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Vibrant Heart of Europe’s Digital Landscape
With 81% of the German population (around 62 million) using the internet on a regular basis, Germany boasts the most internet users in Europe. This significant digital economy customer base is also coupled with the highest total purchasing power in Europe (EUR 1,894 billion), making Germany a crucial player in the global digital economy. In line with the rest of Germany’s stable economy, the internet economy has faced no downturn from the European economic crisis.
In 2016, Germany’s internet economy recorded revenues of more than EUR 111 billion – equivalent to a 9% increase. There are more than 92,000 IT companies in Germany, employing more than one million IT professionals. This steady growth is allowing the German internet economy to establish itself as a major force in Europe’s strongest economy.
A significant feature of the German economy is the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These companies represent 99.95% of all German companies (around 3.67 million) and employ another 68% of the working population (29.1 million). These companies are best characterized by heavy investment and sustained technological and market innovation; features that have allowed them to become world leaders in a number of important industries and niche markets. These SMEs also trained more than 1.2 million young adults (89% of all trainees) and developed 75% of all patents and innovations in 2015. A strong commitment to investment and innovation has also allowed these businesses to perform well in the internet economy, leading to a high level of diversification and a vibrant digital ecosystem where dominant industry giants are few and far between. This leads to an environment with few barriers to entry, allowing new and innovative start-ups – or “smart-ups” – the opportunity to enter this ever-growing industry.