West Germany

  • Wendy Carlin


When the post-war era opened, the UK not Germany was Western Europe’s largest economy in terms of both population and gross domestic product. Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany as it was until 1990) overtook the UK in population in 1952, but it was not until the mid-1960s that the economy was larger (Maddison 1991, Tables A.2 and B.4). Reunification between East and West Germany in 1990 took Germany from being about one-tenth larger in population than the UK, Italy or France, to being some 40 per cent larger. But reunification did not increase the size of the economy (GDP) to nearly this extent because of the poor condition of the East German economy.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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  • Wendy Carlin

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