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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 2019, approx. 730 600 enterprises classified as small and medium-sized enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia, accounting for 99.3% 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. 530.12 bn € in 2019 which represents 33.4% of the total turnover of all enterprises subject to turnover tax in North Rhine-Westphalia (cf. Germany: 2 427.0 bn € and 35.8% of total turnover).2, 3
  • SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia employed approx. 4.25 million in 2019, accounting for a share of 52.2% in total employment.1
  • Some 71.7% of all apprentices were trained by etstablishments with less than 250 employees subject to social insurance contributions at the end of 2019.2