Düsseldorf at the Heart of Europe Overview

Düsseldorf at the Heart of Europe

General overview of Düsseldorf as an international business hub in the heart of Europe

Düsseldorf international business hub

Ranked as one of the top cities for foreign direct investment, Düsseldorf is an international business hub in the heart of Europe. Thanks to its high quality of life and moderate living costs, Düsseldorf has become a magnet for international companies.

City Overview Infographic

The city's central location on the European continent as well as its excellent transportation infrastructure and international airport, means that many European destinations are within easy reach. Düsseldorf is also proving to be crisis-resistant and sustainable thanks to its trendsetting diversity of industries.

The city government is decidedly pro-business and actively promotes entrepreneurship. This combined with a safe living environment, tolerance, open-mindedness and the famous Rhineland hospitality, means that the Düsseldorf region is now the second-most popular destination for foreign direct investment in Europe... behind only London, but ahead of Paris.


Düsseldorf's outstanding locational advantages are awarded in many places.

Among the 6 most attractive cities in the world

Mercer, Quality of Living City Ranking, 2020

Among the 5 cities with the lowest cost of living in Germany

Mercer, Cost of Living City Ranking, 2020

Most popular city in Germany for expats

InterNations, Expat Insider 2020: Cities in Europe

fDi Large European City ranking Top 10 overall, 3rd place

fDi-Magazine, Large European Cities of the Future, 2020

fDi City Ranking Top 20 overall, 4th place

fDi-Magazine, Tier 2 Cities of the Future, 2020

fDi City Ranking Top 10 Economic Potential, 3rd place

fDi-Magazine, Tier 2 Cities of the Future, 2020

fDi City Ranking fDi-strategy, 7th place worldwide

fDi-Magazine, Global Cities of the Future, 2021/22

fDi City Ranking fDi-strategy, 2nd place cities <2mio. inhabitants

fDi-Magazine, Global Cities of the Future, 2021/22

fDi City Ranking connectivity, 3rd place cities <2mio. inhabitants

fDi-Magazine, Global Cities of the Future, 2021/22

Best future chances, very high location strength and highest development dynamics attested

Prognos, Zukunftsatlas 2019

location icon Geographic location & proximity

location map

51° 13' 39.868" N 6° 46' 24.44" E

Urban area: 217.41 km²

In terms of urban area, is ranked 73 in Germany by area, but is the sixth largest city in Germany by population.

State capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and the administrative district of Düsseldorf authorities.


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Düsseldorf has an excellent transport infrastructure and international connections

Düsseldorf International Airport

Fourth largest airport in Germany with around 25.5 millions passengers and over 220,000 flights per year to over 248 destinations in 74 countries.
Fast connection to the city: only 13 minutes by car on average.

In comparison

Berlin (BER): 41 minutes
Munich (MUC): 39 minutes
Hamburg (HAM): 35 minutes
Frankfurt am Main (FRA): 21 minutes

Rail transport

~1,000 train movements per day
170 long-distance trains daily
Over 300 train stops at Düsseldorf airport railway station

Inland port

Third largest inland port in Germany with ~28 million tonnes of cargo handling and a total area of 720 ha

Our People

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The total population of Düsseldorf is growing and, during the work day, Düsseldorf grows nearly to a city of a million people with over 300,000 people commuting in to the city daily. In surveys, the population of Düsseldorf repeatedly confirms a very high level of satisfaction with the living conditions in the city.

Educational Attainment

Düsseldorf's population has a high level of education. 32% have a university degree. There are 17 universities and colleges in the city and over 70 in the Rhine-Ruhr region.

Income & Spending

Disposable per capita income of over 25,000€ and has the second highest purchasing power in Germany.

International-Friendly Background

  • Düsseldorf is an internationally-minded and cosmopolitan location

  • Over 40% of the population has immediate family or family with ancestry from countries outside Germany

  • 184 nations are represented

  • Home to the largest Japanese business community in the EU

  • Most important target for Chinese greenfield investments in Europe

  • A well-developed infrastructure of international schools and kindergartens

  • Domicile of 40 consulates or other consular representations

  • More than 2 million foreign overnight guests per year

  • Every tenth student is foreign

An International Business Center

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Düsseldorf is an important business location in the heart of Europe. The European metropolises of Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Paris, and Zurich can be reached from Düsseldorf Airport in just one hour's flight. 11.4 million inhabitants live within an hour's drive and more than 500,000 companies, too. There are currently over 38,000 companies based in Düsseldorf and the number is constantly growing. Furthermore, Düsseldorf is the headquarters of many national and international companies.

FDI in Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf is a top FDI location. The number of foreign companies is rising steadily. Today every 6th company has international roots. The growth of foreign companies from 2010 to 2019 was over 75% or ~2,200 companies.

Diversity of Businesses

The variety of industries and business-related services offer companies excellent conditions for their business activities. Traditional global players are located in Düsseldorf as well as agile start-ups. This diversity creates synergies and shows a high degree of stability, especially in times of crisis.

Growth in GDP

The strength of the economy is expressed by a continuously rising GDP.
GDP per employed person currently amounts to over 93,000€.
Growth of GDP from 2013 to 2018 was ~4,800€ or an increase of 5%.


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Around 542,400 people work in Düsseldorf. The number of employed people is rising continuously (approx. 10 % since 2015).

Here are some of the highlights of our talented employees:

26% are young professionals
35% are professionals
25% are academics
15% international employees
Over 35% of professionals are considered specialists or experts in their field
16% increase in specialist professions since 2013

High job density

Density of jobs (per 1,000 citizens): 969

In comparison:

Frankfurt: 935
Berlin: 849
Munich: 594
Total Germany: 839

Trade Fairs and Exposition Space

Düsseldorf is an important world-class trade fair location. 24 leading global trade fairs make it a top destination, attracting major exhibitors and visitors from around the world.

50 international trade fairs
24 leading international trade fairs
Over 305,000 m² of exhibition space
Up to 33,000 exhibitors per year
Up to 2 million visitors per year
Up to 70% of exhibitors are foreign
Over 70 years of global trade fair experience

Trades and exhibitions

Commercial Real Estate Market

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Düsseldorf is characterised by a dynamic, modern, and sustainable property market. Düsseldorf's attractiveness and economic power is also reflected in a steadily increasing demand for office space. Between 2014 and 2018, 317,000 m² of office space was built.

Currently, there are 47 business centres and coworking spaces with over 86,000 m² of space.