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The regional economy


“Groningen is small enough to build strong relationships and large enough to think big.” - Koen Atema, founder Launch Café.

Amidst vast green fields lies the economic heart of the Northern Netherlands, the city of Groningen. With over 230 000 inhabitants, including 50 000 students, an increasingly international population, and a booming start-up scene, these are golden days for Groningen.

The University of Groningen is one of the world’s top 100 universities, the Hanze University for Applied Sciences Groningen one of the world’s most entrepreneurial colleges, and Groningen is also home to the University Medical Center Groningen, Gasunie, and numerous government agencies and service companies. Besides the city of Groningen, the province is also the site of the rapidly developing European data, energy and chemistry hubs at Eemshaven and the port of Delfzijl. Because of these developments Groningen has been marked as a European innovation leader in the latest innovation monitor (2017).

Distinguishing features of the regional economy in Groningen are

  • Leading role in bio-based economy and energy transition
  • Close collaboration between government, knowledge institutes and business
  • Strong growth in tech, ‘green’ chemistry and energy sectors

Basic facts & figures

The main sectors in the Groningen region are:

  • Agriculture and agribusiness
  • Health and life sciences (focus on healthy ageing)
  • Chemistry (focus on green chemistry and advanced materials)
  • Energy
  • Digital and tech

Please read more about these sectors in the sector information pages.

Province of Groningen

  • Total number inhabitants: 585 000
  • Total area: 2 960 km, 70% of which is farmland
  • Number of companies: 31 000 +
  • Number of companies with 100+ employees: 125
  • Number of farms: 28 800
  • Regional GDP (216): €24 billion (also includes gas extraction)

City of Groningen

  • Total number inhabitants: approx 230 000
  • Percentage inhabitants with university degree: 44%
  • Average age inhabitants: 36 years old
  • Number of companies: 18 000 +
  • Number of jobs: 140 000 +

More figures on the regional economy