Economy and People
Forestry and agriculture account for about 10% of the state's economic output; wheat, barley, sugar beets, and dairy goods are the leading products. Since World War II, Bavaria has had the highest rate of industrial growth in Germany, which has transformed the formerly rural state. Industry produces more than half of the state's gross output and is centered in Munich, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Hof, Ingolstadt, Erlangen, and Schweinfurt. Leading industries are electronics, computers, machinery, chemicals, automobiles, clothing, and foodstuffs. Bavarian beer is world famous. Toys and musical instruments are made by artisans. Salt, graphite, iron ore, and lignite are the chief mineral resources.
The scenic beauties and the picturesque local customs and costumes of the Bavarian Alps attract many tourists. Among the resorts are Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Berchtesgaden, and the spas Bad Kissingen and Bad Reichenhall. Bayreuth is a cultural center, and Augsburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Würzburg are historic and artistic centers. There are universities at Munich, Regensburg, Würzburg, and Erlangen-Nuremberg. A majority of Bavarians are Roman Catholic.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.