Germany is a land with a wide diversity of dialects, cultural influences and landscapes in which history is notably in the making. The country itself comprises 357,000 sq km. (876 km north to south and 640 km east to west). The biggest mountains are the German Alps in the south; the Zugspitze at 2,962m and the Watzmann at 2,713m, along with the Feldberg (1,493m) in the Black Forest. The state of Mecklenburg in the north is known as the land of a thousand lakes and is the location of the beautiful glacial moraine, the Mueritz Lake (110 sq km), which is the second largest lake in Germany after Lake Constance (305 sq km) on the Swiss German boarder. Berliners know the River Spree (382 km) and Hamburgers the River Elbe (700 km) but they are less well known when compared to the Rhine (865 km) and the Danube (686 km).
The Federal Government’s book “Facts about Germany” divides the Germans up by region. “Natives of Mecklenburg, … are considered reserved, Swabians thrifty, Rhinelanders happy-go-lucky, and Saxons hardworking and shrewd – traditional observations that are gladly perpetuated to this very day in a spirit of good-natured folkloric rivalry.” In contrast with China, of the 82 million people in Germany, 42 million are women; 7 million are foreigners and of those 1.8 million are Turkish.
Germany’s GDP was 2.115 trillion USD in 1997, putting it at the 3rd largest economy in the world. Germany has made its mark on the global community by being at the forefront of green and renewable technologies, setting the trend for the 21st century. The average household income is 2,820 € per month of which 10% goes to transportation costs and 10% to food and drink. Germans rank 7th as highest newspaper-reading people in the world behind Norway, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and England. Munich (pop 1.2 million) is often extolled as the main tourist destination in Germany, but in population Hamburg is the second largest city with 1.7 million residents.
Berlin (pop 3.6 million) sprawls over 889 sq km and has a population density of 3,800 people per-square-kilometer as opposed to Munich’s 4,200 people per-square-kilometer. Most of the 1270 breweries in Germany come from Bavaria, providing the market with over 500 brands of beer.
The average German wakes up at 6:18 AM., eats an egg every third day and drinks 9,119 liters (2,409 gallons) of beer in a lifetime. Nearly 90% of Germans watch TV daily, amounting to an average of 208 minutes per day. The average German goes away on vacation for seven days per year and goes to bed at 11:02 PM. An average German causes 1.6 tons of electronic waste and uses an average of one toilet roll per week. In fact, the average German spends six months on the toilet in his/her lifetime. An average German is 171 cm (5.6 feet) and weighs 74.6 kilograms (165 pounds). He/she spends 26 minutes in the bathroom per day and uses 1.13 million liters (0.3 million gallons) of water in his/her lifetime. During that time he/she will drink 77,000 cups of coffee and 5,192 slices of bread. The average working German will have 1,452 € per month to spend on all the coffee. Furthermore, an average German family has 89.3 square meters of living space, while the average German woman owns 314 pairs of shoes in a lifetime. Women get married at an average age of 29.4, whereas men wait a little longer before they tie the knot at 32.4 years of age.