DÜSSELDORF In a nationwide comparison of economic power, the Rhine metropolises are growing strongly. Bonn is advancing significantly and ranks 28th in the "Future Atlas of Germany". The Rhein-Sieg district, on the other hand, has bucked the trend.
Virtually the entire Rhineland has developed very positively over the past three years compared to the rest of Germany. The major cities of Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn are leading the trend, with the surrounding area following suit. This is the result of the new "Future Atlas of Germany", which the research company Prognos will be presenting on Friday. The results for North Rhine-Westphalia were exclusively available to our editorial staff in advance. The national partner of Prognos is the "Handelsblatt".
The Prognos Future Atlas assesses the future opportunities and risks of all 401 districts and cities in Germany. It is published every three years. The indicators include demographics, prosperity, labour market, social situation, competition and innovation.
Bonn makes up nine places
According to the study, Bonn is in 28th place, nine places better than three years ago. Cologne jumped twelve places to 26th place. Düsseldorf has managed to improve from 21st place to twelfth place in the ranking. "The Rhine line has become the decisive growth region of NRW," said Prognos study director Tobias Koch. "The number of jobs is increasing, there are both strong corporations and increasingly start-ups in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bonn as well as Aachen. And because the region is closely networked, the surrounding area is benefiting from the upward trend.“
Among the 401 cities and administrative districts assessed, Rhein-Kreis-Neuss improved from 97th to 70th place. Many growing companies in particular contributed to the better rating. The district of Mettmann climbed 32 positions to place 111.
Rhein-Sieg-Kreis loses 30 places
Against the trend, however, the Rhein-Sieg district plummeted by a massive 30 places. According to the study, it is now only in 161st place. Especially in the categories "Competition and Innovation" and "Demography" there was a clear negative trend.
On the other hand, the curve points upwards for some cities in the Ruhr region. Even the traditionally weak Duisburg caught up by 46 places to place 317. "Particularly in the labour market, we see certain upward trends in parts of the Ruhr area," said researcher Koch.
Düsseldorf in conspicuously good position
Düsseldorf's good position is the most striking. Cities and administrative districts in the south and southwest of Germany such as Munich (1st place), Munich (2nd), Ingolstadt (3rd), Darmstadt (4th) Stuttgart (5th) or Frankfurt (10th) still do much better than the NRW capital. But to the north of Hesse only Wolfsburg, with 9th place, is stronger than Düsseldorf. "It is remarkable that Düsseldorf has overtaken Hamburg, which is ranked 21st," said Koch. "Düsseldorf has very many jobs compared to the population. The location is dynamic and attracts young people". In addition, the city's freedom from debt, the innovative strength and competitiveness of the economy and the presence of many strong companies should be praised.
Looking at the state as a whole, NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart (FDP) stressed: "The many universities and excellent specialists help to make NRW an attractive location. In 2018 alone, around 100,000 new jobs were created in NRW. But the head of the study, Koch, also mentioned the coming challenges for NRW: It is important to offer more building land and to strengthen the transport infrastructure so that people can reach their jobs more easily. And the exit from lignite must be managed.
(Original text: Reinhard Kowalewsky, Translation: Mareike Graepel)