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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

 Total1SMEs1SME-Share1
Number of enterprises   
Enterprises according to
business register 20192
735 924730 59199.3%
Enterprises liable to VAT 20193666 813663 55499.5%
Enterprise turnover   
Turnover of enterprises liable
to VAT 20193 (in €)
1 586.28 bn530.12 bn33.4%
Employees/Apprentices in
enterprises and companies
   
Employees enterprises according to
business register 20192
8.15 m4.25 m52.2%
Employees subject to social
insurance contributions in
local establishments (incl.
apprentices) (31.12.2019)4
6.70 m4.47 m66.8%
Apprentices in local
establishments (31.12.2019)4,5
0.36 m0.26 m71.7%
Self-employed   
Self-employed total 20196765 000  
thereof:
Self-employed in liberal
professions (01.01.2020)7
282 000  
Self-employment rate
20196, 8
8.7%  
reporting:
Self-employed except
agriculture 20199
742 000  
Self-employment rate
except agriculture 20198, 9
8.5%  
    © IfM Bonn

 

Notes

Sources: Federal Statistical Office; Federal Employment Agency; Institute for Liberal Professions Nuremberg; 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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