North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia
national flag Landeswappen
Landesflagge Landeswappen
(detail) (detail)
base data
state capital Duesseldorf
surface 34,083, 52 km ² (4.)
Inhabitant 18.059.839 (1.) (30. June 2005)
Population density 530 Einwohner/km ² (4.)
- total
2005 (estimated)
$481 billion
debts 6,031 € per inhabitant (at the end of of 2005)
debts entirely 102.5 billion € (2004)
ISO 3166-2 DE-NW
official Website North Rhine-Westphalia
Prime Minister Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers (CDU)
federal state parliament president Regina van Dinther (CDU)
Governing parties CDU/FDP
allocation of seats in the federal state parliament
(187 seats):
CDU 89, SPD 74, B'90/the Green 12, FDP 12
last choice 22. May 2005
next choice 2010
parliamentary agency
voices in the Upper House of Parliament 6
Lage von Nordrhein-Westfalen in Deutschland

North Rhine-Westphalia lies in the west of Germany and is with approximately 18 million inhabitants the most densely populated Land of the Federal Republic of the Federal Republic of Germany, surface-related at 34.080 km ² fourth largest. The state capital is Duesseldorf, the largest city is Cologne.

North Rhine-Westphalia borders in the north on the country Lower Saxony, in The east at Hessen and in the south at Rhineland-Palatinate as well as in the west at Belgium and to the Netherlands.

Table of contents


spatial layer

North Rhine-Westphalia is coined/shaped in the north by the Westfäli low country. Sour country, Bergi country and winner country in the south are closely wooded with considerable Höhenzügen from 500 to over 800 meters.

In the west and the Niederrhein follows the Eifel . In the center of North Rhine-Westphalia the Ruhr district with the cities Bottrop , gel churches , Herne and Recklinghausen in the north, Dortmund lies, Hamm and Hagen in the eastern part, jokes in the southeast, Bochum, meal, upper living and Mülheim at the Ruhr in the center as well as Duisburg and Moers in the west. Further large cities are in the north Münster, in the east Bielefeld and Paderborn, in the south victories and in the southwest Bonn, Cologne, Bergisch Gladbach, Leverkusen, Aachen, Moenchengladbach and Krefeld and the bergischen cities Wuppertal, rem-separate and Solingen as well as the state capital Duesseldorf and Neuss lying of Cologne Rhine downward.


contrary to other Lands of the Federal Republic (e.g. Baden-Wuerttemberg) does not give it in North Rhine-Westphalia uniform administrative structures with the designation to “region”. The country is as political art thing by the British military administration 1946 for the prevention of an allocation of four-power of the Ruhr district(Demand by the Soviet Union after the model Berlin) formed with the pool of the former Prussian countries Rhine province (northern part) and Westphalia to create around facts thus completed with this spacious administrative unit as country under British control and itself thatTo secure access to the Ruhr district as a whole with its important mining industry.

North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into the three regions: North Rhine, stands for the northern Rhine country as well as Westphalia and the region lip which was added later (since 1947). Among them becomes natural-space andsozio culturally into further regions with landschaftlichen purchases divides.

as well as economicaland sozio cultural special region also

work on] for landscapes


partial: List of the landscapes in North Rhine-Westphalia


highest mountain is the long mountain (843.1 m)

further ones of mountains sees: List thatAdministrative arrangement building of the North-Rhine/Westphalian federal state parliament


Gebäude des nordrhein-westfälischen Landtags
in North Rhine-Westphalia the Landesverwaltung
consists mountains and


in North Rhine-Westphalia [work on] of

district governments

on the level of the nationalCentral instance is arranged the country into five governmental districts:

  • Arnsberg - inhabitants: 3.776.723 (31. December 2004)
  • Detmold - inhabitants: 2.071.642 (30. June 2004)
  • Duesseldorf - inhabitants: 5.238.172 (30. June 2004)
  • Cologne - inhabitants: 4.363.797 (31. December 2004)
  • Münster - inhabitants: 2.624.314(30. June 2004)

Originally (1816) there were seven governmental districts, from those 1822 the governmental district Kleve with the governmental district Duesseldorf and with effect of the 1. July 1972 the governmental district Aachen was combined with the governmental district Cologne.

At the 1. April 1947 was combined the administrations of the governmental district Minden and the former Free State lip in Detmold (condition of the former Free State lip). The governmental district Minden was thus increased around the circles Detmold and Lemgo and to 2. June 1947 in governmental district Detmold renamed.

