Strong players and structures

The Ruhr Metropolis forms one of the most important economic areas in Europe. Since the 1960s, the coal and steel industry has been successfully replaced. Through impulses by the corporate groups and research institutions, new business branches have been successfully attracted.

Numerous headquarters are located in the Ruhr Metropolis. Essen skyline. Photo: RVR/Luhnen
Picture: Skyline of the city of Essen. Photo: RVR/Luhnen

Headquarters of large corporate groups

A total of 16 of the 100 strongest-selling companies in Germany are based in the Ruhr Metropolis. Most corporate groups are based in Essen. International companies such as Thyssen-Krupp, RWE, Evonik Industries, Aldi and Hochtief control their business from the region. Some corporate groups had been connected with the coal and steel industry in the Ruhr region, but others have settled here due to the optimal conditions.

Perspectives for young people in the Ruhr Metropolis. Photo: RVR/Oberhäuser
Picture: Young people. Photo: RVR/Oberhäuser

Polycentric structure as a strength

Having a big-town and a small-town feeling - that is a significant feature of the Ruhr Metropolis. The polycentric structure is one of the advantages of the region, which lies in the heart of Europe. Added to that, we have a high population density, a strong educational scene and an excellent logistics network. These advantages make the region appealing for investors, employees and founders. Although the Ruhr region is not a classical area for medium-sized business, a strong middle-class is present in the vicinity of the big cities.

Good perspectives in the Ruhr Metropolis - the Ruhr near Witten. Photo: RVR/Ziese
Picture: View of the Ruhr near Witten. Photo: RVR/Ziese

Qualified manpower

The Ruhr Metropolis is becoming increasingly attractive for the working force, as nature experiences, shopping tours and night life are all accessible. More than 20 universities in the region train specialists and managers; every semester approximately 140,000 people apply for study courses. With this job market potential, the region is attractive for the economy. There are 2.2 million employed persons of whom over 70% work in the services sector. In total, approximately 136 billion of the gross domestic product is produced in the Ruhr Metropolis.

The Regional Association Ruhr (RVR) plans, develops and builds together with the municipalities of the Ruhr Metropolis


Be our guest! Ruhr Tourismus (RTG) answers all questions related to travelling in the Ruhr Metropolis


The regional business development company, Wirtschaftsförderung metropole Ruhr GmbH (wmr), is the service partner for companies and investors


Transport information

Local public transport:
The Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr transport association

The situation on the motorways:

Renting a bike: