You’d think that with a rich history and such a huge impact on world history (not to mention the world at large today) that Germany would be a pretty big country, right? Sure! It’s huge compared to Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, or Lesotho. But when it comes to the relative size of Germany compared to the United States, you might be surprised!
So, Germany is the size of what state? What’s the population and size of Germany? Grab yourself an atlas and a full-size map of Germany and let’s take a look!
What is the size of Germany in miles?
By size, I mean north-south, east-west dimensions. At her “tallest” or “widest” points, Germany is about 533 miles (or 857 kilometers if you’re German) from north to south and about 388 miles (or 625 kilometers) from east to west.
That means the north-south distance is about the same as the distance between the borders of Colorado and Nebraska and the east-west difference is about the same as the driving distance between Oklahoma City and Austin Texas.
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What is the land size of Germany in square miles?
Germany’s area is approximately 137,847 square miles (or 357,022 square kilometers if you’re German). Although this makes Germany the largest country in Central Europe and the 6th largest in all Europe, it’s pretty paltry compared to the 3,796,742 square miles (or 9,833,520 square kilometers) of the United States.
Maybe we can find some other way of making that number more impressive…
If we take 137,847 sqaure miles and translate that into football fields, Germany is about 66,717,949 football fields (or 50,003,094 soccer fields if you’re German).
Much more impressive!
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What state is Germany the size of?
At roughly 138,000 square miles, Germany’s area size is somewhere in between Montana (approx. 147,000 square miles/380,728 square kilometers) and New Mexico (approx. 121,000 square miles/313,388 square kilometers).
If we look at the size of Germany compared to Texas (268,596 square miles/695,662 square kilometers), you’ll find that you can almost fit Germany into Texas twice, with maybe a little bit spilling over the edge.
Compare that to somewhere like the teeny-tiny Rhode Island (1,214 square miles/3,144 square kilometers), and you’ll find that Germany could house “Little Rhody” just under 114 times over!
The size of Germany compared to the United States as a whole however and you should be able to fit Germany 28 times into the United States.
See related: The States of Germany
Are there any countries the same size as Germany?
In terms of total area, Germany is the 63rd largest country in the world. In Europe, Germany’s area size sits in between Norway (148,729 square miles/385,207 square kilometers) and Finland (130,667 square miles/338,425 square kilometers).
Compared to the world at large, Germany is right between Japan (145,937 square miles/377,976 square kilometers) and The Republic of the Congo (132,000 square miles/342,000 square kilometers)
How big is the German population?
As of 2020, Germany is estimated to have a population of just over 83 million souls. Now that’s pretty impressive considering that the United States is almost 30 times the size of Germany but has a population of less that 332 million.
That means Germany is far more densely populated that the United States and in proportion to its size has a bigger population than the United States. How much more? Let’s do an experiment;
Say we condensed the US to the size of Germany and the population proportionate to that size too. If the United States was the same size as Germany and her population was relative to that size too, based on the current numbers of residents, the population of the United States would be under 12 million…and somehow certain folks think the United States is overcrowded!
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How well does Germany’s infrastructure cope with that many people?
Germany is a great example for the rest of the world in terms of how to effectively implement the infrastructure. It also houses one of the world’s most developed transportation and communication infrastructures, which has only expanded and improved dramatically since German Reunification in 1990.
Germany is highly accessible domestically and internationally, being a major transpiration hub for Europe. Germany has the densest road network in Europe, having over 405,000 miles (651,784 kilometers) of paved roads, nearly 12,000 miles of which (19,312 kilometers) are speed-limit free(!) autobahns (freeways to you non-German speakers). She has over 25,000 miles (40,234 kilometers) of railroads and comprehensive, well-connected, and inexpensive public transportation options.
As far as flying is concerned, Germany is well connected for domestic flights with over 300 airports, many of which host international flights too.
For a country of its size, Germany has a pretty small coastline – well, it is mostly landlocked, so you can forgive them for that, but that hasn’t stopped them from being a serious seafaring nation. She has 8 major ports that account for between 30%-40% of Germany’s total freight every year.
Germany is one of the world’s leaders in telecommunications, with over 50 million fiber-optic lines, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and her own domestic satellite system. She is also home to T-Mobile, which maintains a presence in almost every nation on Earth.
Germany offers world-class universal healthcare for all, being completely free for necessary or life-saving medications, treatments and procedures. Fun fact; Germany is home to the world’s first universal healthcare system, which has endured in various forms since the 1880’s!
If Germany’s infrastructure has one issue it is Germany’s dependence on imported energy, which has increased since the nation began closing down nuclear power plants in the 2010s. While a good chunk of power supplied to Germans is fueled by domestically sourced coal, and an increasing number of wind farms, Germany is reliant on natural gas imported from the Russian Federation through pipelines.
