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States of Germany

Germany is a federation of 16 states called Länder (singular Land) or Bundesländer (singular Bundesland).

The 16 Länder are:

  1. Baden-Württemberg
  2. Bavaria (Bayern)
  3. Berlin (city-state)
  4. Brandenburg
  5. Bremen (city-state)
  6. Hamburg (city-state)
  7. Hesse (Hessen)
  8. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
  9. Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)
  10. North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
  11. Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz)
  12. Saarland
  13. Saxony (Sachsen)
  14. Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt)
  15. Schleswig-Holstein
  16. Thuringia (Thüringen)

Further subdivisions

The city-states of Berlin and Hamburg are not subdivided. The state Bremen consists of two district-cities, Bremen and Bremerhaven. In the other Länder there are the following subdivisions:

  • Regierungsbezirke: The large states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt are divided into administrative regions, or Regierungsbezirke.
  • Kreise: Every state consists of districts, or Kreise; there are 438 districts; in addition there are district-free cities; a district-free city is by itself a district.
  • Ämter: In some states there is an administrative unit between districts and municipalities. These units are called Ämter (singular Amt), Samtgemeinden, Verbandgemeinden or Verwaltungsgemeinschaften.
  • Gemeinden: Every district and every Amt is subdivided into municipalities; there are 13,912 municipalities, which are the smallest administrative units in Germany. Cities are municipalities as well, which have city rights (Stadtrecht). Nowadays this is mostly just the right to be called a city; however, in older times it included many privileges such as to have their own taxes or to allow industry inside cities only.
  • List of cities in Germany includes a table of cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants (Städte) and a general listing of cities, other municipalities, and villages.

See also:



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