In West Germany, interest in promoting a balanced regional economic development and in aiding its problem areas by an active regional policy is as old as the Federal Republic. This preoccupation with regional problems does not merely have its roots in a long tradition of locational studies. It has been necessitated by problems of the regional distribution of the population influx after the war and has more recently been based to a growing extent on a desire to improve the educational and employment opportunities in all low-income areas through industrialisation and accelerated economic growth — so as to offer people in all parts of the country ‘equal chances’, whatever that may mean. According to a recent definition,2 144 out of 566 county districts and cities were backward in 1964, with 34 per cent of the area of West Germany, 12 per cent of the population, 5 per cent of industrial employment and 7.6 per cent of gross domestic product. These districts were mainly located (see Map 1) as follows: in Schleswig-Holstein (Area I); in Lower Saxony: Emsland (Area II) and part of the Luneburg Heath (Area III); in Rhineland-Palatinate; the Eifel region (Area IV); in Hessen and Northern Bavaria, the Rhön—Vogelsberg mountains (Area V); and in Eastern Bavaria, the Forest region (Area VI).
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- Regional Economic Problems in West Germany
Edwin von Böventer
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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