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Germany at a glance


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Germany has had several different versions of its flag during its tumultuous history. The official colors of the three-equal bands are jet black, traffic red and rapeseed yellow, which is actually gold, not yellow, an important distinction in the German flag lexicon.

Location: Germany shares borders with nine European countries, including Poland, Austria, France and Belgium.

Ethnic group: 91.5% Germans

Language: German (Deutsch)

Religion: Roman Catholic and Protestant (almost equal numbers)

Population: 80.8 million

Median age: 46.5

Capital: Berlin

Other major cities: Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf

Ease of doing business (as ranked by the World Bank Group): 15th in world

Internet usage: 70.3 million (87 percent of the population)

Online shoppers: 45 million

GDP: $3.748 trillion (2014)

GDP per capita: $46,200 (2014 estimate in 2014 dollars)

Minimum wage: $11.60 USD, took effect in 2015

Vacation: Average is 6 weeks, plus workers are offered numerous paid holidays and sick days with partial pay

Entrepreneurship level: Germans tend to be risk-averse, although the younger generation is less likely to be so

Franchise law: None, although there are business laws that provide protection

Visa: Not required

Telephone country code: 49

Internet country code: .de

Trade fairs: Germany hosts two-thirds of international business fairs

Reuniting of East and West: Oct. 3, 1990

Government: Democratic federal multiparty republic

Dates are written: day, month, year, with either a period or a slash between them

Chancellor: Angela Merkel

Time difference: Six hours ahead of EST

Trademark protection: Registration can be done online at www.dpma.de/english/patent/application/index.html

The McDonald’s factor: Entered market in 1971

Icebreaker fodder: German Adi Dassler started Adidas in 1948. The name is a combination of his first name and the first three letters of his last (not All Day I Dream of Soccer, as is commonly believed).

Sources: Statista, World Bank Group, CIA World Factbook, “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands,” German Franchise Association