Fact & Figures

Lead Market Healthcare

The healthcare system is once again the most important main market in the Metropolitan Ruhr Area in terms of employment with a slight increase in the ratio of total employment to 19.6 % (+0.13 %). The largest sectors of the healthcare system, measured by the number of employees, are inpatient and outpatient care (49.9 %) and services in the health-related trade or sports, social services and nursing (42.7 %).

The number of employees rose by 8,706 (+2.6 %) to 349,364 in the period under review from 2018 to 2019. Growth in the Metropolitan Ruhr Area is therefore above the nationwide trend and only slightly behind the state-wide trend (+2.3 %; +2.8 %). Except for core area 2: All insurance/administration sectors recorded positive employment figures.

The main growth engines are the sectors of inpatient and outpatient care (+4,772; +2.8 %) as well as healthcare related services (+3,698; +2.5 %). A regional specialisation, measured by the percentage of employment, particularly exists in Herne.

Key Insights

to the Lead Market

349,364 (+2.6%)


6,658 (-0.7%)


17.23 bn. € (-3.3%)


During the period under review, the number of companies (-0.7 %) and turnover (-3.3 %) decreased, however not as much as in previous years. One reason for this decline is the drop in turnover at hospitals in the core area of inpatient and outpatient care.

In the years ahead the effects of demographic change will intensify. Consequently, the main market of healthcare as well as the life science sectors will also gain in importance in the future. The considerable economic importance and the expansion course are also reflected in the nationwide trend. Over the last ten years, the core of the German healthcare industry measured by gross value added grew by an average of +4.1 % per year. In 2018, gross value added was therefore just under Euro 370 billion (forecast) and corresponded to more than 12 % of the gross domestic product.

However, not only demographic change alone offers good growth opportunities, but also the development of new therapies and healing methods, the standardisation or digitalisation of the healthcare system and the growing world population, which ensures a constant demand for medical services. In particular, the trend towards digitalisation is likely to have positive effects on the provision of healthcare, resulting in sustainable changes to the healthcare system. For example, mobile applications enable vital signs to be recorded and analysed or sports activities to be transferred to virtual worlds. This opens enormous potential for the future from an interdisciplinary approach with other main markets.

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