|Free State of Saxony
Freistaat Sachsen (de)
Swobodny stat Sakska (wen)
|State of Germany|
|Coordinates: / 51.02694; 13.35889|
|• Minister-President||Stanislaw Tillich (CDU)|
|• Governing parties||CDU / SPD|
|• Bundesrat votes||4 (of 69)|
|• Total||18,415.66 km (7,110.33 sq mi)|
|• Density||220/km (570/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||DE-SN|
|GDP/ Nominal||€113/ $125 billion (2015)|
|GDP per capita||€28,000/ $31,000 (2015)|
The Free State of Saxony (German: der Freistaat Sachsen [ˈfʁaɪ̯ʃtaːt ˈzaksən]; Upper Sorbian: Swobodny stat Sakska) is a landlocked federal state of Germany, bordering the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland (Lower Silesian and Lubusz Voivodeships) and the Czech Republic (Karlovy Vary, Liberec and Ústí nad Labem Regions). Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig.
Saxony is the tenth largest of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of 18,413 square kilometres (7,109 sq mi), and the sixth most populous, with 4 million people.
Located in the middle of a large, formerly all German-speaking part of Europe, the history of the state of Saxony spans more than a millennium. It has been a medieval duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, a kingdom, and twice a republic.
The area of the modern state of Saxony should not be confused with Old Saxony, the area inhabited by Saxons. Old Saxony corresponds approximately to the modern German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and the Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Saxony is divided into 10 districts:
1. Bautzen (BZ)
2. Erzgebirgskreis (ERZ)
3. Görlitz (GR)
4. Leipzig (L)
5. Meißen (MEI) (Meissen)
6. Mittelsachsen (FG)
7. Nordsachsen (TDO)
8. Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge (PIR)
9. Vogtlandkreis (V)
10. Zwickau (Z)
In addition there are three cities which have the status of an urban district (German: kreisfreie Städte):
Between 1990 and 2008, Saxony was divided into the three regions (Regierungsbezirke) of Chemnitz, Dresden and Leipzig. After a reform in 2008, these regions - with some alterations of their respective areas - were called Direktionsbezirke. In 2012, the authorities of these regions were merged into one central authority, the Landesdirektion Sachsen (de).
The Erzgebirgskreis district includes the Ore Mountains, and the Schweiz-Osterzgebirge district includes Saxon Switzerland and the Eastern Ore Mountains.
The largest cities in Saxony according to the 31 December 2015 estimate. To this can be added that Leipzig forms a metropolitan like region with Halle, known as Ballungsraum Leipzig/Halle. The latter city is located just across the border to Saxony-Anhalt. Leipzig shares for instance an S-train system (known as S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland) and an airport with Halle.
Saxony has, after Saxony Anhalt, the most vibrant economy of the states of the former East Germany (GDR). Its economy grew by 1.9% in 2010. Nonetheless, unemployment remains above the German average. The eastern part of Germany, excluding Berlin, qualifies as an "Objective 1" development-region within the European Union, and is eligible to receive investment subsidies of up to 30% until 2013. FutureSAX, a business plan competition and entrepreneurial support organisation, has been in operation since 2002.
Microchip makers near Dresden have given the region the nickname "Silicon Saxony". The publishing and porcelain industries of the region are well known, although their contributions to the regional economy are no longer significant. Today the automobile industry, machinery production and services contribute to the economic development of the region. Saxony is also one of the most renowned tourist destinations in Germany - especially the cities of Leipzig and Dresden and their surroundings. New tourist destinations are developing, notably in the lake district of Lausitz.
Saxony reported an average unemployment of 8.8% in 2014. By comparison the average in the former GDR was 9.8% and 6.7% for Germany overall. The unemployment rate reached 8.2% in May 2015 (6.3% for all of Germany).
The Leipzig area, which until recently was among the regions with the highest unemployment rate, could benefit greatly from investments by Porsche and BMW. With the VW Phaeton factory in Dresden, and many part suppliers, the automobile industry has again become one of the pillars of Saxon industry, as it was in the early 20th century. Zwickau is another major Volkswagen location. Freiberg, a former mining town, has emerged as a foremost location for solar technology. Dresden and some other regions of Saxony play a leading role in some areas of international biotechnology, such as electronic bioengineering. While these high-technology sectors do not yet offer a large number of jobs, they have stopped or even reversed the brain drain that was occurring until the early 2000s in many parts of Saxony. Regional universities have strengthened their positions by partnering with local industries. Unlike smaller towns, Dresden and Leipzig in the past experienced significant population growth.
The population of Saxony has been declining since 1950, a process which accelerated after German reunification in 1990. In recent years only the cities of Dresden and Leipzig and some towns in their hinterlands have had increases. The following table illustrates the population of Saxony since 1905:
|Significant foreign born populations|
|Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU
|Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD
|Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland – AfD
|Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
|National Democratic Party of Germany
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands – NPD
|Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
|Totals and voter turnout||1,659,645||49.2||3.0||126||6|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saxony.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Saxony.|
|Former urban districts||
|Former rural districts||