Skip to main content

North Rhine–Westphalia

North Rhine–Westphalia (nôrth rīn-wĕstfāl´yə), Ger. Nordrhein-Westfalen (nôrt´rīn-vĕst´fä´lən), state (1994 pop. 17,759,000), 13,111 sq mi (33,957 sq km), W central Germany. Düsseldorf is the capital. The state is bounded by Belgium and the Netherlands in the west, Lower Saxony in the north and east, Hesse in the southeast, and Rhineland-Palatinate in the south. Situated in the lower Rhine plain, North Rhine–Westphalia includes the Teutoburg Forest and the Rothaargebirge. It is drained by the Rhine, Ruhr, Wupper, Lippe, and Ems rivers. A highly industrialized state, it contains the largest industrial concentration in Europe (see Ruhr district), with one of the largest mining and energy-producing regions in Europe. It has excellent transportation facilities, including superhighways, electrified rail service, river transport, and two large airports. Its manufactures include chemicals, machines, processed foods, textiles, clothing, and iron and steel. More than half of the state's total land is occupied with commerical farming as well as gardens and orchards, although these enterprises amount to only a small portion of the area's gross annual product. North Rhine–Westphalia is also the most populous state in Germany and has numerous large cities, including Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Dortmund, Remscheid, Oberhausen, and Wuppertal. There are universities at Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Münster. The state was formed in 1946 through the union of the former Prussian province of Westphalia, the northern part of the former Prussian Rhine Province, and the former state of Lippe. It possesses little historic unity because of significant cultural differences among the various peoples in the state; this diversity has been enlarged by substantial immigration from other European countries to cities throughout the region.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"North Rhine–Westphalia." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"North Rhine–Westphalia." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/north-rhine-westphalia

"North Rhine–Westphalia." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/north-rhine-westphalia

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.