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Economically weak regions benefit from the corona pandemic

Nowhere else in Germany is the economy flourishing as strongly as in the Munich area. But the corona pandemic has messed up the economic ranking a bit. Suddenly, cities in the Ruhr area are among the most dynamic in Germany.

According to a study by the German Economic Institute (IW), some structurally weak regions in western and northern Germany developed unusually well during the years of the corona pandemic. Cities such as Wuppertal, Dortmund and Kiel have traditionally been among the weakest economically – but in the current evaluation they are in the top group of particularly dynamic regions, the IW announced on Monday in Cologne.

For its ranking, the institute takes into account data on the economic structure, the labor market and the quality of life. The most successful economic region in Germany is still the greater Munich area with high purchasing power and low unemployment. A total of 13 from Bavaria are among the top 20 of the 400 German districts and urban districts.

But there has been movement in the ranking. In addition to the current economic level of the regions, the IW also looked at the dynamics of the regional economic data. There have been significant changes since the last evaluation. “Regions that ended up in the lower places two years ago are now leading the dynamic ranking,” said study author Hanno Kempermann. For example, the Ruhr area is coming up. Southern German regions fared significantly worse.

The IW wrote that districts and cities in which industry, but also the tourism and event industry or retail trade are strong, are currently struggling. Other municipalities that have already focused on the further development of the regional economy in recent years are among the beneficiaries. For example, Kiel – still at the bottom of the regional rankings two years ago – focused on improving the quality of life and was thus able to boost local commercial development at the location. Among other things, Wuppertal and Dortmund benefited from the fact that the cities had succeeded in becoming more attractive for young people.


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