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State of Germany
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate
Coat of arms of Rhineland-Palatinate
Coat of arms
Deutschland Lage von Rheinland-Pfalz.svg
Coordinates: 49°54′47″N 7°27′0″E / 49.91306°N 7.45000°E / 49.91306; 7.45000
Country Germany
Capital Mainz
 • Body Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate
 • Minister-President Malu Dreyer (SPD)
 • Governing parties SPD / FDP / Greens
 • Bundesrat votes 4 (of 69)
 • Total 19,854.21 km2 (7,665.75 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
 • Total 4,052,803
 • Density 200/km2 (530/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code DE-RP
GDP/ Nominal €124 billion (2013) [2]
GDP per capita €31,100 (2013)
Website www.rlp.de

Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz, pronounced [ˈʁaɪ̯nlant ˈp͡falt͡s]; French: Rhénanie-Palatinat; Dutch: Rijnland-Palts) is one of the 16 states (German: Bundesländer) of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of 19,846 square kilometres (7,663 sq mi) and about four million inhabitants. Its state capital and largest city is Mainz.[4]

Rhineland-Palatinate is located in western Germany and was formed after World War II by the French military government from parts of regions that were historically separate, the state, however, has since developed its own identity, built on its natural and cultural heritage of extensive winegrowing as well as its picturesque landscapes and many castles.[5]


The state of Rhineland-Palatinate dates from 30 August 1946,[4] it formed from the northern part of the French Occupation Zone, which included:[4]

A referendum confirmed the state constitution on 18 May 1947.


Rhineland-Palatinate shares international borders with France (Alsace, Lorraine), Luxembourg and Belgium (Liège). Within Germany it neighbours Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Northrhine-Westphalia and the Saarland. It is the ninth largest state by area. Rhineland-Palatinate is part of the SaarLorLux euregion.

With 42% of its area covered by forests it is the most forested state along with Hesse,[6] the state's major rivers are the Rhine, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Middle Rhine, and the Moselle. There are several crater lakes of volcanic origin in the Eifel, the biggest of which is the Laacher See.

The Rhenish Massif forms roughly the northern half of the state, including the regions Eifel, Moselle Valley, Hunsrück, Westerwald and parts of the Taunus. The Palatinate forms the biggest part of the southern half along with Rhenish Hesse, the Nahe Valley separates both parts.[7]


Significant foreign born populations[8]
Nationality Population (2017)
 Poland 40,326
 Italy 29,499
 Turkey 25,220
 Romania 20,865
 Syria 17,316
 Bulgaria 14,001
 Kosovo 10,622


As of 2016, 41.7% of the population of the state adhered to the Roman Catholic Church and 28.0% to the Evangelical Church in Germany. 30.3% of the population is irreligious or adheres to other religions.[9] Muslims made up 2.5% of the total.[10]

Religion in Rhineland-Palatinate – 2016
religion percent
Roman Catholics
EKD Protestants
Other or none

Jewish culture[edit]

The league of ShUM-cities in the later Rhineland-Palatinate comprised the Jewish communities of Mainz, Speyer and Worms which became the center of Jewish life during Medieval times.[11] The Takkanot Shum (Hebrew: תקנות שו"ם‎), or Enactments of ShU"M were a set of decrees formulated and agreed upon over a period of decades by their Jewish community leaders.[12][13]



Rhineland-Palatinate leads all German states with an export rate of approximately 50%.[4] Important sectors are the winegrowing industry, chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry and auto parts industry.[4] "Distinctive regional industries" includes gemstone industry, ceramic and glass industry and leather industry. Small and medium enterprises are considered the "backbone" of the economy in Rhineland-Palatinate.[4] The principal employer is the chemical and plastics processing industry which is represented by BASF in Ludwigshafen. Boehringer, Joh. A. Benckiser, SGE Deutsche Holding, Schott Glassworks concludes the top 5 companies in the state.[4]

Agriculture and viticulture[edit]

Rhineland-Palatinate is Germany's leading producer of wine in terms of grape cultivation and wine export, its capital, Mainz, may be called the capital of the German wine industry, being the home of the German Wine Institute, the German Wine Fund in the Haus des Deutschen Weines (House of German Wine), and the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter Wine Bourse, which brings together the top winemakers of Germany and the wine merchants of the world.[14]

Of thirteen wine regions producing quality wine in Germany, six (Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Mosel, Nahe, Mittelrhein and Ahr) are located in Rhineland-Palatinate, with 65% to 70% of the production of wine grapes in Germany having their origin within the state.[15] 13,000 wine producers generate 80% to 90% of the German wine export, which was 2.6 million hectoliters in 2003.[16][citation needed]

Traditional grape varieties and a wide range of varieties developed during the last 125 years are characteristic for the region.

