Size: Approximately 108,568 square kilometers,
including East Berlin.
Topography: Lies in northern European plain. Lowlands
and low hills cover coastal and central sections, mountains and
hills found in south Highest point, 1,213 meters.
Climate: Maritime in north; gradually changes to
continental in center and south.
Population: Approximately 16,692,000, including East
Berlin (July 1986); average annual growth rate, 0 percent.
Ethnic Groups: Culturally and linguistically
homogeneous; 997 percent German; 03 percent Sorb (Slavic) and
Language: Modern German spoken by all people Regional
dialects used at home Sorbs bilingual.
Religion: Religious freedom constitutionally guaranteed
but active participation very low. About 47 percent Protestant, 7
percent Roman Catholic, 46 percent unaffiliated or other; less
than 5 percent of Protestants and 25 percent of Roman Catholics
Education: School system highly centralized with
standard curriculum, mandatory attendance through tenth grade,
and strong emphasis on vocational training. Technology and
science also stressed at secondary level and above Indoctrination
in Marxist-Leninist ideology included at all levels.
Health and Welfare: Compulsory social insurance program
includes free medical care, unemployment compensation, and
retirement benefits. Health care good; steady decline in infant
mortality rates and incidence of communicable diseases. Unusually
high proportion of elderly; pensions low relative to wages.
Data as of July 1987