Germany is a country located in western and central Europe, with an area of just over 357,000 square kilometers. It is bordered by Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France and Luxembourg to the southwest, and Belgium and the Netherlands to the northwest. With a population of nearly 82 million people, it is the most populous country and largest economy in the European Union. The government of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, consisting of sixteen states. Its capital and largest city is Berlin.
Germany has developed a very high standard of living, and combined with their comprehensive system of social security, has fostered several influential scientists and inventors over the years. It has the fourth-largest economy in the world by GDP, and is the world's second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods.
Germany's geography is highlighted by the Alps mountain range in the south. In contrast, the forested lowlands of northern Germany include such famous rivers as the Rhine, Danube, and the Elbe. Glaciers can also still be found in the Alpine region.