Rhine-Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen, usually shortened to
NRW, official short form NW) is the westernmost and - in terms of population
and economic output - the largest Federal State of Germany.
North Rhine-Westphalia has over
18 million inhabitants, contributes about 22% of Germany's gross domestic
product and comprises a land area of 34,083 km² (13,158 square miles).
North Rhine-Westphalia is situated in the Western part of Germany and shares
borders with Belgium and the Netherlands.
It has borders with the German states of Lower
Saxony to the North and Northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate to the Southwest
and Hesse to the Southeast.
The capital city is Düsseldorf,
and the largest city is Cologne
(Köln). Other major cities are Dortmund,
Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Aachen,
Bielefeld, Bonn, Bochum, Bottrop,
Bergisch Gladbach, Mönchengladbach, Mülheim, Münster, Gelsenkirchen,
Krefeld, Hagen, Hamm, Herne, Leverkusen, Neuss, Paderborn, Recklinghausen,
Remscheid, Siegen, Solingen, Witten and Wuppertal.