Fact & Figures

Lead Market Healthcare

With a slight increase in the share of total employment to 19.8 % (+0.2 %), the healthcare sector is once again the most important lead market in the Metropole Ruhr in terms of employment. The largest submarkets of the healthcare sector, measured in terms of the share of employees, are inpatient and outpatient care (50.4 %) and services in health-related trade or sport, social services and care (42.6 %). In the period under review 2019 to 2020, the number of employees increased by 3,796 persons (+1.1 %) to 353,160 employees. The growth in the Metropole Ruhr is thus below the national and state-wide trend (1.6 % in each case). With the exception of the areas of administration and laboratory, engineering and measurement services, employment increased in all submarkets. A regional specialisation, measured in terms of employment share, exists in particular in Herne.

Key Insights

to the Lead Market

319,160 (+2.1%)


6,634 (-0.4%)


18.79 bn. € (+9.1%)


Compared to the previous year, the turnover of companies in the lead market health developed much more dynamically (+9.1 %). The number of companies, on the other hand, remained almost the same (-0.4 %). One reason for this development is increases in turnover in the neighbouring services (+10.5 %) such as wholesale and retail trade with pharmaceutical products, medical and orthopaedic articles, dental and laboratory supplies. About two thirds of the turnover gain is accounted for by this sub-market.

Overall, the challenges for the health sector remain numerous and diverse. However, this also offers great potential, for example for the development of innovative prevention and therapy concepts or for the implementation of new treatment methods. Furthermore, the year 2020 has shown how strongly the entire economic sector is also dependent on the performance of the health care system. This suggests that growing investments in the various areas of the health sector can be expected in the coming years.

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