A Land (or Bundesland), plural Länder, is one of the sixteen federal states of Germany. The Länder have considerable freedom over most issues of government, like the states of the U.S., although they are of course smaller than most American states. Some of them represent historic regions, such as Bavaria, which could be called the Texas of Germany, and Schleswig-Holstein, which has a long history of being disputed by Germany and Denmark. Others are more recent formations, such as Saxony-Anhalt, which consists partly of former Saxony territory and partly of principalities which for some time were independent of each other.

Three of the Länder are autonomous city states, covering only the city limits: Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. The remaining thirteen are known as Flächenstaaten. They are listed here English name first, German second:

Bavaria (Bayern)
Hesse (Hessen)
Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)
Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz)
Saxony (Sachsen)
Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt)
Thuringia (Thüringen)