North Rhine-Westphalia

coat of arms North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia is a very diverse state, with vibrant business centres, bustling cities and peaceful natural landscapes. The state is home to one of the strongest industrial regions in the world and offers one of the most vibrant cultural landscapes in Europe. An open-minded look to the future – that’s what North Rhine-Westphalia is all about.



The three largest cities

Cologne (1,060,582 inhabitants)
Düsseldorf (612,178 inhabitants)
Dortmund (586,181 inhabitants)


34,112.52 km²


17,865,516 inhabitants

Number of foreign nationals

2,512,865 people

The five largest countries of origin:

  • Turkey
  • Poland
  • Syria
  • Italy
  • Romania

Important industries

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Metalwork, metal production and processing
  • Chemicals
  • Healthcare / logistics
  • Banks and insurances
  • Information and communications (new media)

Regional characteristics

  • Welcoming and international business location with a longstanding tradition in integrating foreign expatriates
  • Excellent jobs with international corporations and successful SMEs
  • Home to many “hidden champions” who are worldwide leaders in their field

Information on the state
Information portal about North Rhine-Westphalia (German, English, French, Dutch, Turkish)

NRW invest
Facts and figures about North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location (German, English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Turkish)

Information for immigrants Integration in NRW
Advice for international professionals on issues such as work, education and funding (German)

Recognition authorities and advisory centres
Points of initial contact for having your foreign professional qualifications recognised (German)

IHK Fachkräftemonitor NRW
Information on staff requirements by regions and industries (German)
Detailed information about living, studying and learning in the Ruhr region. (German, English)

Welcome Center

Welcome Center Essen
Service centre for international professionals (German, English) ordner_33/buergeraemter/welcomecenter/welcomecenter_1.en.html