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Administrative division of Germany


Germany is made up of sixteen Länder (singular Land, colloquially [but rarely in a legal context] called Bundesland, for "federated state") which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries.


Often referred to in English by German speakers as "states", the term "Land" (with an uppercase 'L') is used in the official English version of the Basic Law and in UK parliamentary proceedings.

However, it is sometimes translated as "federal states" in other publications.

Although the term Land applies to all states, some are also described as "states" in German.

Each of the states of Bavaria, Saxony, and Thuringia officially describes itself as a "state" (Staat) and more specifically as a "free state" (Freistaat).

Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states). The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer (literally: area states).