The Richest And Poorest States In Germany

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on August 1 2017 in Economics

Hamburg is one of the richest German states by GDP.

Germany is a federal republic situated in central Europe. The nation covers an extensive area of 357,104 square kilometers making it one of the largest European countries. Germany has the highest population among the European Union states with an estimated population of 82 million residents as at 2015. The country’s constitution adopted in May 24th, 1949 moved authority from the federal government to the individual states that make up the country. For four decades, Germany was divided into East Germany and West Germany. In 1989, East and West Germany unified after relentless protests mainly in East Germany. Germany became a federation of 16 states after the unification of the two sides. While the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s richest state by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Hamburg leads regarding GDP per capita. The state Bremen had the lowest amount of Gross Domestic Product.

Germany’s economy is one of the world’s largest economies. It’s huge manufacturing and services industries drive the country’s economy. Germany is third on the list of world’s biggest exporters. The country is known for its high-quality exports. Its economy is projected to grow driven by thriving motor and electronics industries. However, Germany needs to open up its economy to allow foreigners to invest in the country.

North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia has the highest population among German states at approximately 18 million residents. In 2015, its GDP was 645.6 billion Euros making it the wealthiest state in Germany. Out of the ten largest cities in Germany, four are situated in North Rhine-Westphalia. Düsseldorf is North Rhine-Westphalia’s capital. The State was formed after the merger of two provinces namely; North Rhine and Westphalia. It was famous for steel and coal deposits in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, North Rhine-Westphalia has an extensive mechanical production industry. More than 37 major corporations conduct their operations from North Rhine-Westphalia. The state also has a thriving creative industry with designers and artists excelling in the field.


Bavaria is Germany’s largest state in land area covering an area of 70,548 square kilometers. The state had the second highest GDP in Germany at 549.2 billion Euros in 2015. Bavaria is richer than many countries in the world. It has a large automobile and motorcycle industry with major manufacturers such as Allianz, Audi, and Grundig in the state. Additionally, world famous companies such as Adidas, Puma, and BMW have their headquarters in Bavaria. Munich is Bavaria’s largest city and capital as well.


Bremen is Germany’s smallest state occupying an area of 419 square kilometers. The state is comprised of two cities namely Bremerhaven and Bremen. The cities are in two different enclaves in the Northern region of Germany. The two cities lie on the banks of River Weser. Although Bremen is a large port city with advanced shipping facilities, it contributes the least GDP among German states. In 2015, the state had a GDP of 31.6 billion Euros making it the poorest state in Germany.


Saarland State is situated in South West Germany. Its capital city is Saarbrucken. Saarland has a thriving mining industry with rich coal deposits and iron ores. The state also has an agricultural sector that produces vegetables, grains, fruits, and dairy products. Most of the goods manufactured in Saarland are exported to France. Despite the state’s growing economy, it is ranked as the second poorest state in Germany after Bremen. In 2015, Saarland had a GDP of 35 billion Euros.

The Richest And Poorest States In Germany

RankStatesGDP per capita (EUR€)RankStatesGDP (billion EUR€)Share of total GDP (%)
1 Hamburg61,7291 North Rhine-Westphalia645.59021.3
2 Bremen47,6032 Bavaria549.19018.1
3 Bavaria43,0923 Baden-Württemberg460.68715.2
4 Hesse43,0734 Hesse263.4448.7
5 Baden-Württemberg42,7455 Lower Saxony258.5308.5
6 North Rhine-Westphalia36,5096 Rhineland-Palatinate131.9514.4
7 Berlin35,6277 Berlin124.1614.1
8 Saarland35,4098 Saxony112.6583.7
9 Lower Saxony32,8909 Hamburg109.2713.6
10 Rhineland-Palatinate32,81410 Schleswig-Holstein85.6102.8
11 Schleswig-Holstein30,13411 Brandenburg65.2942.2
12 Saxony27,77612 Thuringia56.8111.9
13 Brandenburg26,49313 Saxony-Anhalt56.2171.9
14 Thuringia26,36414 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern39.8691.3
15 Saxony-Anhalt25,19815 Saarland35.0281.2
16 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern24,90916 Bremen31.5901.0

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