The best in Germany: the 10,000 most important medium-sized companies

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Which are the strongest medium-sized companies in Germany? Die Deutsche Wirtschaft has determined and analysed the 10,000 most important medium-sized companies.

The Germans call it the “Mittelstand” – and the unique structure of Germany’s strong sector of medium-sized companies has become a synonym for technological strength, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit all over the world. In fact, the Mittelstand not only accounts for the overwhelming majority of all businesses in Germany (over 3 million), it also provides some 60 percent of all jobs and over 80 percent of all apprenticeships. Depending on its specific definition, the Mittelstand ranges all the way from small craft workshops to hidden champions worth up to a billion euros.

The German Mittelstand rankings

Which, however, are the leading medium-sized companies in Germany? In its new “Mittelstand 10,000” database project, the research team at Die Deutsche Wirtschaft has identified and analysed Germany’s most important medium-sized companies and created a ranking list. To supplement the ranking of the 1,000 biggest family-owned companies in Germany, the new database list now encompasses the full range of relevant family-owned market participants in the German economy.

Die in Dettingen ansässige ElringKlinger AG ist als international tätiger Automobilzulieferer verfolgen wir bei ElringKlinger ein nachhaltiges Geschäftsmodell. Mit unseren Produkten legen wir den Schwerpunkt auf die Kernthemen der Automobilindustrie: Kraftstoffverbrauchsreduzierung, Emissionsverringerung und die Entwicklung alternativer Antriebstechnologien. Wir sind als einer von nur wenigen Zulieferern weltweit bereits heute dafür aufgestellt, technologisch anspruchsvolle Komponenten für alle zukünftig relevanten Antriebsarten zu liefern – vom Verbrennungsmotor bis zum elektrischen Antrieb.
ElringKlinger AG, Dettingen

To ascertain the actual importance of a specific company, the rankings were determined by much more than simply the levels of annual turnover. An index value includes factors including turnover, number of employees, research collaborations, partnerships with schools or universities and association memberships. The score is also supplemented by an editorial assessment.

Turnover from 25 million to 1 billion euros

The results provide an interesting insight into the structure, distribution and relevance of the most important medium-sized companies in Germany. In this respect, turnover at the top 10,000 firms ranges from approximately 25 million to the ranking limit of 1 billion euros. The average turnover is 156 million euros. All in all, the top 10,000 companies account for roughly 1.05 billion euros in turnover and provide approximately 5.3 million jobs.


Großventilatoren sind das Kerngeschäft der Firma. Fast neun von jeweils zehn dieser Erzeugnisse gehen ins Ausland. Dies zeigt, dass es durchaus möglich ist, in heimischen Gefilden erfolgreich für den Weltmarkt zu produzieren. Made in NRW hat rund um den Globus einen guten Ruf.
Vento Oelde.

Industry leads in the Mittelstand

When ranked according to sector, most companies are from the automotive trade, followed by mechanical engineering and construction. 56 percent are to be classified as industry, 27 percent as service providers and 17 percent as retailers. When ranked according to federal state, most are based in North Rhine-Westphalia (2,220), followed by Bavaria (2,099). With 342 such companies, the city of Hamburg is home to the most large-scale medium-sized companies, followed by Berlin with 217 and Munich with 191.

The complete ranking is available here in the DDW Reader Service as a list in Excel format. In addition to the address details, turnover and employee data, the ranking also includes a description of the particular field of each company and information on its year of foundation, directors and structure of ownership. 


The Top-100 of the 10,000 most important medium-sized companies

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