Among Germany’s five most auspicious cities, three are located in the eastern part of the country – Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. Or so the outcome of the latest city ranking by the HWWI Hamburg Institute of International Economics and by the private bank Berenberg Bank suggests.1 The ranking compares the competition- and location-related factors of the country’s 30 largest cities. The last ranking dates back to 2015. Munich took the lead in this year’s City Ranking, followed by Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden and Berlin. The city with the bleakest outlook is Gelsenkirchen.
Leipzig Shows Massive Economic and Demographic Momentum
Three indices are compiled for the purposes of the City Ranking that take the economic and demographic dynamic of the cities and the various locational factors into account. The results are then pooled into a comprehensive index. What stands out in this latest ranking is the outperformance of Leipzig. Being the largest city in Saxony, it placed first in the “trend index,” which traces the demographic trend, the gainful employment trend, and the productivity trend. Accordingly, Leipzig boast the greatest economic and demographic dynamic along with above-average competitiveness.
The ten cities with the brightest outlook – which, in addition to the aforementioned cities, include Cologne, Wiesbaden, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf – manifest “no material shortcomings, and have displayed a largely stable ranking performance over many years,” according to the analysis. The experts who compiled the HWWI/Berenberg City Ranking emphasized that the competitiveness of Germany depends essentially on the performance of the country’s cities. They found that the 30 largest of them are home to 23 percent of the German population, subject to an upward trend. Cities act as growth drivers for entire regions.
Major Cities Grow Faster than Others
The growing significance of the major cities is also highlighted by the latest survey the IW Economic Institute in Cologne published.2 It revealed that Germany’s population, rather than decline, may actually increase to 83.1 million by 2035 as a result of incoming migration and an elevated birth rate. This would be around one million more residents than the country had at the end of 2015. The demographic growth will probably be fastest in the major cities. Berlin, for one, is projected to increase by 14.5 percent to four million residents. Munich is expected to grow by 14.4 percent, and Hamburg by 9.1 percent.