Administrative region (German Land) in southwest Germany, bordered to the west by France, to the south by Switzerland, to the east by Bavaria, and to the west by the Rhine valley; area 35,752 sq km/13,804 sq mi; population (2003 est) 10,546,800. It is the third-largest and the most industrialized of the 16 federal states of Germany. The capital is Stuttgart, and other major towns include Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzheim, and Ulm.
Physical The area has the Rhine as boundary to the south and west and contains the Black Forest; the source of the River Danube is at Donaueschingen in the Black Forest mountains.
Economy Baden-Württemberg is, after Hamburg and Bremen, the most prosperous region of modern Germany. Post-World War II prosperity centred upon the motor vehicles sector, with other important industries being jewellery, clocks and watches, musical instruments, textiles, chemicals, iron and steel, electrical equipment, surgical instruments, and precision engineering. There are many major companies, such as Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, SEL, and IBM, as well as specialized small- and medium-sized companies (known as the Mittelstand). Agricultural activities centre on wine production, animal husbandry, and fruit growing. Farming is carried out either on a part-time basis or on specialized smallholdings: of the region's total of farms, only 1% are larger than 30 ha/74 acres, and many cover as little as 5 ha/12 acres. Tourism is also important, with varied attractions including the picturesque Neckar valley, the idyllic forests and lakes in the south, and the famous spas of Baden-Baden and Wildbad.
Features The region has nine universities, including Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany (founded 1386) and Freiburg's Albert Ludwig University (founded 1457), whose prestigious professors have included the philosophers Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, and the sociologist Max Weber.
History The Land was formed in 1952 (following a plebiscite) by the merger of the Länder of Baden, Württemberg-Baden, and Württemberg-Hohenzollern (see also Württemberg). The region includes the historic states of Baden and Württemberg, the former principality of Hohenzollern, and the former district of Lindau, Bavaria.