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Germany has been a federal democratic-parliamentary country since 1949 in central Europe, consisting of 16 states. It is a founding member of the European Union, and a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). With an area of 137,838 square miles (357,104 square kilometers) and an estimated 81,702,329 inhabitants, it is one of the largest European countries. Service industries (72.6 percent), manufacturing (26.6 percent), agriculture, forestry and fishing (0.9 percent) contribute to Germany's economy. Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 reached approximately $3.3 trillion. Germany is an exporting nation with goods such as cars, car parts, machines, and chemical products. According to the World Bank, in 2010, Germany's economy ranked fourth worldwide.

The history of the German educational system is connected with its history of ...

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