Industrial heartland of Germany
  2. NRW as location
  3. This speaks well for NRW
  4. Industrial heartland of Germany

Industrial heartland of Germany

In 2016, the industrial enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia generated around 332 billion euros. With the Ruhr Metropolis and Südwestfalen in particular, NRW is home to the most powerful industrial regions in Europe. North Rhine-Westphalian industry contributes about 28% of the state's and nearly 20% of Germany's gross value added.

Sales by industry

In 2016, North Rhine-Westphalian industrial enterprises generated sales of around 332 billion euros – equivalent to 18.4% of total industrial sales in Germany. 18.1% of the workforce in NRW work in the industrial sector.

Among the leading industrial enterprises in NRW are:

Dr. Oetker

The NRW economy is also successful in sectors closely related to industry

B2B service providers such as consultancies, engineering offices or IT and R&D service providers contribute a great deal to innovation and added value as business partners of industrial enterprises.

The strength of industry in NRW is based to a large extent on the strength of these industry-related service companies.

  • 27.4% of sales generated by B2B service providers in the narrower sense in Germany come from NRW – more than from any other German state.
  • NRW also heads the field in terms of employment figures: 25.5% of all persons employed in Germany in B2B services work in NRW.
  • 21.6% of the companies are also based here. These figures are the result of a structural change which is also reflected in the gross value added of NRW. In 1970, 55.7% was generated in industry and only 42.3% in services; by 2016 this ratio had been more than reversed.
  • In NRW, services dominate with 72.1% compared to industry with 27.5%.
  • The number of persons employed in the service sector has increased by more than one million since 1970 to 7.1 million.


Economic Development Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf

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Germany’s No. 1 Economic Region

The excellent infrastructure, the central location and the high qualifications of the people make North Rhine-Westphalia an economic power of international standing. In terms of numerous economic statistics, NRW is world class.


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