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Rhine boat

Cologne Profile

>Geography  |  Climate & environment  |  Population

When 83 German cities were put under the microscope in a study by the magazine Focus, Cologne came a proud second in this city test. The cathedral city was, above all, able to distinguish itself as a metropolis with the highest growth potential.

Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany and the largest in North Rhine-Westphalia. Over 2 million people live in the Cologne economic region, which also includes the city of Leverkusen, the Erft district, the Rhine-Bergisch district and the Oberbergisch district. Every leading industrial sector is represented here: in addition to the automotive industry, large international chemical and pharmaceutical firms are also prominent here, as well as the electrical and mechanical engineering industries and food production industries. As a former Hanseatic city, Cologne can look back on a long tradition as a centre for trade. For decades it has been an established location for the insurance sector as well as a venue for trade fairs. More than 10,000 companies focussing information technology services are situated in the district of the Cologne Chamber of Commerce. In recent years, growth in the media branches has been particularly dynamic: Cologne is now Germany's leading city for film, radio and television production. A high export ratio (more than 44 %) and the attractive trade location make the region a magnet for entrepreneurs as well as investors. Over 40 % of the entire gross domestic product of the European Union is generated within a radius of only 300 km around the city of Cologne.

Reviewing the expected profitability of real estate, the investors' magazine »Cash« characterised Cologne as the most promising location in Germany.
This may, in particular, be thanks to the flourishing Cologne media industry. Yet it is mainly the so-called soft location factors that go to make up the »feel good character« of the city, namely clear Veedel and yet a city atmosphere, a wide-ranging nightlife and international restaurants, an extensive range of museums, theatres and music events as well as stacks of addresses for sport and wellness.
The cultural panorama of the city covers a broad spectrum from fine art to literature, theatre and modern as well as classical music. Cologne, the city on the river, is also one of the greenest cities in Germany with many inner-city park areas, old alleys and a green belt running around the city. Small boarding houses as well as 5-star hotels are available for visitors to trade fairs, congresses or major cultural events. And visitors are always very welcome in the cathedral city with its Mediterranean flair and warm hospitality.

General information

Main station


Thus, Cologne lies at the centre of the region with the highest purchasing power in the European Union. Around 30 million people live in the local catchment area, within a radius of 500 km over 120 million and, thus, around a third of EU citizens.

Facts and Figures
Geographical position: with the ridge turret of the Cathedral as reference point: 50° 56' 33'' North / 6° 57' 32''
East of Greenwich
Altitude: 55 metres above sea level
Extension East-West: 27,6 km
Extension North-South: 28,1 km
Total area: 40.512 ha
Population: 1.020.116

Wetter Online


Climate & environment

Climatically, the Cologne region is part of the North-West German lowlands, and is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea. Cologne has a mild climate; the daily and yearly fluctuations in temperature are subdued, and precipitation is spread relatively uniformly throughout the year. In winter, the Cologne region is one of the warmest areas in Germany; snow which stays on the ground longer than a few days is the absolute exception. This advantage (at least for car drivers), is at the expense of a relatively large number of overcast days, and thus, in comparison to other German cities, the number of hours of sunshine is below average, as well air humidity being higher.
As an industrial location (»chemistry belt« and lignite power stations in the West of the city), Cologne was liable to high air pollution until well into the 1960s; the drastic increase in road traffic naturally also contributed to this. Biologically, the Rhine was largely a dead river. Following the desulphurisation of smoke from the power stations, and the introduction of the catalytic converter, the people of Cologne and visitors can once again breathe deeply. Thus, the yearly mean value of sulphur dioxide in the mid-1960s, in some cases of over 100 micrograms/m3, fell drastically at the end of the 1990s to 10 micrograms/m3. In the same period, the average carbon monoxide value also fell from 8 to 2 milligrams/ m3. Even the Rhine has once again become a relatively clean river through the joint efforts of the bordering states, and massive investment in purification plants, and has attracted back many species of fish such as, for example, the salmon.

Month Thermometer Sonne Regen
January 2,0 1,3 55
February 2,7 3,7 52
March 6,1 2,3 41
April 9,8 4,0 51
May 14,1 2,9 58
June 17,2 7,0 76
July 18,7 8,5 68
August 15,4 7,7 81
September 15,4 4,1 59
October 10,7 3,2 53
November 6,4 3,3 60
December 3,2 1,8 65


Average temperature (in °Celsius)
Sonne Average sunshine daily (in hours)
Regen Rainfall (in mm)
Weather, climate & ecology

drinking a beer


With approximately 1 million inhabitants, Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and the largest in North Rhine-Westphalia. Over 3 million people live in the industrial region, which also comprises the City of Leverkusen, the Erft District, the Rheinisch-Bergisch District, and the Upper Bergish District. In Cologne, the population density is around 2,380 people per km2, and in the entire region, 840 inhabitants per km2. Just under 20% of the total population of the City of Cologne are foreigners. There are a little over 500,000 households in the city, of which approximately half are single-person households; this trend is increasing.

Statistics & city development