Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany after Berlin and 7th largest city in the European Union.
One of Germany's 16 federal states, it is surrounded by Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south. The city's metropolitan region is home to more than five million people. Hamburg lies on the River Elbe and two of its tributaries, the River Alster and the River Bille.
The official name reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. Hamburg is Europe's third-largest port. Major regional broadcaster NDR, the printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city. Hamburg is the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Media, commercial, logistical, and industrial firms with significant locations in the city include multinationals Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis, Beiersdorf, and Unilever.
It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016. The Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2015.
Hamburg is a major European science, research, and education hub, with several universities and institutions. Among its most notable cultural venues are the Elbphilharmonie und Laeiszhalle concert halls.
Facts and Data
- It has a population of over 1.84 million.
- Ranked 18th in the world livability index
- There are about 2500 bridges in the city
- Sternschanze district of Hamburg stems from an old sconce fortification, built in 1682
- 61 square kilometers, over 8% of its area is water bodies
- Home to the “Miniatur Wunderland” which contains the biggest model railway in the world
The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is both a municipality and a city-state within the Federal Republic of Germany. There is no distinction between these administrative levels, meaning that city-wide government is organised on state-level through the Hamburg State Parliament .Hamburg is a city-state within the Federal Republic of Germany. Government is separated into legislative, executive and judicial powers. The President of the state parliament is Carola Veit and the First Mayor is Peter Tschentscher. Executive power of the Hamburg government lies with the Senate or State Cabinet, which includes the senators of the different ministries and is headed by the First Mayor, currently Peter Tschentscher. The Second Mayor is Katharina Fegebank. The senate is responsible for Hamburg’s law enforcement, the city’s day-to-day management and its representation to the German Federal Government and other countries.
In 2017, Hamburg’s GDP was €117b and accounts for 4% of the national GDP . The region’s GDP has a positive average growth of 2.4% between 2008 and 2017. In 2017, the Hamburg gross domestic product per capita in purchasing power standards per inhabitant is €59,500 . This is the highest figure in Germany representing 163% of the national average.
This amount represents 4% of the total exports in Germany and places the region at the first position in terms of export proportionally to its surface area. The economically active population in 2018 was about 1 million persons , and the unemployment rate is slightly higher than the German average . In 2017, most people worked in the services sector, a share significantly higher than the national figure .
In 2016, Hamburg was ranked the 3rd-largest container port in Europe .
Hamburg's five largest employers are in the aviation, health, trade and transportation sectors: Airbus Operations GmbH , Asklepios Kliniken GmbH , Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf , Deutsche Lufthansa AG , Otto GmbH & Co. KG , and Deutsche Bahn AG . In 2017, 102,996 companies were located in Hamburg which represent 2.9% of the total amount of German companies. From this amount of companies, 99.49% are SMEs.
Hamburg ranks 20th among 60 for best startup environments. Hamburg’s economy is driven by the world’s most modern container ports and a prosperous aircraft industry. Renewable energies and the life science industry are becoming innovative sectors courtesy of the DESY. Nearly 10,000 IT enterprises are based in Hamburg including the German headquarters of leading companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox. Due to centuries of international trade and investment into science and research, Hamburg is a centre for innovation and creativity. Many Hamburg-based companies rank highly within their respective industries and among established valuable global brands. In such an encouraging environment, new entries have the opportunity to flourish and benefit from existing infrastructure and skills.
Hamburg has 54 hospitals. The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, with about 1,736 beds, houses a large medical school. There are also smaller private hospitals. On 1 January 2011 there were about 12,507 hospital beds. The city had 5,663 physicians in private practice and 456 pharmacies in 2010.
Hamburg is a major transportation hub, connected to four Autobahnen and the most important railway junction on the route to Scandinavia.
Bridges and tunnels connect the northern and southern parts of the city, such as the old Elbe Tunnel or St. Pauli Elbtunnel which opened in 1911, now a major tourist sight, and the Elbe Tunnel the crossing of a motorway.
Hamburg Airport is the oldest airport in Germany still in operation.There is also the smaller Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, used only as a company airport for Airbus. Some airlines market Lübeck Airport in Lübeck as serving Hamburg.
Hamburg's licence plate prefix was «HH» between 1906 and 1945 and from 1956 onwards, rather than the single letter normally used for large cities since the federal registration reform in 1956, such as B for Berlin or M for Munich.
Public transport by rail, bus and ship is organised by the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund . Tickets sold by one company are valid on all other HVV companies' services. The HVV was the first organisation of this kind worldwide.
33 mass transit rail lines across the city are the backbone of public transport. The S-Bahn comprises six lines and the U-Bahn four lines – U-Bahn is short for Untergrundbahn . Approximately 41 km of 101 km of the U-Bahn is underground; most is on embankments or viaduct or at ground level.
The international airport serving Hamburg, Hamburg Airport Helmut Schmidt is the fifth biggest and oldest airport in Germany, having been established in 1912 and located about 5 miles from the city centre. About 60 airlines provide service to 125 destination airports, including some long distance destinations like Newark, New Jersey on United Airlines, Dubai on Emirates, and Tehran on Iran Air. Hamburg is a secondary hub for Lufthansa, which is the largest carrier at the airport, and the airline also operates one of its biggest Lufthansa Technik maintenance facilities there.
The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Hamburg, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 58 min. 16% of public transit riders ride for more than two hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 11 min, while 11% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day.
Hamburg is home to a multitude of tech giants including; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and Yelp, with Snapchat joining its American peers with their newly built offices in the summer 2017. It’s no surprise that it was also the year (2017) Hamburg was dubbed the new German capital for starting a business in a report that found it had outstripped Berlin for the most new business founders per capita.
Hamburg is in favor of making their technology sustainable, as it has been recognized as a green city because 14% of the space is green. Green areas and parks are a massive focus for Hamburg. Hamburg is home to Europe's biggest Japanese Garden. In 1990 it was designed by Yoshikuni Araki, an architect representing the Japanese culture and customs along with nature. The popular garden provides a peaceful natural environment to both locals and tourists who find tranquillity sitting beside the pond and enjoy peaceful surroundings.
- HH (1906–1945; again since 1956)
- MGH (1945)
- H (1945–1947)
- HG (1947)
- BH (1948–1956)