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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 IfM Bonn's definition of SMEs.

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 IfM Bonn

 Total1SMEs1SME-Share1 
Number of enterprises   
Enterprises according to
business register 20182
3 483 6913 466 58399.5%
Enterprises liable to VAT 201833 279 1363 265 86299.6%
Enterprise turnover   
Turnover of enterprises
according to business
register 20182 (in €)
6 968.28 bn2 397.41 bn34.4%
Turnover of enterprises
liable to VAT 20183 (in €)
6 622.78 bn2 385.19 bn36.0%
Employees/Apprentices in
enterprises and companies
   
Employees subject to social
insurance contributions in
enterprises according to
business register 20182
30.86 m17.77 m57.6%
Employees subject to social
insurance contributions in local
establishments (incl.
apprentices) (31.12.2018)4
31.39 m24.60 m78.4%
Apprentices in local
establishments (31.12.2018)4,5
1.54 m1.26 m81.7%
Self-employed   
Self-employed total 201864.01 m  
thereof:
Self-employed in liberal
professions (01.01.2019)7
1.43 m  
Self-employment rate
20186, 8
9.6%  
reporting:
Self-employed except
agriculture 20189
3.82 m  
Self-employment rate
except agriculture 20188, 9
9.2%  
Economic Performance   
Net value added of enterprises
201810
   61.1%
Research and Development   
R&D-expenses of the companies
201811 (in €)
92.80 bn10.36 bn 11.2%
   © IfM Bonn

 

Notes

Sources: Federal Statistical Office; Federal Employment Agency; Institute for Liberal Professions Nuremberg; Science statistics of the Stifterverband; Calculations by IfM Bonn, 05/2020.

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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