The eastern Land of southern Germany is divided into seven Regierungsbezirke (administrative regions). Niederbayern (in the southeast) and Oberbayern (in the south) (i.e. Lower and Upper Bavaria) represent, broadly speaking, the reunited Duchy in the early 16th century. Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) was more or less the old Bavarian Nordgau, which passed to the branch of the family holding the Palatinate, and much of which came to the Elector of Bavaria in 1628, confirmed in 1648. In the west and southwest, Schwaben is the easternmost part of the old Duchy of Swabia, which had been much fragmented; these lands were added to Bavaria, 1803-10. In the north and northwest Oberfranken, Mittelfranken, and Unterfranken, acquired 1803-15, are the old East Franconia, which was, like Swabia, much fragmented. Coburg was added to Oberfranken from the Thuringian region in 1920.
Until 1945 Bavaria had an eighth administrative region: Rheinpfalz, the lands of the old Palatinate west of the Rhine, which had been reunited with Bavaria in 1777, and also of the Duchy of Zweibrücken, which would have become joined to Bavaria in 1799 if the French had not already annexed it; these lands were recovered from France in 1813-5.
The Land of Bayern is easily the largest of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany; its nearest rival, Niedersachsen, is only two-thirds its size. Bayern is second in population, though comfortably beaten by Nordrhein-Westfalen, which is half its size.