Old states of Germany

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The old states of Germany (German: die alten Bundesländer) are the 10 states in West Germany.

Since the reunification, Germany thus consists of 16 states with equal legal statuses. Yet the process of the "inner reunification" between the former Eastern and Western Germany is still ongoing. The Old States are:

Whether West Berlin is considered an "old state" depends on the context, since it was closely associated with the Federal Republic of Germany, but its status was disputed because of the Four Power Agreement on Berlin.

The old states are colloquially referred to as Former West Germany, although the name West Germany has additional meanings.


Religion in West Germany with West Berlin (2016)[1]

  Catholics (37.8%)
  Protestants (36.4%)
  Agnosticists/Atheists (20.1%)
  Muslims (3.0%)
  Other religion (1.9%)
  Not declared and unknown (0.9%)

Christianity is the dominant religion of Western Germany, excluding Hamburg, which has a non-religious plurality. On the other hand is Irreligion is predominant in the Eastern part of Germany, considered to be the least religious region in the world.[2][3][4] An exception is former West Berlin, that had a Christian plurality in 2016 (44.4% Christian and 43.5% Unaffiliated). It also has a higher share of Muslims, or 8.5%, compared to former East Berlin, with only 1.5% self-declared Muslims as of 2016.[1]

Religion by state, 2016[1] Protestants Catholics Not religious Muslims Others
Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg 37.6% 40.6% 16.4% 2.5% 3.0%
Bavaria Bavaria 23.4% 58.6% 15.6% 1.1% 1.3%
Bremen (state) Bremen 51.8% 7.8% 39.1% 0.0% 1.3%
Berlin former West Berlin 32.0% 12.4% 43.5% 8.5% 3.5%
Hamburg Hamburg 34.3% 9.0% 44.1% 10.9% 1.7%
Hesse Hesse 50.2% 21.7% 22.2% 3.8% 2.1%
Lower Saxony Lower Saxony 53.8% 18.7% 24.1% 2.5% 0.9%
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia 30.9% 44.6% 18.1% 4.4% 2.0%
Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate 34.8% 42.4% 19.6% 1.0% 2.1%
Saarland Saarland 22.3% 68.1% 8.2% 1.4% 0.0%
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein 61.5% 3.2% 31.3% 2.2% 1.7%
Total 36.7% 38.2% 20.3% 3.0% 1.9%

Pro Reli[edit]

Results of the Referendum Pro Reli by district:
  Over 60% yes votes of the participants and over 25% of the voters
  over 60% yes votes of the participants and under 25% of the voters
  over 50% no votes of the participants and under 25% yes votes of the voters
  over 70% no votes of the participants and under 25% yes votes of the voters

In the referendum on the introduction of the elective area of ethics/religion, where the dominant in West Berlin CDU and FDP to Yes against the Greens (with the exception of their "working group Christians")[5] and SPD[6] have called No, have in West Berlin 58.58% for the Introduction of religious education. (in East Berlin, a total of 74.62% voted no).


The standard of living and annual income remains significantly higher in the old federal states.[7] In West Germany, there is more income than in the East.[8]

In West Germany, there are smaller farms than in the east.[8]

In the West there are fewer unemployed than in the former East Germany.[9][10]


Participation by constituency 2017

In the West and West Berlin[11] the Union, SPD, FDP and Greens stronger, on the other hand right-wing populist parties and The Left weaker than in the east.[12][13]

Unlike in the East, there are not 3 or since 2016 4 equally strong parties but a "two-party dominance" of the SPD and CDU.[14]

A study of the University of Berlin from 1998/99 comes to 13% for the whole of Germany, and 12% for the West and 17% for the East for right-wing extremist recruitment potential.[15] In the 2017 Federal Election, AfD reached ~ 22%[16] in the East and ~ 11%[17] in the West.[18]

There are also higher voter turnouts in the West.[14]

Demographic development[edit]

The population density of the new German states is lower than that of the old states.

In the old states the average age is lower than in the east.[8]

Demographic evolution[edit]

In the old federal states, the populations also developed differently. In Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein, the population increased steadily. In Saarland, on the other hand, the population dropped steadily. The population of North Rhine-Westphalia (until 2004), Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate (both until 2003) initially increased and then fell off again. The population of Bremen dropped until the year 2001, then rose to the year 2007 and began to fall again in 2008.

Since 1980, birth rates have been relatively constant.[8]


There are more migrants in West Germany than in the East.[19][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Konfession, Bundesland - weighted (Kumulierter Datensatz)". Politbarometer 2016: Question V312.F1. 2016 – via GESIS.
  2. ^ "Ostdeutschland: Wo der Atheist zu Hause ist". Focus. 2012. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  3. ^ "WHY EASTERN GERMANY IS THE MOST GODLESS PLACE ON EARTH". Die Welt. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  4. ^ "East Germany the "most atheistic" of any region". Dialog International. 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  5. ^ Grüne Christen unterstützen „Pro Reli“. In: Der Tagesspiegel, 27. März 2009.
  6. ^ Argumente zum Ethikunterricht SPD-Berlin Oktober 2008 (PDF; 99 kB)
  7. ^ "The Price of a Failed Reunification". Spiegel International. 2005-09-05. Retrieved 2006-11-28.
  8. ^ a b c d http://www.zeit.de/feature/mauerfall-das-geteilte-land
  9. ^ http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2014-10/arbeitslosigkeit-osten
  10. ^ https://statistik.arbeitsagentur.de/Navigation/Statistik/Statistik-nach-Regionen/Politische-Gebietsstruktur/Ost-West-Nav.html
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-08-24. Retrieved 2017-11-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ https://www.wiwo.de/politik/deutschland/bundestagswahl-osten-waehlt-immer-noch-anders-als-der-westen/8789876.html
  13. ^ https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/ImFokus/Sonstiges/DeutscheEinheitWahlverhaltenOstWest.html
  14. ^ a b https://www.bpb.de/geschichte/zeitgeschichte/deutschlandarchiv/202315/parteien-und-parteienwettbewerb-in-west-und-ostdeutschland
  15. ^ Nach Iris Huth: Politische Verdrossenheit, Band 3, 2004, S. 226.
  16. ^ https://www.wahlen-in-deutschland.de/buBundOst.htm
  17. ^ https://www.wahlen-in-deutschland.de/buBundWest.htm
  18. ^ "Bundestagswahl 2017".
  19. ^ http://katapult-magazin.de/de/artikel/artikel/fulltext/die-rechten-ziehen-in-den-osten-auslaender-in-den-westen/
  20. ^ https://www.bpb.de/nachschlagen/zahlen-und-fakten/soziale-situation-in-deutschland/61625/auslaendische-bevoelkerung-nach-laendern
  21. ^ http://www.laenderdaten.de/europa/deutschland/bundeslaender/auslaenderanteil.aspx