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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.

Macro-economic significance of SMEs

  • In 2018, approx. 711 600 enterprises classified as small and medium-sized enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia, accounting for 99.4% of the total number of enterprises with turnover from goods and services and/or employees.
  • SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia generated an annual turnover of approx. 522.74 bn € in 2018 which represents 33.5% of the total turnover of all enterprises subject to turnover tax in North Rhine-Westphalia (cf. Germany: 2 385.19 bn € and 36.0% of total turnover).*
  • SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia employed approx. 3.75 million employees subject to social insurance contributions in 2018, accounting for a share of 53.3% in total employment (subject to social insurance contributions).
  • Some 82.2% of all apprentices were trained by etstablishments with less than 500 employees subject to social insurance contributions at the end of 2018.

* Data from VAT-Statistics 2018. SME classification only by turnover size.