At the beginning of the 19th century Baden was only a margraviate, with an area little exceeding 1300 sq. m., and a population of 210,000. Since then it has from time to time acquired additional territory, so that its area now amounts to 5823 sq. m., and its population (1905) to 2,009,320, of whom about 60% are Roman Catholics, 37% Protestants, 1&FRAC12;% Jews, and the remainder of other confessions. Of the population, about one-half may be classified as rural, i.e. living in communities of less than 2000 inhabitants; while the density of the population is about 330 to the square mile. The country is divided into the following districts, with the respective chief towns and populations as shown: -
The capital of the duchy is Karlsruhe, and among important towns other than the above are Rastatt, Baden-Baden, Bruchsal and Lahr. The population is most thickly clustered in the north and in the neighbourhood of the Swiss town of Basel. The inhabitants of Baden are of various origin - those to the north of the Murg being descended from the Alemanni and those to the south from the Franks, while the Swabian plateau derives its name and its population from another race. (See Württemberg.)
Of the area, 56.8% is cultivated and 38% forest, but the agricultural industry, which formerly yielded the bulk of the wealth of the country, is now equalled, if not surpassed, by the industrial output, which has attained very considerable dimensions. The chief articles of manufacture are machinery, woollen and cotton goods, silk ribbons, paper, tobacco, leather, china, glass, clocks, jewellery and chemicals. Beet sugar is also largely manufactured, and the inhabitants of the Black Forest have long been celebrated for their dexterity in the manufacture of wooden ornaments and toys, musical boxes and organs.
The exports of Baden, which coincide largely with the industries just mentioned, are of considerable importance, but the bulk of its trade consists in the transit of goods. The country is well furnished with roads and railways, the greater proportion of the latter being in the hands of the state. A line runs the whole length of the land, for the most part parallel with the Rhine, while branches cross obliquely from east to west. Mannheim is the great emporium for the export of goods down the Rhine and has a large river traffic. It is also the chief manufacturing town of the duchy and the seat of administrative government for the northern portion of the country.