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I am not certain how to decline it. Wikipedia has no problem with that, and declines all three words independently: в Северном Рейне-Вестфалии. However, intuitively Рейн-Вестфалия seems to be a composite noun. Due to this, I believe I've heard in use Северная Рейн-Вестфалия, в Северной Рейн-Вестфалии, which is probably wrong. So, are there any clear rules for this case? If possible, please give other examples of such combinations.

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The name of this land contains not a hyphen, but a long dash, that's why it's not a composite noun. The land was formed by merging Westfalen (Вестфалия) and the nothern part of Rheinprovinz (Рейнская провинция), so it consists of 2 parts, Северный Рейн and Вестфалия.

One should decline all the 3 words in the name of this land:

Им. Северный Рейн – Вестфалия

Род. Северного Рейна – Вестфалии

Дат. Северному Рейну – Вестфалии

Тв. Северным Рейном – Вестфалией

Пр. Северном Рейне – Вестфалии

Вин. Северный Рейн – Вестфалию

That is why, the correct form is:

В Северном Рейне – Вестфалии

Из Северного Рейна – Вестфалии

Alternatively, if one does not want to decline the 3 words, one can use the generic name, земля (land), before it, then only the word земля is declined:

В земле Северный Рейн – Вестфалия

Из земли Северный Рейн – Вестфалия

It is this last way of saying it, with the word земля, that is used most often in Russian texts.

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    Great! Thanks for finding these Spravka's answers and for the detailed answer.
    – texnic
    Feb 10 '13 at 15:20

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