Classical white varieties are cultivated at 63,683 hectares (157,360 acres), these comprise the famous Rieslings 14,446 hectares (35,700 acres), Müller-Thurgau (8,663 hectares (21,410 acres)), Silvaner (3,701 hectares (9,150 acres)) and Kerner (3,399 hectares (8,400 acres)).

The share of red varieties grew constantly during the last decades and amounts to 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres). Dornfelder, a new cultivar, is the leading red grape cultivated on 7,626 hectares (18,840 acres), which is more than a third. Blauer Portugieser (4,446 hectares (10,990 acres)) and Spätburgunder (3,867 hectares (9,560 acres)) show also appreciable cultivated shares.[17]

In addition, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Chardonnay as white varieties and Regent and St. Laurent as red varieties have been increasing their share, as the growing conditions improve in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The state supports the wine industry by providing a comprehensive consultancy and education program in the service supply centers (German: DLR) of the land, the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding is fully financed by the state. Many well known new breeds, such as Morio-Muskat, Bacchus, Optima and Regent have been created in these institutes.

The worldwide leader in sparkling wine production, producing 245 million bottles in 2006, is the renowned Schloss Wachenheim Group. This company is headquartered in Trier, with operations in several locations in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Other renowned sparkling wine producers, such as Kupferberg, Deinhard and Henkell, also had their roots in the region, but now belong to companies outside the state as a result of business consolidation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2015" (PDF). Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016. 
  2. ^ "Regional GDP per capita in the EU28 in 2013". Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  3. ^ "State population". Portal of the Federal Statistics Office Ger many. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "State Facts of Rhineland-Palatinate". State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Rheinland-Pfalz, Staatskanzlei. "english". rlp.de. Retrieved 2017-07-24. 
  6. ^ "Forest facts - German forestry - 300 yrs of sustainability campaign". www.forstwirtschaft-in-deutschland.de. Retrieved 2017-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Holiday regions in Romantic Germany". Gastlandschaften Rheinland-Pfalz. Retrieved 2017-07-24. 
  8. ^ [1] 31 Dec. 2014 German Statistical Office. Zensus 2014: Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2014
  9. ^ Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland - Kirchemitgliederzahlen Stand 31.12.2016 EKD, April 2018
  10. ^ "3. Zuwanderungs- und Integrationsbericht der Landesregierung (2008)". Integration.rlp.de. Retrieved 2012-10-29. 
  11. ^ ShUM-Cities on the Rhine – Jewish heritage for the world
  12. ^ "Application for UNESCO World Heritage "ShUM Cities" > Stadt Worms". www.worms.de. 
  13. ^ Charles Hawley: Germany Considers Jewish History for UNESCO Heritage Spiegel-online, August 02, 2012
  14. ^ Viniculture and industry at:Rhineland-Palatinate - in the middle of Europe, retrieved 1 November 2017
  15. ^ Mainz|Rheinhesse description on the pages of great wine capitals, retrieved 1 November 2017
  16. ^ "Weinbauland Rheinland-Pfalz auch beim Ökowein spitze – Griese fordert: Kaliumphosphonat wieder für Ökoweinbau zulassen". mueef.rlp.de. 
  17. ^ Cultivated grape varieties in Rhineland-Palatinate 2005 publisher: Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate

Further reading[edit]

  • Kreuz – Rad – Löwe, Rheinland-Pfalz und seine Geschichte, Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2012
    • Band 1 (Von den Anfängen der Erdgeschichte bis zum Ende des Alten Reiches): ISBN 9783805345101
    • Bände 2 (Vom ausgehenden 18. Jahrhundert bis ins 21. Jahrhundert) und 3 (Historische Statistik): ISBN 9783805342919

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°54′47″N 07°27′00″E / 49.91306°N 7.45000°E / 49.91306; 7.45000