The IW Regional Ranking 2022 shows the regional impact of the Corona pandemic in terms of prosperity, economic development and social participation. Both industrial and service-based cities and counties were affected by challenges from infection control measures and international supply chain disruptions, for example.
In the examination of the 400 districts and independent cities, the evaluation of regional development was assessed on the one hand according to the status quo or level of the region (success value) and on the other hand according to its observable dynamics (development). The latter is mapped within a two-year period, which for the most part covers 2018 as the base year.
Already in the overview, some regions from the Rhine-Main area can be found in the top 10. While in the level ranking the Main-Taunus district occupies a top position with second place, another district, the Hochtaunus district in 8th place, also achieved high scores. In terms of dynamics, two independent cities from the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan region are among the ten regions with the strongest growth: Wiesbaden in 6th place and Offenbach am Main in 8th place.
The IW study states with regard to the Rhine-Main region:
While the centre of Frankfurt am Main misses out on the top 10 in 12th place, the Main-Taunus district (2nd place) is among the regions with the highest standards. The Hochtaunus district also reaches the top 10 in 8th place. The greater Frankfurt area convinces with a strong labour market and an efficient economy. Only in the area of quality of life does the financial centre of Frankfurt am Main score poorly due to high migration rates of 30 to 50 year-olds, an above-average number of criminal offences compared to the rest of Germany, fewer natural areas and a high level of over-indebtedness. Overall, the Frankfurt am Main metropolitan area can nevertheless place itself as the second strongest economic region in Germany.
The particularly dynamic regions (top 10) are distributed among the Flächenländer Schleswig-Holstein, Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. While the two cities from the Rhine-Main region already mentioned could not yet be found among the ten strongest regions in the IW Regional Ranking 2020, they are represented there in this year’s ranking.
The IW regional ranking opens up the possibility of being able to compare the level and dynamics of a region with each other and thus identify challenges for regional development and derive options for action based on this. These combinations were identified in a 2×2 matrix: outperformers, climbers, decliners and underperformers.
The 93 outperformers, where both level and dynamics are high, are distributed throughout Germany. They are mainly located around urban centres and agglomerations, such as Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main. This includes, for example, the Main-Taunus district.
Upwardly mobile regions are conspicuous for their weak level and strong dynamics. These are mainly found in the west, including Hesse, and in the north of the country.
Regions that have been designated as relegated or underperformers require increased attention because they have lacked or lost economic dynamism in recent years.