West Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) was a country in Western Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990. West Germany had a population of approximately 60 million people in 1990, and was the world's fourth largest economy in 1985. The capital was at Bonn.
The country was located in the western part of Germany, created from the British, French and American occupational zones, while the eastern half was the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). West Germany struggled in the early years, recovering from complete destruction in World War II. By the 1970s, however, it had rebuilt itself into a vigorous economic power. By this time, living standards were noticeably higher in West Germany than in its communist counterpart. Political freedom and economic opportunity encouraged East Germans to emigrate to West Germany, though this was often done illegally because the communist government restricted border crossings. In 1989, the Berlin Wall was taken down and East and West Germany were finally reunited in 1990.