One of the better-known travel destinations in Germany, the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein forms the northernmost tip of the country, bordering Denmark. The state has access to both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, two destinations very popular with travelers. With the Wadden Sea National Park Schleswig-Holstein is also home to Central Europe’s largest National Park.
Apart from tourism, the state’s economy in the southern half partly profits from being located in the Hamburg metropolitan area, while in the eastern part, around Lübeck and Kiel, the only two large cities of the state, ship building and sea transportation are considerable factors. In contrast, the western half is comparatively sparsely populated and is considered as being a structurally rather weak area.
Until Prussia and Austria won the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Schleswig-Holstein for a long time in its history in large parts stood under Danish rule. Until this day, there is a small Danish minority living in the northernmost region of the state. These historic developments are reflected in Schleswig-Holsteins culture, in particular in the Low German language which is still common in the state, although generally being in decline.
Schleswig-Holstein’s population density is with 179 people per square kilometer below the German average. Among the western federal states of the country, the state has the lowest percentage of foreign-born inhabitants, some 20% of which are from countries of the European Union.