Information about North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is Germany's true center of gravity. It is the largest Federal State of Germany in terms of population (more than 18 million inhabitants) and economic output (22 percent of Germany's GDP). The state is situated in western Germany and has two neighboring countries, Belgium and the Netherlanders as well as three neighboring federal states.
Though fourth in terms of area, it has Germany's strongest economic output and largest population. Draw a 500-km radius around Düsseldorf, NRW's capital, and you will encircle almost 150 million people, representing almost one third of all consumers and 45 percent of purchasing power in the EU. As such, NRW has become a hub for business, with a very large concentration of foreign companies basing their German or European operations here, and attracting the most foreign investment of all German states.
The state offers excellent infrastructure, from international airports to a high-speed rail network on which you can pass from coal-mining and steel-production areas to others dense with bio-chemical and high-tech companies, from Europe's largest inland port in Duisburg to extensive agricultural areas.
The region also boasts the EU's highest density of educational facilities, with dozens of universities, technology centers, and research facilities forming one of the world's most dynamic R&D landscapes. NRW is also the world's top trade fair location, with over 60 events attracting almost 6 million visitors annually. Cities such as Aachen, Cologne, and Düsseldorf combine historical interest with avant-garde cultural offerings, making NRW one of the world's most important cultural regions, too.