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Bavaria

Society

Governance

The 'Maximilianeum', in this building has been the seat of the Bavarian Parliament since 1949The 'Maximilianeum', in this building has been the seat of the Bavarian Parliament since 1949Photo: Guido Radig CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The Federal Republic of Germany has been a parliamentary democracy since 23 May 1949, but with a remarkably strong federalist character. The Bundestag or Bundestag, elected for a period of four through universal direct suffrage, is responsible for the legislative power. The Federal Council, consists of representatives of the Bundesländer or federal states, including Bavaria.

The government of the Federal Republic consists of the Reich Chancellor or Prime Minister and the Federal Ministers. The Chancellor is appointed on the recommendation of the Federal President, in a more ceremonial position. The current political situation in Germany is described in the chapter history.

Coat of arms of Bavaria Coat of arms of BavariaPhoto: Public domain

Analogous to the federal state, the federal states also have their own parliament, the 'Landstag', for Bavaria this is the Bayerischen Landtag. The Landstag elects a Prime Minister who then elects the other members of his or her government. The state parliaments, like the federal parliament, are elected by direct elections, every five years since 1998. The Bavarian Parliament has 180 members. Until 1998, there was also a senate in Bavaria, but after a referendum this layer of government was abolished.

The federal states are even allowed to pass laws in a number of areas, they have a great deal of autonomy in the field of culture and education, but are constitutionally limited in their independence.

Schematic overview of administrative layers in Germany Schematic overview of administrative layers in GermanyPhoto: Public domain

Administrative division

Germany is divided into 16 Bundesländer or federal states, each with its own constitution and a directly elected parliament and government. The federal states are allowed to determine their own policy in the areas of education, nature conservation, water management and health care, provided they remain within the framework of the laws drawn up by the Federal Government.

The states have no influence on foreign policy, defense, railways and part of the taxes. In the areas of criminal law, immigration policy, housing and environmental legislation, the federal government and the governments of the federal states are jointly responsible.

Conflicts between the federal states and the federal government are often resolved by the Bundesverfassungsgericht.

German states with Bavaria as the largestGerman states with Bavaria as the largest Photo: Patricia Fidi in the public domain

namecapitalinhabitantssurface
Baden-WürttembergStuttgart10.716.00035.751 km2
BavariaMunich 12.692.00070.553 km2
Berlinn.v.t.3.500.000889 km2
BrandenburgPotsdam2.500.00029.053 km2
Bremenn.v.t.661.000326 km2
Hamburgn.v.t.1.774.000755 km2
HesseWiesbaden6.094.00021.114 km2
Mecklenburg-VorpommernSchwerin1.600.00023.170 km2
NiedersachsenHannover7.860.00047.343 km2
North Rhine-WestphaliaDüsseldorf17.685.00034.070 km2
Rhineland-PalatinateMainz4.012.00019.486 km2
SaarlandSaarbrücken990.0002.570 km2
SachsenDresden4.056.00018.338 km2
Sachsen-AnhaltMagdeburg2.232.00020.443 km2
Schleswig-HolsteinKiel2.831.00015.731 km2
ThuringiaErfurt2.155.00016.251 km2

The state of Bavaria is divided into seven regions or 'Regierungsbezirke': Oberbayern with the seat of government in the state capital of Munich, Niederbayern with Landshut, Oberpfalz with Regensburg, the three Franconian regions of Oberfranken with Bayreuth, Mittelfranken with Ansbach, Unterfranken with Würzburg and Swabia with Augsburg.

Regierungsbezirke of BavariaRegierungsbezirke of BavariaPhoto: Public domain

namesutgaceinhabitantspopulation density
Oberbayern17.529 km24.470.000255
Niederbayern10.330 km21.190.000115
Oberpfalz9.691 km21.078.000111
Oberfranken7.231 km21.057.000146
Mittelfranken7.245 km21.708.000236
Unterfranken8.531 km21.298.000152
Schwaben9.992 km21.807.000181

The Regierungsbezirke are divided into 71 Landkreise and 25 kreisfreie Städte, which are large municipalities that do not belong to a Landkreis. A Landkreis is a regional administrative unit that is one administrative level above the municipality. All Landkreisen in total consist of more than 2000 politically independent municipalities. Below an overview and a map of the 25 kreisfreie Städte and the 71 Landkreise in Bavaria:

nameRegierungsbezirknameRegierungsbezirk
AmbergOberpfalzLandshutNiederbayern
AnsbachMittelfrankenMemmingenSchwaben
AschaffenburgUnterfrankenMunichOberbayern
AugsburgSchwabenNürnbergMittelfranken
BambergOberfrankenPassauNiederbayern
BayreuthOberfrankenRegensburgOberpfalz
CoburgOberfrankenRosenheimOberbayern
ErlangenMittelfrankenSchwabachMittelfranken
FürthMittelfrankenSchweinfurtUnterfranken
HofOberfrankenStraubingNiederbayern
IngolstadtOberbayernWeiden in der OberpfalzOberpfalz
KaufbeurenSchwabenWürzburgUnterfranken
Kempten (Allgaü)Schwaben

