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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 2021, approx. 699 034 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. 550.54 bn € in 2021 which represents 31.4% of the total turnover of all enterprises subject to turnover tax in North Rhine-Westphalia (cf. Germany: 2 516.38 bn € and 32.7% of total turnover).2, 3
  • SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia employed approx. 4.09 million employees in 2021, accounting for a share of 50.4% in total employment.1
  • Some 70.5% of all apprentices were trained by establishments with less than 250 employees subject to social insurance contributions at the end of 2021.2


Researcher Simone Braun

+49 228 72997 65
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