• 47 % green space
  • 344600 employed persons
  • 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site

Whether pulsating city life or idyllic nature, whether modern metropolis or historical flair, whether shopping or visiting a museum – its diversity makes the city so lovable and livable: Essen is an economic, service and commercial centre. It is also an university, trade fair and shopping city as well as the European Green Capital 2017 and much more – in short: a metropolis with many qualities.

This makes the city of Essen the ideal location to work, live and enjoy. Attractive employers and comparatively low costs for the excellent housing, leisure and local amenities ensure a high quality of life.

You can put down roots here – in the heart of the Ruhr Metropole.


47 % green space
596246 inhabitants of the city of Essen
9 OF THE 100

largest companies

in Germany
23155 companies & subsidiaries


Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex



344600 people are employed in Essen
270873 employees subject to social insurance contributions
20 MIN. to the nearest international airport


location advantages
city of essen

  • Central location
  • Optimal accessibility
  • Large customer, sales and labour base potential
  • Attractive employment market
  • High quality of life
  • Affordable housing
  • Extensive educational opportunities
  • Variety of cultural and recreational possibilities

corporate location

Essen is a top business location with numerous corporations, an efficient and internationally oriented SME sector, innovative start-ups, six universities and around 25 research institutes, leading international trade fairs, strong high-tech sectors and excellent infrastructure. This is where business gets done.

Essen as a business location is home to many of Germany’s major companies. Three DAX-listed companies, E.ON, RWE and Brenntag, and three MDAX companies, thyssenkrupp, HOCHTIEF and Evonik, have their headquarters in Essen. In addition, ALDI Nord, Schenker, NOWEDA, DEICHMANN, STEAG, FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE and MEDION are other companies which are major national and international players. In total, 9 of the 100 companies with the highest turnover in Germany have their headquarters in Essen.

Essen is not only the home of global corporations, but also of hidden champions such as ifm electronic, opta data and ista, which with their innovative products and services are among the leading companies in their respective sectors both nationally and internationally.

industries & 
economic dynamics

A strong and important local economic driver is the energy industry, but the health industry is also significant with around 48,800 employees. Essen is one of the most important and innovative medical and health locations in Germany and Europe.
In addition, other growth and future-oriented industries are strongly represented in Essen. Manufacturing (electrical engineering, chemicals or mechanical engineering) and the service sector (business service providers, ICT) are both significant contributors to the local economy.

service sector 

85.3 %
of employees subject to social insurance contributions in Essen work in the service sector.

22.3 %
of employees subject to social insurance contributions in Essen have earned an academic degree. This means that Essen has the highest level of graduates in the Ruhr area and is above the average for North Rhine-Westphalia (18.2 %) and Germany (19.6 %).

more from the 

1 st place out of 30

According to the latest cost report by the job exchange StepStone, the large corporations in the Ruhr metropolis ensure a relatively high wage level with a comparatively low cost of living. This puts Essen in first place in a comparison of the 30 largest cities in Germany.

industrial identity 
– without nostalgia

A strong industrial core, supported by small and medium-sized businesses, is the driving force behind a city that has always had an industrial character. The economic backbone is formed by the construction industry, the energy sector, the metal and electrical industry as well as mechanical and plant engineering.

43800 employed persons
39611 of whom are employees subject to social insurance contributions

Essen has undergone fundamental change in recent decades: nostalgia has turned into identity; change has become innovation.
Essen is home to around 200 industrial companies and skilled craft firms. The manufacturing industry employs a total of about 43,800 people, 39,600 of whom are subject to social insurance contributions. Even though the service sector is many times over the largest sector in Essen, heavy industry, with its high productivity, has a significant influence on the value added in Essen. The gross value added of heavy industry accounts for around 20 percent of the total value added in Essen.

In Essen, industry is the driving force for the development of other future-oriented sectors and new lead markets such as health, ICT technologies, energy technology and resource efficiency.

trade fair

Essen enjoys an excellent reputation as a trade fair and congress location both domestically and internationally. This is ensured by the Messe Essen exhibition centres and the numerous other congress and conference venues in the city.

To Messe Essen >

At a glance:

advantages fair and 
congress location

  • Around 55 different trade fairs – including 10 leading international trade fairs – with twelve satellite events abroad
  • Approx. 1.5 million guests from over 160 nations every year
  • Around 15,000 exhibitors from 90 nations with a foreign share of almost 40 % at the Essen trade fair venue
  • An exhibition area of 110,000 m² and 20,000 m² outdoor area
  • Three congress centres with 28 congress rooms for up to 1,000 people, in which around 800 events with 80,000 participants take place every year
  • Grugahalle: 70 events (concerts, shows, conferences, festive evenings, sporting events, annual general meetings) with up to 10,000 people and more than 200,000 guests annually

Essen as

In Essen you will find the perfect conference venue for your company – whether digital, hybrid or a face-to-face event.
A large number of attractive event locations and hotels await you, which are ideal for holding large congresses and conferences as well as other exclusive events.
Enquire now!

Jetzt anfragen!


Essen is a green metropolis and maintains its reputation as an urban centre with a high amenity value due also to the large proportion of local recreation areas spread over the entire city area. Parks, nature reserves, forests, lakes and other open spaces account for almost half of the city’s area. Essen’s green side has not escaped the attention of the European Commission. In June 2015, the EU Environment Commission awarded Essen the title ″European Green Capital 2017″.

The EU Environment Commission awarded Essen with the title:

of culture

From A for Aalto Theatre to Z for Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site – the wealth of cultural highlights extends from the north to the south of the city. It is no coincidence that Essen was awarded the honorary title of ″European Capital of Culture 2010″ on behalf of the entire Ruhr region.

visitessen.de >


Essen was the first city in Germany to have a pedestrian zone – that was in 1927. Today, over 1,000 shops and department stores characterise the city centre around the two main pedestrian zones on the Kettwiger Straße and Limbecker Straße. The selection ranges from small and owner-managed specialty shops in addition to the large national and international chains to the Rathaus Galerie and Limbecker Platz shopping centres. The latter is one of the largest inner-city shopping centres in Germany with 70,000 m² of retail space and more than 200 shops and restaurants.


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Visit Essen
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