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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.

Macro-economic significance of SMEs

  • In 2020, approx. 696 500 enterprises classified as small and medium-sized enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia, accounting for 99.2% of the total number of enterprises with turnover from goods and services and/or employees.1
  • SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia generated an annual turnover of approx. 521.84 bn € in 2020 which represents 34.7% of the total turnover of all enterprises subject to turnover tax in North Rhine-Westphalia (cf. Germany: 2 392.62 bn € and 36.8% of total turnover).2, 3
  • SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia employed approx. 4.20 million in 2020, accounting for a share of 51.9% in total employment.1
  • Some 70.9% of all apprentices were trained by etstablishments with less than 250 employees subject to social insurance contributions at the end of 2020.2


Researcher Simone Braun

+49 228 72997 65
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