then, consumption has risen slightly again, but has been at a fairly constant level since 1996 at 365.1 petajoules in 2010. Energy productivity, i.e. the ratio of economic productivity to energy used, has changed only insignificantly in recent years: Although the value rose rapidly due to the turnaround and in 1999 reached its previous high of 230.96% compared to the base year 1991. Since then, energy productivity has decreased slightly and increased again, but is on a smaller scale and reached 217 in 2010, 22%.

    In power generation in Saxony, the use of lignite dominates in the actual absence of hard coal : With almost 78.8%, lignite has by far the largest share of gross electricity generation in 2010. On a nationwide average, this energy source only contributes 23.2% , together with hard coal, the nationwide average is 41.8%. In second place is the use of natural gas , which contributes 9.1% to gross electricity generation. The national average is only slightly higher at 13.8%. The use of renewable energies , which in 2010 had a share of 8.6%, is below average - the nationwide average share was 16.4%. Pumped storage water contributes 2.8%, mineral oil products 0.1% and others 0.5%.

    The largest energy consumers in 2010 are private households, which account for 33.1% of final energy consumption. The transport sector, which consumes 30.6% of final energy, has an almost as large share. Industry is a bit behind with 21.9%. However, it is ahead of trade, commerce, services and other consumers, who require a total of 14.3% of the final energy.

    The energy industry is assigned great economic importance. In 2008, the entire economic sector “energy and water supply” had a share of 3.7% in the gross value added in the state and was therefore above average (German average: 2.7%). The state ranks third in Germany behind Brandenburg (5.1%) and North Rhine-Westphalia (4.0%). In 2009, around 15,000 people worked in the energy industry, including lignite mining. This area thus comprises around five percent of employees in the entire manufacturing industry.


    Elbland Clinic Meißen

    In Saxony there are 79 hospitals with around 26,300 hospital beds. With around 45,000 employees, the hospitals, represented by the Sachsen Hospital Society, are one of the most important employers in the Free State. Every year around 945,000 inpatients are treated. These include the Chemnitz Hospital , the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden and the University of Leipzig as maximum care and nine focus utilities, municipal homes Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt , Klinikum Görlitz , St. Georg Hospital Leipzig and Heinrich-Braun-Klinikum Zwickau , the partially privatized in Freiberg and Hoyerswerda (both Sana clinics ) as well as the two Helios clinics in Aue and Plauen.

    The Elblandkliniken are the largest municipal group of hospitals in Saxony with locations in Riesa , Meißen , Radebeul and Großenhain . The clinic group has 1000 beds in the somatic and psychiatric area. Around 2500 people are employed for this.

    The largest hospital in Saxony is the Chemnitz Clinic with 1765 beds (as of 2017) ; with its three locations, it is also the largest communal building of its kind in eastern Germany. It is also involved in the Schneeberg Hospital.

    Health expenditure in Saxony rose by 3.7% in 2009. At 3328 euros, health expenditure per inhabitant was only 2% below the national average in 2009; in 2006 it was 8%.

    The health goal of Saxony is a pioneer in Germany with the goal of "Active aging - aging in health, autonomy and shared responsibility".

    Many well-known and alternative physicians studied and worked in Saxony, such as Friedrich Eduard Bilz ( Bilz Sanatorium ), Heinrich Braun (Braunsche Schiene), Carl Gustav Carus , Paul Ehrlich (Nobel Prize 1908), Paul Flechsig , Samuel Hahnemann (founder of homeopathy ), Hermann Hartmann (founder of the Hartmannbund ), Johann Christian August Heinroth (holder of the world's first psychiatry professorship ), Wilhelm His , Bernard Katz (Nobel Prize 1970), Heinrich Lahmann ( Lahmann Sanatorium ), Carl Ludwig , Moritz Schreber ( “allotment gardens” ), Carl Thiersch and Friedrich Trendelenburg .


    Universities and research institutions

    The Free State of Saxony has four traditional and high-performance universities, including Dresden as one of the eleven German universities of excellence and the only one in Eastern Germany. The Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz and Freiberg locations are characterized by a wide range of subjects from engineering, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, economics and law:

    The five universities of applied sciences in Saxony are suitable for practical studies:

    Research facilities of the major German research institutes have settled in Dresden and Leipzig in particular. Today there are eight institutes of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Science Association , six institutes of the Max Planck Society , 17 institutes of the Fraunhofer Society and three research institutes of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers .


    The Free State of Saxony has a lively media landscape consisting of print media, state-wide and local radio and television programs.


    Several daily newspapers appear in Saxony with their regional editions. The Sächsische Zeitung and Dresdner Latest News in the area of ​​the city and the former administrative district of Dresden, the Leipziger Volkszeitung in the Leipzig region and the Free Press in the Chemnitz area are among the top-selling and best-selling newspapers . Then there is the Lausitzer Rundschau and the Serbske Nowiny , the only daily newspaper in Upper Sorbian for the East Saxon region. The daily tabloids are the Bild newspaper and the Morgenpost, with their respective regional editions . In addition, several free advertising papers , such as the WochenSpiegel or the BLICK , are published every week .


