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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

 Total1KMU1SME-Share1
Number of enterprises   
Enterprises according to
business register 20182
715 744711 55299.4%
Enterprises liable to VAT 20183666 453663 21199.5%
Enterprise turnover   
Turnover of enterprises liable
to VAT 20183 (in €)
1 562.26 bn522.74 bn33.5%
Employees/Apprentices in
enterprises and companies
   
Employees subject to social
insurance contributions in
enterprises according to
business register 20182
7.04 m3.75 m53.3%
Employees subject to social
insurance contributions in
enterprises according to
business register (incl.
apprentices) (31.12.2018)4
6.60 m5.17 m78.4%
Apprentices in local
establishments (31.12.2018)4,5
348 981286 96782.2%
Self-employed   
Self-employed total 20186776 000  
thereof:
Self-employed in liberal
professions (01.01.2019)7
275 700  
Self-employment rate
20186, 8
8.9%  
reporting:
Self-employed except
agriculture 20189
752 000  
Self-employment rate
except agriculture 20188, 9
8.7%  
    © IfM Bonn

 

Notes

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