Logo of the City of Munich Landeshauptstadt München

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 1.53 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 2022.

2017 once again saw more births than deaths in Munich. Although the rate of increase in the birth rate dipped slightly for the first 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. 22.2 percent of the Bavarian population live in the Munich region, where they generate 31 percent of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2015, this figure totalled €104,2 billion for the City of Munich (+4.3 percent). The service sector is the region's dominant industry, accounting for 76.5 percent of Munich's GDP. Manufacturing contributes 23.5 percent to Munich's GDP.

The Bavarian capital's labor productivity – its GDP per gainfully employed person – is similarly remarkable. In 2015, this key ratio stood at EUR 98,041 – 30 percent above the Bavarian average and 39 percent higher than the national average.


In Munich, Germany's second-largest employment hub, a total of 850,000 people hold employment subject to statutory social insurance. Overall, 1.42 million people are gainfully employed in the Munich region as a whole. Employment figures in Munich grew steadily over the last seven 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 with a population of more than 600,000. In absolute terms, this meant an average jobless number of nearly 40,500 persons for the Munich Employment Agency's catchment area in 2017 – an unemployment rate of just 3.9 percent.

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 32.9 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 2017, turnover in the housing, industrial real estate and office property markets added up to a total of EUR 12 billion. That was EUR 900 million less than in the record year 2016, as fewer large office complexes were sold.

Data from Colliers International put office space turnover in Munich at 780,300 m² in 2017, that was 26.1 percent more than the year before. Nearly all of Germany's other key office locations – Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Cologne and Stuttgart  – likewise experienced positive development again and saw vacancy rates decline in 2017. Munich's vacancy rate fell from 3.0 percent in the previous year to 2.4 percent.

Buoyed by stable economic growth, the boom on the office property market is reflected in office rents. Virtually all the major cities – with the exception of Hamburg – reported rising rents. Berlin (+9.8 percent) and Frankfurt/Main (+9.3 percent) are leading the way. In Munich, average office rents per square meter increased to EUR 22.40 in 2017.

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 stepping up the construction of subsidized housing and accelerating the relevant administrative procedures. Since 2011, considerable time and money has been invested to build an average of around 6,600 new apartments per year in Munich. In 2017 there were at least 7.800 new apartments finished. At the same time, rents in all price categories continue to rise in and around the city.

Data 7/2018