Germany lies at the heart of Europe and is the world’s third largest economy, driven by innovation. Germany’s population is 81.7 million, with 3.4 million people living in the capital, Berlin. The population is expected to fall to 77.9 million by 2030, with the proportion of people over 65 increasing from 31% to 47% over the same period. German is the official language, spoken by over 95% of the population as their first language. One third of the population are Protestant, with a similar number Catholic. The Euro is the official currency. The standard VAT rate is 19%.

 Germany                               Capital: Berlin



81.7 million à 77.9 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 31% à 47% (2030)




33% Catholic, 33% Protestant

GDP / head

€ 31,400   (EU average: € 25,100)





GDP growth (volume)



0.6% in 2012 (f)

1.5% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

5.7%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

2.5%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Germany has a GDP per capita of €30,300, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the OECD, the German economy grew by 3% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 0.6% in 2012 and 1.9% in 2013 (compared to the Eurozone average of 1.6%, 0.2% and 1.4% respectively). The inflation rate was 2.3% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 5.7%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Careful planning and people knowing what is expected of them have formed the basis of German business culture, and their economic success. Business meetings are formal and titles are used to denote respect. Germans are interested in your qualifications and how long you have been in business. Direct language is used to avoid any misunderstanding. Attention to detail is very important and understatement is preferred to exaggeration.