Germany is the economically strongest country in Europe. Germany’s economy ranks fourth worldwide (after the USA, China and Japan). This is measured in terms of gross domestic product. Germany is also among the first countries in the Human Development Index, which measures the prosperity of a country and also includes other things such as life expectancy and education (6th place in 2014, 4th place since 2016).
Germany – an export country
Germany’s economy is geared towards export. This means that a lot of goods are exported, i.e. sold to other countries. 40 percent of the total economic output comes from exports.
Germany was even export world champion for several years, including between 2003 and 2008. This means that in one year it exported the highest total value of all goods of all countries. In 2015 and 2016, Germany was in third place after China and the USA. And what is exported? Cars, auto parts, machines and chemical products account for the largest share.
Because Germany exports so much, the economy is also dependent on these sales abroad. This is not entirely without risk, because if exports decrease, this has consequences for the German market, and less money is earned. Because Germany has few raw materials, it also imports a lot. However, exports are always significantly higher than imports.
Which economic sectors are there in Germany?
Most of the total economic output is generated in the area of services, namely almost 70 percent. Finance (everything to do with banks) and insurance play a major role here. But many people are also employed in tourism and in the field of culture.
Industry is around 25 to 30 percent each year, leaving only 1 to 2 percent for agriculture. In 2016, their share was only 0.6 percent. The main crops are potatoes, wheat, barley and sugar beets. Cows, pigs and poultry are also kept.
Mining has a long tradition in Germany. In the 19th century mainly iron, copper, lead and silver were extracted, then coal (hard coal and lignite) was added, and later also uranium. When mining was no longer profitable, many mines closed. Today (lignite) coal and potash salts are mainly mined. There is a discussion in Germany about the mining of lignite because coal contributes to higher CO² emissions and thus to climate change. On the other hand, there are still jobs in coal mining that are disappearing due to the decline in mining.
No other country in the EU transports more goods than Germany. Goods are brought into and through the country by trucks, railways and ships. The Port of Hamburg plays a special role in this. It is considered the “gateway to the world”. Almost ten million containers are handled here every year, i.e. moved from one means of transport to another, for example from a container ship to a truck.
What is actually typically German? Is there anything like that at all? Although you can never lump all people together, as the saying goes, there may be a certain tendency towards certain properties. The Germans are at least said to be particularly punctual and particularly disciplined. And even if you probably know people who are not like that at all, there are still many Germans who always come on time, do everything properly and correctly and who are very conscientious.
Many Germans are interested in sport. Sports clubs are very popular in this country. In 2010, 27 million were members of 21,000 gymnastics and sports clubs! A particularly large number of people play football. Handball and volleyball are also popular. You can also see a lot of people jogging. Others swim laps in swimming pools or go to the gym.
Not only doing sports is popular, but also watching. Football is particularly popular here. Germany has won four football championships in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014. However, handball, basketball, ice hockey, motor sports, boxing and winter sports such as biathlon, ski jumping, cross-country skiing and figure skating are also popular with spectators.
Happy to travel!
Germans also like to travel. According to physicscat, there are around 10,000 travel agencies in Germany. The number of travelers is 53 million each year. Here vacation trips of five days or more were counted. Germans take around 1.6 billion vacation days every year. Every German travels an average of 20 days a year.
70 percent of trips go abroad, 30 percent are made in Germany. Of the foreign trips, 8 percent are long-distance trips, 60 percent fly to the Mediterranean and around 10 percent drive to neighboring countries. The most popular destinations for Germans in 2016 were Spain and Italy. And you? Where have you already gone
8 typical German characteristics – right or wrong?
- in time
- fond of traveling
- enthusiastic about sports
- fond of traveling
And more typically German?
Garden gnomes have long been considered kitsch and typical decorative objects for philistines. Today the picture has changed a bit and there are also modern garden gnomes. This one looks nice, doesn’t it?