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Number of SMEs in Germany from 2011 to 2018

In 2018 there were approximately 2.52 million Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Germany an increase of 430 thousand enterprises when compared with 2011. Of these enterprises, the vast majority were micro-sized enterprises which employed up to nine people. Small enterprises which employed between 10 and 49 people, numbered around 357 thousand, while there were around 58.8 thousand medium-sized enterprises which employed between 50 and 349 people.

People employed by SMEs

Of the 19.1 million people employed by SMEs in Germany in 2018, around 5.9 million people were employed by micro-sized enterprises, 6.2 million by small ones and around 7 million by medium-sized firms. As a contribution to the non-financial sector of the German economy, SMEs employed 63.2 percent of the German workforce.

SMEs contribution to the economy

The amount added to the German economy by SMEs increased from 745 billion Euros in 2011 to 968 billion Euros by 2018. In this year, medium-sized businesses added 357 billion, with small and micro sized enterprises adding 334 billion and 276 billion respectively.

Number of small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany from 2011 to 2018 (in millions)*

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2011 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Data for years prior to 2018 are taken from different reports

The source adds the following information:
"These are estimates for 2017 produced by DIW Econ, based on 2008-15 figures from the Structural Business Statistics Database (Eurostat). The data cover the 'non-financial business economy', which includes industry, construction, trade, and services (NACE Rev. 2 sections B to J, L, M and N), but not enterprises in agriculture, forestry and fisheries and the largely non-market service sectors such as education and health.

The following size-class definitions are applied: micro firms (0-9 persons employed), small firms (10-49 persons employed), medium-sized firms (50-249 persons employed), and large firms (250+ persons employed). The advantage of using Eurostat data is that the statistics are harmonized and comparable across countries. The disadvantage is that for some countries the data may be different from those published by national authorities."

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