Karte der Regierungsbezirke in Nordrhein-Westfalen

Verwaltungsstruktur für Nordrhein-Westfalen
Administrative structure for North Rhine-Westphalia

is discussed already for some time to reduce the number of the governmental districts to three. All municipalities in the Ruhr district, which are organized in the regional association Ruhr, are to be summarized thereafter in a governmental district. The remaining parts of theCountry should be assigned then the governmental districts Rhine country and Westphalia. The landscape federations are to be dissolved here.

The conversion of this idea was announced from the 2005 formed CDU/FDP federal state government to 2012. Afterwards is it in the future three regional presidencies Rhine country, Ruhr districtand Westphalia give, which are to adapt the still from Prussian time taken over governmental districts. These planning affects however also historical and state-legal questions, there both the governmental district concerned Detmold and the regional organization lip in the context of the entry of the former Free State lip after North Rhine-Westphalia were regulated 1947 in the Lippi preliminary drafts *1 ) with clear promises at lip. Besides there are regional of resistances, which criticize the addressed administrative units as too large and centralistic.

*1) over the state-legal meaning gives it contentiousViews

local autonomy

the local autonomy in North Rhine-Westphalia perception of the circles, the municipalities circle-belonging and cities, the circle-free cities, the different Zweckverbänden, e.g. the regional association Ruhr, the traffic group Rhine Ruhr andthe traffic group Rhine victory as well as the two landscape federations Rhine country and Westphalia lip.

circles and circle-free cities

the country North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into 31 circles and 23 circle-free cities, which do not belong to the circles.


Karte der Landkreise in Nordrhein-Westfalen
  1. ( AC) circles
  2. to barks (BORON)
  3. Coesfeld (COE)
  4. Düren (DN)
  5. Ennepe Ruhr circle (EN)
  6. Rhine Erft circle (CBM)
  7. Euskirchen (European Union)
  8. Gütersloh (GT)
  9. Heinsberg (HS)
  10. Herford (HF)
  11. high sour district (HSK)
  12. Höxter (HX)
  13. Kleve (KLE)
  14. lip (LIP)
  15. Märki circle (MK)
  16. Metz man (ME)
  17. Minden Lübbecke (MI)
  18. Rhine circle Neuss (NE)
  19. Oberbergi circle (GM)
  20. Olpe (OE)
  21. Paderborn (PB)
  22. Recklinghausen (RH)
  23. Rheinisch Bergi circle (GL)
  24. Rhine victory circle (CSU)
  25. victory joke gene stone (SI)
  26. Soest (SO)
  27. stone ford (sp)
  28. Unna (UN)
  29. Viersen (VIE)
  30. goods village (WAF)
  31. Wesel (WES)

circle-free cities

Karte der Stadtkreise in Nordrhein-Westfalen

  1. Aachen (AC)
  2. Bielefeld (BI)
  3. Bochum (BO)
  4. Bonn (BN)
  5. Bottrop (OFFERED)
  6. Dortmund (DO)
  7. Duisburg (YOU)
  8. Duesseldorf (D)

  1. Meal (E)
  2. gel churches (GE)
  3. Hagen (hectar)
  4. Hamm (HAM)
  5. Herne (AGO)
  6. Cologne (C)
  7. Krefeld (KR)
  8. Leverkusen (LEV)

  1. Moenchengladbach (mg)
  2. Mülheim at the Ruhr (MH)
  3. Münster (ms)
  4. upper living (WHETHER)
  5. rem-separate (R-S)
  6. Solingen (SG)
  7. Wuppertal (W)

(in clips in each case the Kfz characteristic)

cities and municipalities

the country North Rhine-Westphalia are arranged into 396 cities and municipalities. Of it 23 circle-free cities and 373 are circle-belonging of cities and municipalities.

