Germany (i/ˈdʒɜrməni/; German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant] ( listen)), is a federalparliamentary republic in west-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometers (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. Germany is one of the major political and economic powers of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields.
A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward and established successor kingdoms throughout much of Europe. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations, with the two factions clashing in the Thirty Years' War, marking the beginning of the Catholic–Protestant divide that has characterized German society ever since. Occupied during the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of Pan-Germanism inside the German Confederation resulted in the unification of most of the German states in 1871 into the German Empire, which was Prussian dominated.
Germany has the world's fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. Germany is the third largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. The country has developed a very high standard of living and features a comprehensive system of social security; the country has the world's oldest universal health care system. Germany has been the home of many influential philosophers, music composers, scientists and inventors, and is known for its cultural and politicalhistory.