Landkreise en kreisfreie Städte in BavariaLandkreise en kreisfreie Städte in BavariaPhoto: Diwas C 3.0 Unported no changes made

Mittelfranken: 7 Landkreise en 5 Kreisfreie cities
Niederbayern: 9 Landkreise en 3 Kreisfreie cities
Oberbayern: 20 Landkreise en 3 Kreisfreie cities
Oberfranken: 9 Landkreise en 4 Kreisfreie cities
Oberpfalz: 7 Landkreise en 3 Kreisfreie cities
Schwaben: 10 Landkreise en 4 Kreisfreie cities
Unterfranken: 9 Landkreise en 3 Kreisfreie cities

LandkreisKreisstadt/seat boardRegierungsbezirk
Aichach-FriedbergAichachSchwaben
AltöttingAltöttingOberbayern
Amberg-SulzbachAmbergOberpfalz
AnsbachAnsbachMittelfranken
AchaffenburgAschaffenburgUnterfranken
AugsburgAugsburgSchwaben
Bad KissingenBad KissingenUnterfranken
Bad Tölz-WolfratshausenBad TölzOberbayern
BambergBambergOberfranken
BayreuthBayreuthOberfranken
Berchtesgadener LandBad ReichenhallOberbayern
ChamChamOberpfalz
CoburgCoburgOberfranken
DachauDachauOberbayern
DeggendorfDeggendorfNiederbayern
Dillingen an der DonauDillingen an der DonauSchwaben
Dingolfing-LandauDingolfingNiederbayern
Donau-RiesDonauwörthSchwaben
EbersbergEbersbergOberbayern
EichstättEichstättOberbayern
ErdingErdingOberbayern
Erlangen-HöchstadtErlangenMittelfranken
ForchheimForchheimOberfranken
FreisingFreisingOberbayern
Freyung-GrafenauFreyungNiederbayern
FürstenfeldbruckFürstenfeldbruckOberbayern
FürthZirndorfMittelfranken
Garmisch-PartenkirchenGarmisch-PartenkirchenOberbayern
GünzburgGünzburgSchwaben
HaßbergeHaßfurtUnterfranken
HofHofOberfranken
KelheimKelheimNiederbayern
KitzingenKitzingenUnterfranken
KronachKronachOberfranken
KulmbachKulmbachOberfranken
Landsberg am LechLandsberg am LechOberbayern
LandshutLandshutNiederbayern
LichtenfelsLichtenfelsOberfranken
LindauLindauSchwaben
Main-SpessartKarlstadtUnterfranken
MiesbachMiesbachOberbayern
MiltenbergMiltenbergUnterfranken
Mühldorf am InnMühldorf am InnOberbayern
MunichMünchenOberbayern
Neuburg-SchrobenhausenNeuburg an der DonauOberbayern
Neumarkt in der OberpfalzNeumarkt in der OberpfalzOberpfalz
Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad WindsheimNeustadt an der AischMittelfranken
Neustadt an der WaldnaabNeustadt an der WaldnaabOberpfalz
Neu-UlmNeu-UlmSchwaben
Nürnberger LandLauf an der PegnitzMittelfranken
OberallgäuSonthofenSchwaben
OstallgäuMarktoberdorfSchwaben
PassauPassauNiederbayern
PfaffenhofenPfaffenhofenOberbayern
RegenRegenNiederbayern
RegensburgRegensburgOberpfalz
Rhön-GrabfeldBad Neustadt an der SaaleUnterfranken
RosenheimRosenheimOberbayern
RothRothMittelfranken
Rottal-InnPfarrkirchenNiederbayern
SchwandorfSchwandorfOberpfalz
SchweinfurtSchweinfurtUnterfranken
StarnbergStarnbergOberbayern
Straubing-BogenStraubingNiederbayern
TirschenreuthTirschenreuthOberpfalz
TraunsteinTraunsteinOberbayern
UnterallgäuMindelheimSchwaben
Weilheim-SchongauWeilheim in OberbayernOberbayern
Weißenburg-GunzenhausenWeißenburg in BayernMittelfranken
Wunsiedel im FichtelgebirgeWunsiedelOberfranken
WürzburgWürzburgUnterfranken

Sources

BBC - Country Profiles

CIA - World Factbook

Di Duca, Marc / Munich, Bavaria & the Black Forest
Lonely Planet

Egert-Romanowska, Joanna / Duitsland
Van Reemst

Meyer, Marion / Beieren
ANWB

Oberbayern : bayerisches Alpenvorland
Baedeker

Wikipedia

Last updated January 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info