Germany is a state of Central Europe, bordered to the North by Denmark, E by Poland and the Czech Republic, SE and S with the’ Austria, SW and O with France, Switzerland on Belgium and Luxembourg, to NO with the Netherlands ; it is washed to the North by the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
The name Germania (ie «country of the Germans») was originally given by the Romans to the territories of the Belgian province in which peoples from the right of the Rhine had settled (Condrusi, Eburoni etc.), called Germani; Cesare extended the name to all the territories inhabited by populations of that same stock. The name Deutschland, on the other hand, appears for the first time in the form Dütisklant in the Kaiserkronik, a poetic composition of 1150, and means “German country” (deutsch derives from the old German diot, Gothic thiuda, “people”).
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, Germany is by far the most populous European state (excluding the Russian Federation). By surface, however, always excluding Russia, it ranks fifth, after Ukraine, France, Spain and Sweden. The result is a very high territorial density (over 230 residents / km 2). This large demographic mass is on the whole insufficient for the human resource needs of an economically dynamic country such as Germany, in which the demographic transition has already taken place since the mid-1990s. At the beginning of the 21st century. the population decreased in absolute terms (with the birth rate at 8.18 ‰ and the death rate at 10.8 ‰ in 2008), as well as a very mature demographic picture, with a decidedly modest percentage of young people.
The increase in the population (or the containment of its decrease) is exclusively due to immigrant flows, traditionally substantial, which have produced a mass of immigrants equal to 661,855 individuals (2006). The ethnic composition of this large foreign community has significantly varied over time: in the years following the Second World War – especially the years of the ‘German miracle’, the 1960s, when it was a question of rebuilding from scratch the entire industrial apparatus – the Italians prevailed, followed by the Spanish, Portuguese and Greeks; later, the migratory wave from oriental in western ones (especially in the Rhineland North- Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Bavaria): in fact, a ‘legal’ continuation of the clandestine ones that occurred across the artificial border between the two Germanys. Italy and the Iberian countries decreased significantly and another formed, and rapidly grew, fueled by migrants from Yugoslavia and then by the republics born from its dissolution; later by Maghrebi and, above all, Turks, the latter soon becoming the clearly dominant component; lastly, after the opening of the borders of the Eastern states, citizens of those countries began to flow in, particularly the Poles. The immigration flows were accompanied by massive population transfers within the country, from the most backward Länder.
The distribution and settlement characteristics of the population register a density which, apart from that, obviously completely anomalous, of the three totally urban Länder of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, varies from 530 residents / km 2 in North Rhine-Westphalia to 75 residents./km 2 of Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania. Saarland, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Saxony also exceed the average density (the only one among the eastern Länder ; the others report the lowest values ever).
G. is one of the most urbanized countries in the world: the urban population in 2008 amounted to 74%, a value in Europe exceeded only by Belgium, the United Kingdom, and slightly by Denmark, France and the Netherlands. This is especially true for the western Länder, some of which (especially North Rhine, but also Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, part of Bavaria and perhaps even the Saarland) have come to form a single immense urban region: the Rhine- Ruhr conurbation forms a sort of urban continuum that is home to at least fifteen million residents. Nothing similar is found in the eastern Länder, where, however, an urban axis centered on Dresden and Leipzig extended to include several other cities. The process, already underway for some time, of demographic devolution of all the major cities continued, usually in a loss of residents of the historical aggregates and in a parallel increase in the rest of their urban agglomerations (phenomenon known as suburbanization).