Country Listing

East Germany Table of Contents

East Germany


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 other minorities.

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 active participants.

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