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.
- In 2020, approx 3.35 million German enterprises classified as small and medium-sized enterprises, accounting for 99.3% of the total number of enterprises with turnover from goods and services and/or employees.1
- German SMEs generated an annual turnover of approx. 2.32 bn € in 2020, which represents 33,7% of the total turnover of German enterprises.1
- Approx 19.02 million employees employed by SMEs in Germany in 2020, accounting for 54.4% of total employment.1
- At the end of 2020, some 70.6% of all apprentices were trained by establishments with less than 250 employees (subject to social insurance contribution).2
- Export turnover of German SMEs added up to approx. 207.4 bn € in 2020, accounting for 16.8% of the total German export turnover.2
- German SMEs had a share of almost 60.1% in total net value added in Germany in 2020.2
- Businesses with less than 250 employees spent 7.68 bn € on R&D, equal to a share of 8.2% in total R&D expenditures in the business sector in 2020.