Large cities

city circle inhabitant
of 31.12.2000
Cologne Cologne (city) 962,884 975,907
Dortmund Dortmund (city) 588,994 587,830
meals meal (city) 595,243 586,382
Duesseldorf Duesseldorf (city) 569,364 573,449
Duisburg Duisburg (city) 514,915 502,522
Bochum Bochum (city) 391,147 386,499
Wuppertal Wuppertal (city) 366,434 360,105
Bielefeld Bielefeld (city) 321,758 327,131
Bonn Bonn (city) 307,814 313,611
Münster Münster (city) 265,609 270,176
gel churches gel churches (city) 278,695 269,281
Moenchengladbach Moenchengladbach (city) 263,014 261,645
Aachen Aachen (city) 244,386 257,089
Krefeld Krefeld (city) 239,916 238,031
upper living upper living (city) 222,151 219,148
Hagen Hagen (city) 203,151 197,854
Hamm Hamm (city) 182,427 184,556
Herne Herne (city) 174,529 171,244
Mülheim at the Ruhr Mülheim (city) 172,862 169,905
Solingen Solingen (city) 164,973 163,882
Leverkusen Leverkusen (city) 161,047 161,419
Neuss Rhine circle Neuss 150,013 151,589
Paderborn Paderborn 139,084 143,392
Recklinghausen Recklinghausen 124,785 122,381
Bottrop Bottrop (city) 120,611 119.649
Rem-separate rem-separate (city) 119,287 116,263
Moers Wesel 107,062 107,682
victories victory joke gene stone 108,476 106,544
Bergisch Gladbach Rheinisch Bergi circle 105,693 105,688
jokes Ennepe Ruhr circle 103,196 101,019


landscape federations

in North Rhine-Westphalia gives it in the framework to thatLocal autonomy on the national central instance the landscape federations Rhine country in Cologne and Westphalia lip in Münster.

population trend

with an inhabitant density of 530 inhabitants for each km ² ranks North Rhine-Westphalia among one close-settled areas of the world. (in each case to 31.December d.J.)

Year inhabitant
1976 17.073.523
1980 17.058.705
1985 16.675.246
1990 17.349.651
1991 17.509.866
Year inhabitant
1992 17.679.166
1993 17.759.300
1994 17.816.079
1995 17.893.045
1996 17.947.715
Year inhabitant
1997 17.974.487
1998 17.975.516
1999 17.999.800
2000 18.009.865
2001 18.052.092
Year inhabitant
of the country after
the Second

World War North Rhine-Westphalia receives

2002 18.076.355 2003 18.079.686

work on] to history

of the country North Rhine-Westphalia [ work on] its legal bases with the regulation No. 46 of the British military government of 23. August 1946„Concerning the dissolution of the provinces of the former country Prussia in the British zone and their new formation as independent countries “. From the northern part of the Prussian Rhine province and from the Prussian province Westphalia the new country North Rhine-Westphalia is formed.

1947the past Free State lip on operation of the British must give its Selbstständigkeit up and decides after negotiations with both neighbouring countries Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia (both British administrative zone) for the connection after North Rhine-Westphalia. To 21. January 1947 steps by the BritishMilitary regulation No. 77 the combination into force.

North Rhine-Westphalia had at that time 11.8 million inhabitant.

historical basic data


Sitzverteilung im Landtag

See Hauptarikel: Political system of North Rhine-Westphalia

Prime Minister

the Prime Minister von Nordrhein-Westfalen is Jürgen Rüttgers. It became to 22. June 2005 the successor of Peer stone-bridge, after the CDU to 22. May 2005 the election of the federal parliament had won.

election result to 22. May 2005

the official final result of the choice is:

A party voices per cent of seats
CDU 3.696.506 44.8 89
SPD the 3.058.988 37.1 74
Greens 509,293 6.2 12
FDP 508,266 6.2 12
WASG 181,988 2.2 -
NPD 73.9690,9 -
Party of Democratic Socialism 72,989 0.9 -
REP 67,220 0.8 -
other ones 74,795 0.9 -
to sum 8.244.014 100.0 187

see also election of the federal parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia 2005

see also election of the federal parliament results from North Rhine-Westphalia since 1947

large information with the national returning officer North-Rhine/Westphalia

coat of armsand flag

Landeswappen reflects the spatial composition of the country again. It shows in front the symbol for the Rhine, in the back the horse, the symbol for the region Westphalia, and in the point the Lippi rose drawn in downfor the Lipperland.

Because of frequent inquiries the country let a Wappenzeichen, which resembles the coat of arms however contrary to it by everyone permission-free be used can sketch. The use of the national coat of arms however is only subject to approval and in principle the authoritiespermitted.

The national flag is accordingly green white red the colors of the coat of arms; the national service flag carries additionally Landeswappen.

Landeswappen Wappenzeichen Landesflagge Landesdienstflagge
Landeswappen Wappenzeichen national flag national service flag




  • Hartmann, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Manual of the German Lands of the Federal Republic. To Bonn 1997

see also

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: North Rhine-Westphalia - word origin, synonyms and translations
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