That said, there are concrete plans in place for the majority of Germany’s energy to be sourced domestically, renewably, and cleanly in the form of more wind and solar farms, and biomass (ahem…poop) burning power plants by 2050.
See related: 15 Fun, Interesting Facts About the Berlin Wall
How does Germany’s infrastructure compare with countries of similar sizes?
Let’s break it down by country based on the examples we’ve used;
Norway (Population approx 5.4 million)
- Norway has just over one tenth of the amount of paved roads that Germany has, and apart from flying, roads are the only ways of accessing some of Norway’s more mountainous northern regions.
- Norway has about one fifth of the amount of railroads, which are predominately situated in the south of the nation, leaving the north largely inaccessible by rail.
- Norway has 98 airports, domestic flights being a necessary means of accessing parts of northern Norway.
- Norway is one of the world’s largest shipping nations and is quite dependent on sea trade. She possesses around 10% of the world’s shipping fleet, 20% of the world’s oil and gas tankers and 25% of the world’s passenger liners. Boats are also vital for public and private transit across Norway.
- Norway’s telecommunications and internet infrastructure is one of the best in the world, with a completely digitized network. She is also a world leader in mobile phone development and technology along with her Scandinavian sisters.
- Norway’s healthcare system is frequently regarded as the best in the world, as well as being totally free and accessible to all.
- Norway is self-sufficient in terms of energy production and has a booming oil industry, mostly from oil rigs in the North Sea. Most of this oil is exported however, as Norway gets over 95% of her power from hydroelectric plants.
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Finland (Population approx 5.5 million)
- Finland has about one tenth of the amount of paved roads that Germany has, being augmented with car ferries in coastal and lake-land areas.
- Finland has about one tenth of the amount of railroads Germany has and are mostly situated in the southeast.
- Finland possesses nearly 160 airports although the vast majority are for internal or short distance international flights.
- Finland is a major shipping nation, with 23 major sea ports. There are also around 50 smaller ports, vital for domestic travel and shipping.
- Finland’s telecommunications and internet infrastructure is among the best in the world, and is a world leader in terms of mobile phone development and technology, being the home of Nokia.
- The quality of healthcare in Finland is excellent and available to all. While it isn’t totally free, the charges even for extensive procedures, treatments, or medication are nominal.
- Finland imports about a quarter of its energy (oil and natural gas) from Russia, with most of its energy coming from hydrocarbon (e.g. wood or peat) burning plants and nuclear power stations.
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The world at large
The Republic of the Congo (Population approx 5.2 million)
- Congo has just under 8,000 miles (12,800 kilometers) of roads, but only about 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) of that is paved.
- Congo’s rail network connects the two main cities Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire (as well as many smaller towns and villages) but is limited to about 350 miles (563 kilometers) of railroad.
- Congo has only 36 airports, 4 of which have paved runways and only 2 of which offer international flights.
- Congo has one coastal port at at Pointe-Noire and 4 smaller river ports along the 3 major rivers running through the country. These river ports are vital for trade and transit.
- Congo’s internet and telephone infrastructure is extremely limited, only really existing in major towns and cities.
- The cost of healthcare in Congo is very low by Western standards, but quite high for the majority of the population. The quality of healthcare is pretty dire and access to it is extremely difficult outside urban areas.
- Electricity is not a guarantee for everyone outside of major urban areas and while most of Congo’s domestically sourced energy is clean, hydroelectric power, about a quarter of her energy is imported from her neighbor The Democratic Republic of the Congo. In rural areas, heat and light is still predominately provided by burning wood.
Japan (Population approx. 125 million)
- Japan has extensive roadways, with about 540,000 miles (869,046 kilometers) of paved roadways, just under 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers) of it being freeways.
- Japan’s rail network is among the best in the world, with about 16,900 miles (27,197 kilometers) of railroads, connecting all major and many minor population centers, as well as just under 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) of rail lines dedicated to the 200mph bullet trains!
- Japan has the fourth largest passenger air travel market in the world and 175 airports. Although only 5 are for international travel, the majority of these airports are essential for domestic travel.
- Japan is a major seafaring nation, having 23 major international shipping ports, as well as 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) of inland waterways for domestic travel and shipping.
- Japan’s telephone and internet infrastructure is well integrated and extensive. Japan is also one of the largest internet users on Earth.
- Japan’s universal healthcare is excellent, and easily accessible, with the nation having the longest life expectancy on Earth. Costs are relatively low, with the government paying for 70% of all medical costs.
- Most of Japan’s energy is imported fossil fuels (around 80%), in part thanks to the shutting down of all nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster. There are plans to increase the numbers of solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and hydroelectric plants in the future.
So as you can see, based on similar sized nations with much smaller and much larger populations, Germany’s infrastructure is capable of supporting her residents, da kannst du Gift drauf nehmen!
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