    In the transmission area, the broadcast is via VHF and increasingly via DAB +

    Public radio broadcasters

    Free radios

    Private radio broadcasters

    watch TV

    Public television channels

    Private television channels


    • Karlheinz Blaschke : Population history from Saxony to the industrial revolution. Böhlau Verlag, Weimar 1967.
    • Karlheinz Blaschke: History of Saxony in the Middle Ages. CH Beck, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-406-31722-7 .
    • Reiner Groß : History of Saxony. Edition Leipzig, Berlin 2001 (4th, extended and updated edition, Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 2012, ISBN 978-3-361-00674-4 ).
    • Wolfgang Ismayr , Klemens H. Schrenk: Free State of Saxony. In: Uwe Andersen, Wichard Woyke : Concise dictionary of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. 6th edition, VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-15727-6 , pp. 394-399.
    • Rainer Karlsch , Michael Schäfer: Economic history of Saxony in the industrial age. Edition Leipzig, Dresden / Leipzig 2006, ISBN 3-361-00598-1 .
    • Hartmut Kowalke (Ed.): Saxony (= Perthes Country Profiles series ). Klett-Perthes-Verlag, Gotha / Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-623-00672-6 (23 overviews and 115 tables; a colored part of the picture with comments in the appendix).
    • Karl Mannsfeld , Olaf Bastian: Saxon landscapes. Between Düben Heath and Zittau Mountains. Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 2012, ISBN 978-3-361-00678-2 .
    • Joachim Menzhausen: Cultural History of Saxony. Erg. and updates New edition, Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 2007, ISBN 978-3-361-00628-7 ; (as a special edition for the Saxon State Center for Political Education ) supplemented and updated new edition, Saxon State Center for Political Education, Dresden / Leipzig 2008.
    • Carl Friedrich Mosch : Saxony historical-topographical-statistical and with natural history remarks . Dresden / Leipzig 1816 (2 volumes; digitized version ).
    • Friedrich Ludwig Müller, Angela Pfotenhauer, Elmar Lixenfeld, Florian Monheim: Baroque in Saxony (=  Monument Edition ). Monuments publication of the German Foundation for Monument Protection , Bonn 2000, ISBN 3-935208-01-4 .
    • Norman Pohl, Mathias Deutsch: Environmental history of Saxony. Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 2013, ISBN 978-3-361-00686-7 .
    • Steffen Raßloff : Small history of Saxony. Rhino, Ilmenau 2018 (2nd edition 2019), ISBN 978-3-95560-062-4 .
    • Steffen Raßloff: Central German history. Saxony - Saxony-Anhalt - Thuringia. Leipzig 2016, revised new edition Sax Verlag, Markkleeberg 2019, ISBN 978-3-86729-240-5 .
    • Michael Richter : The formation of the Free State of Saxony. Peaceful revolution, federalization, German unity 1989/90 (=  writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research. Volume 24). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-525-36900-X .
    • Saxon State Center for Political Education / State Association Sächsischer Heimatschutz e. V. (Ed.): Saxony. Local history, folklore, monument preservation, village design, nature and landscape. Dresden 2007, OCLC 254068271 .
    • Albert Schiffner : Handbook of geography, statistics and topography of the Kingdom of Saxony. 2 volumes, Leipzig 1839/40.
    • Ulrich Walz, Frank Ueberfuhr, Peter Schauer , Esther Halke: Historic cultural landscapes of Saxony. In: Series of publications by the State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology. ISSN  1867-2868 , No. 33/2012, Dresden 2012 ( Abstract in German ; full text (PDF, 2 MB); volume of appendices ; PDF; 6.1 MB).
    • Frank-Lothar Kroll (Ed.): The rulers of Saxony, margraves, electors, kings. 1089-1918. CH Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-54773-7 ; u. a. Friedrich the Wise pp. 56–65, Johann Georg III, pp. 160–167, August the Strong pp. 173–191.
    • Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony : My path in life from the royal castle to the farm. Paul List Verlag, Munich 1968, pp. 115–152; Son of Friedrich August III. , recalls his father and his experiences during the Wilhelmine era, World War I, November Revolution, Weimar Republic, Third Reich, World War II, Ireland.


    See also

    Portal: Saxony  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Saxony

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    Individual evidence

    1. According to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
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    69. see a. Blaufarbenwerk Aue with a biathlon club.
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    71. Homepage , accessed on September 21, 2018.
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    88. State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport: Energy Data 2010 ( Memento of the original from October 31, 2014 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. (PDF; 3.5 MB), p. 14, accessed on August 2, 2013. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
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    104. current - Central Erzgebirgs-Fernsehen Online. Retrieved February 14, 2020 .

    Coordinates: 51 ° 3 '  N , 13 ° 44'  E