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Munich economy - key data

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Population, economic strength, employment, real estate

Munich and the surrounding area are one of Europe's most dynamic business regions. Major rankings have repeatedly shown the Bavarian capital to be among the leading international business hubs as well.

Global players and SMEs, promising start-up companies, large corporations and one-man businesses all enjoy Munichs' prosperous economic climate. A broad and well-balanced mix of industries and an excellent infrastructure are complemented by an unrivalled array of leisure and recreational facilities.


Home to 1.54 million people, Munich is the third-largest city in Germany. It is one of the industrialized world's growing metropolises and is particularly attractive to young, well-educated adults. Forecasts indicate that the resident population will exceed the 1.7 million mark in 2030.

2018 once again saw more births than deaths in Munich. Although the rate of increase in the birth rate dipped slightly for the second time in ten years, it remains on a very high level.

The proportion of foreign nationals – 27.6 percent – is one of the highest in Germany. People from a total of 180 countries live in Munich, cementing its character as an open-minded city of diversity and tolerance.

Economic strength

Munich and the surrounding region form the focal point of business activity in the Free State of Bavaria. 11.2 percent of the Bavarian population live in the City of Munich, where they generate 19 percent of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2016, this figure totalled €109,6 billion for the City of Munich (+3.9 percent). The service sector is the region's dominant industry, accounting for 77.6 percent of Munich's GDP. Manufacturing contributes 22.4 percent to Munich's GDP.

The Bavarian capital's labor productivity – its GDP per gainfully employed person – is similarly remarkable. In 2016, this key ratio stood at EUR 100,766 – 31 percent above the Bavarian average and 40 percent higher than the national average.


In the City of Munich, Germany's second-largest employment hub, a total of 874,000 people hold employment subject to statutory social insurance. Overall, 1.5 million people are gainfully employed in the Munich region as a whole. Employment figures in Munich grew steadily over the last eight years, adding a good 2 percent in jobs subject to statutory social insurance per year. This is a trend also visible in Germany as a whole. Still Munich employment is showing much stronger growth than other cities.

For years, Munich's unemployment rate has been the lowest compared to Germany's other major cities. In absolute terms, this meant an average jobless number of nearly 37,000 persons for the Munich Employment Agency's catchment area in 2018 – an unemployment rate of just 3.5 percent and the lowest figure in 20 years.

At 62.8 percent, Munich's employment rate is higher than that of Stuttgart, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Berlin. Compared to the same group of cities, an average of 34.3 percent of Munich's socially insured employees possess academic degrees – by far the highest proportionate level of qualifications.

Real estate market

Alongside London, Paris and Berlin, the Munich property market ranks as one of the most important in Europe. In 2018, turnover in the housing, industrial real estate and office property markets added up to a total of EUR 12.7  billion. This meant a rise of 5 percent compared to 2017, even though fewer contracts were signed.  

Data from Colliers International put office space turnover in Munich at 979,300 m² in 2018, a minor dip year on year. Nearly all of Germany's other key office locations – Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main and Cologne  – likewise experienced positive development once again and saw vacancy rates decline in 2018. Munich's vacancy rate fell from 2.4 percent in the previous year to 1.8 percent.

Buoyed by high demand exceeding supply, the boom on the office property market is reflected in office rents. Virtually all the major cities – with the exception of Stuttgart – reported rising rents. Berlin (+12.1 percent) again was leading the way. In Munich, average office rents per square meter increased to EUR 24.50 in 2018.

The continuing influx of new arrivals and vigorous demand for real estate on the capital market are making living space in Munich both scarce and expensive. The City of Munich is responding proactively by continuing the construction of subsidized housing and accelerating the relevant administrative procedures in the current program "Living in Munich VI". With a budget of EUR 870 million in total, is is currently Germanys largest municipal housing program and is to build an average of around 8,500 new apartments per year in Munich. In 2018  there were at least 8.1.00 new apartments finished. At the same time, rents in all price categories continue to rise in and around the city.

Data 7/2019