Germany’s #1 cuture city is … (not Berlin)

Germany’s #1 cuture city is … (not Berlin)


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2016

Research published today by the Berenberg Bank and the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) has turned up a shift in the ranking of the country’s major cultural hubs.

The ranking is based on economic criteria of production and consumption – how many people work in the cultural sector and how many buy its products.

The top city in production (and overall) is … Stuttgart.

The #1 city in reception (but 6th in production ) is… Munich.


In Stuttgart 7.6 percent of social insurance contributions are paid in by employees in the cultural industry. In Munich the figure is 7%, Cologne 5.9%, Hamburg 5.1% and Berlin 5%.Berlin, with 37,000 artists, has the highest number of employed cultural workers.

Here are the top five cities in the overall ranking:

1 Stuttgart



2 Munich

3 Dresden

4 Berlin

5 Bonn


Hamburg is 7th, Frankfurt 11th, Leipzig 15th.



  • Justin Brown says:

    Dear Norman,
    The first five cities are unaltered since 2014, but newly in 6th place is… Karlsruhe. Proud of this relatively small and (outside of Germany) little-known city punching so far above its weight.