|State Service Flag|
|pop. density:||77 people/km²|
|Minister-president:||Harald Ringstorff (SPD)|
|Ruling party:||SPD/PDS coalition|
It has an area of 23,170 km² but has only 1.7 million inhabitants, making it one of the German states with the lowest population density. The Baltic Sea's beaches and islands, as well as the many lakes in the interior, attract many tourists every year. There are two universities and a number of colleges of applied science.
Table of contents
The old Pomerania proper (Pommern), consisting of Szczecin (the former Stettin) and the land east of the Oder river (Hinterpommern), is now a part of Poland. Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) was under Swedish control from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 until its annexation to Prussia in 1720 and 1815.
Mecklenburg, to the west of Vorpommern, became a duchy in 1348 but was divided from the 17th century until 1934. The states of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz became grand duchies in 1815 but republican government was established in 1918. They were briefly combined with Vorpommern in 1947–1952 and have been part of the present state since German reunification in 1990.
Sixth largest in area but only thirteenth in population among the country's sixteen states, it is bounded on the north by the Baltic Sea, in the west by Schleswig-Holstein, in the south-west by Lower Saxony, to the south by Brandenburg and to the east by Poland. Its administrative seat is Schwerin but the Baltic port of Rostock is nearly twice as populous. The other major cities are Neubrandenburg, Stralsund, Greifswald and Wismar. The coast of the Baltic Sea contains several islands, most notably Rügen, Hiddensee, Usedom and Poel.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is currently divided into twelve Kreise (districts):
Furthermore there are six independent towns, which don't belong to any district:
In December 2003 a second administrative reform was started which will reorganize the Bundesland into 5 districts until 2008. Additionally to the larger territory the districts will also gain some responsibilities from the central government. The outline of the new districts isn't finalized yet.
List of Minister-presidents of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
(1945–1952: Minister-presidents of Mecklenburg)
- 1945 – 1951: Willi Hocker
- 1951: Kurt Bürger
- 1951 – 1952: Bernhard Quandt
- 1990 – 1992: Prof. Dr. Alfred Gomolka (CDU)
- 1992 – 1998: Dr. Berndt Seite (CDU)
- since 1998: Dr. Harald Ringstorff (SPD)
- Official website (in German)
- Regional Tourist Board Vorpommern (D) (English, German, Swedish, Polish)
- Ost|See|Land – Tourism site (D) (English, German, Swedish, Polish)