Essen, Germany's ninth largest city, is situated in the heart of the Ruhr metropolis. That is the new name of the Ruhr area. The largest metropolitan area – after Paris and London the third largest conurbation in Europe – has become established in the heart of Germany. With a gross domestic product of € 144 billion in 2008, the Ruhr metropolis has become one of the leading European economic regions.
The Ruhr metropolis offers outstanding fields of competence with special investment and innovation potential of companies in the energy, logistics, chemicals, health, information and communications technology as well as micro system technology sectors. And the university landscape is unique. The Ruhr metropolis is an excellent location in the national and international study landscape.
The centre function of the city of Essen in this leading economic region and its centrality within a united Europe are clear location advantages for the economy. After the structural change from the former "coal-mining district", Essen has matured into the services capital of the Ruhr metropolis. Eight of the 100 highest earning companies in Germany have their company headquarters in the city of Essen.