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Overview - Mittelstand

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the engine of the German economy. This is illustrated by statistical data on the macro-economic significance of SMEs and by SME key indicators for Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia (cf. the table below). The following data are based on SME definition by the European Commission.

Please note that we currently provide only a selection of the most important statistics on our English website.

For further statistics, please refer to our German section.

Key indicators based on SME definition by the European Commission

 Total11SMEs11SME-Share11 
Number of enterprises   
Enterprises according to
business register 20192
3 559 1973 535 70599.3%
Enterprises liable to VAT 201933 288 3063 274 91099.6%
Enterprise turnover   
Turnover of enterprises
according to business
register 20192 (in €)
7 153.38 bn2 353.35 bn32.9%
Turnover of enterprises
liable to VAT 20193 (in €)
6 770.83 bn2.426.96 bn35.8%
Employees/Apprentices in
enterprises and companies
   
Employees in enterprises
according to business register 20192
35.21 m19.24 m54.7%
Employees subject to social
insurance contributions in local
establishments (incl.
apprentices) (31.12.2019)4
31.80 m21.50 m67.6%
Apprentices in local
establishments (31.12.2019)4,5
1.56 m1.11 m71.3%
Self-employed   
Self-employed total 201963.96 m  
thereof:
Self-employed in liberal
professions (01.01.2020)7
1.45 m  
Self-employment rate
20196, 8
9.3%  
reporting:
Self-employed except
agriculture 20199
3.78 m  
Self-employment rate
except agriculture 20198, 9
9.0%  
Economic Performance   
Net value added of enterprises
201910
   60.6%
Research and Development   
R&D-expenses of the companies
201911 (in €)
98.52 bn7.74 bn 7.9%
   © IfM Bonn

 

Notes

Sources: Federal Statistical Office; Federal Employment Agency; Institute for Liberal Professions Nuremberg; Science statistics of the Stifterverband; Calculations by IfM Bonn, 09/2021.

Updating

Key indicators are being updated on a regular basis. The update schedule depends on the availability of basic data from official/semi-official statistics published by statistical agencies and research institutes respectively. 

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