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About this region
North Rhine-Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen, pronounced [ˈnɔɐ̯tʁaɪ̯n vɛstˈfaːlən] (listen), commonly shortened to NRW; French: Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie; Dutch: Noordrijn-Westfalen) is a state of Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia is located in western Germany covering an area of 34,084 square kilometres (13,160 sq mi) and with a population of 17.6 million, the most populous and the most densely populated German state apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg, and the fourth-largest by area. Düsseldorf is the state capital and Cologne is the largest city. North Rhine-Westphalia features four of Germany's 10 largest cities: Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dortmund, and Essen, and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest in Germany and the third-largest on the European continent. North Rhine-Westphalia was established in 1946 after World War II from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the northern part of Rhine Province (North Rhine), and the Free State of Lippe by the British military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and the city of Bonn served as the federal capital until the reunification of Germany in 1990 and as the seat of government until 1999.
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