Germany is still divided by east and west

After the collapse of Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Germany was split within the western countries and the Soviet Union in the east.

The Federal Republic of Germany, usually known as West Germany, was a congressional democracy with a capitalist economic system, free religion, and labor unions. The German Democratic Republic, known as East Germany, was the communist-socialist republic that retains it within the Soviet sphere of control.

After experiencing an “economic wonder” in 1955, West Germany became the most wealthy European economy. East Germany deteriorated as USSR mainly controlled its financial system.

Germany was reunited in 1990, but the differences between East and West Germany are visible to this day, even from space.

The East Berlin used yellow sodium lights instead of the mercury vapor or metal halide lights they typically favored in West Berlin. The division between West and East Berlin still so visible a quarter of a century after the fall of the wall, the old systems are possibly not electrically compatible. Hence, conversion takes more than just plugging in the right bulbs.

The Berlin Wall fell more than 30 years ago, but Germany is still divided. The differences between East and West Germany cover almost every aspect of life: politics, economy, religion, education, even sport.

Population density

East Germany has a lower population density than western Germany. Germany’s eastern states have an average of 153 people per square kilometer, contrasted with 264 per square kilometer in the west.


The electoral map below impressively shows how divided Germany politically. Right-wing parties succeed in the once-communist east.

Ecologial Party (Bündnis ’90/Die Grünen) and Right Wing (Alternative für Deutschland). Source:

Even the number of police officers per 100,000 population is higher in East Germany than in West Germany.


Although the economic strength of East Germany rises, it is still way weaker than in West Germany. For instance, eastern states of Germany have the lowest GDP per capita in the country.

Eastern states of Germany have the lowest Gross Domestic Product per capita

Map below shows gross average pension in each state in Germany. Residents of western Germany tend to have higher pensions.

Map of gross average pension in each state in Germany

The real estate market also has geographic differences. More than half, houses and apartment owners in the 402 German districts and cities can expect to increase their property value by 2030. But the maximum growth in real estate value will be observed in the west of the country.


East Germany has gotten much more religiously unaffiliated since the fall of communism.

Map of predominant religions by districts of Germany

The map below shows the location of mosques in Germany. The vast majority of mosques are located in West Germany.

Map of mosques in Germany

This map closely connected with map of immigrants. Turks make up by far the biggest ethnic group of immigrants in West Germany,

Map of the most common foreign citizenship in each German district

The economic situation also causes young people to move from Germany’s eastern territories, and the amount of children that drop out of school is higher than in western states. Despair and the sense of being under unequal conditions cause many problems that keep Germany’s borders.

The map below shows the vast gap in school failure.

In eastern Germany, the situation exists that accurately shows how, despite decades after reunification, Germany’s territorial reunion is still far from reality. The east of the nation has not achieved to recover economically from that time, which translates into higher unemployment figures and, therefore, a more significant expulsion of students.


Berlin remains divided even by football. In the eastern red half of the city live the fans of FC Union Berlin. On the opposite, the western blue half of the city map resides the supporters of Hertha BSC.

Divided Berlin

Differences between East and West Germany cover many aspects of life. The Washington Post, inspired by the German website ZEIT, mapped various contrasts in lifestyles and difficulties within West and East Germans.

Germany is still divided by west and east

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