Hessen (Germany) Click on a label to learn more
6.322520606 51.98 12.268249461 48.8 8.769239 50.814788 8.1352837 50.00 9.11814 51.11914 9.30229 50.6592 8.684692 50.083465 8.66819 49.87719 9.4075489 51.3133746 8.6805 50.1115 8.6509 49.8724


Students and faculty at Hessen’s diverse network of universities and research institutions benefit from the state’s robust and growing economy as well as its picturesque countryside, extensive cultural offerings, and outstanding quality of life.

Region Overview

With a population of 6 million inhabitants, Hessen is the fifth largest 'Bundesland' (regional state) in Germany, covering an area of 21,000 sqkm. The state is the most important financial center in the country and has one of the strongest economies of any region in Europe. Not only is Hessen a pivot of finance with over 400 banks, the stock exchange and the Bundesbank (Germany's central bank, setting interest rates and controlling money supply) in Frankfurt am Main; it is also an important industrial and technological base, host to countless international trade fairs and the site of the Rhine-Main airport, largest freight carrier and second-largest passenger airport in Europe.


Hessen is one of the most dynamic business regions in Europe has one of the strongest economies of in Germany. In addition to the high-technology sectors that generate strong revenues and exports, the booming services sector is driving rapid structural change and continuing economic growth in Hessen. The State of Hessen has the largest per capita GDP of any of the German federal states (see below). Future-oriented sectors such as environmental technology, logistics, medical technology, and nanotechnology are growing quickly, benefiting from the research infrastructure at Hessen universities and non-university research institutes. In the competition among German business regions, Hessen has the highest labor productivity and one of the best employment rates.

Hessen’s central location and transportation infrastructure are two key factors driving growth. The Frankfurt airport serves over 53 million passengers per year and all major European cities are available within three hours of flying time. The airport is directly linked to the robust rail system and Frankfurt Central Station, with 350,000 passengers per day, is the largest in Continental Europe.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
With the largest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of any of the German federal states, Hessen’s GDP total in 2006 equaled 209 billion Euros (roughly $282 billion US dollars) or 69,000 Euros per employee (roughly $93,000).


Hessen’s exports are dominated the chemical industry with chemical exports making up roughly 25% of the total 51 billion Euros ($70 billion US dollars) worth of goods and services exported each year. The chemical industry is located primarily in the RheinMain region and global companies include: Celanese, Clariant, Evonik Degussa, Fresenius, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi-Aventis, and Stada. Machines, vehicles/vehicle parts/accessories, and electrotechnical goods each also represent over 5 billion Euros per year ($6.7 billion US dollars). The three most important export markets for Hessen are France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in that order.


Hessen has a classic Central European climate with relatively long winters (November through March) and summers (June through September) and short periods of spring and fall. Average temperatures in summer months generally fluctuate between a high of 75° Fahrenheit (24° Celsius) and a low in the upper 50°s F (roughly 15° C). In winter, the temperature varies less, staying in a range between 32° F (0°C) and 36°F (2° C).

Annual Rainfall
The various regions in Hessen receive, roughly, 25 inches of rain per year, on average.


6.1 million people live in the state of Hessen. People from over 195 countries make Hessen their home and there are 11 international schools and over 20 international kindergartens. There are around 100 consulates located in the city of Frankfurt.

Overview of Higher Education

Higher education stands at the center of the Hessen economy and society. There are roughly 30 higher education institutions spread throughout the State of Hessen, including five major public research universities, five universities of applied sciences, and two academies of music, art and design. 100 research institutes across the state work closely with local and international industry and academia, depending on the topics and scope of their research. These include five Max Planck Institutes (focusing on basic research), three Fraunhofer Institutes (focusing on applied research), the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, and four Leibniz Institutes. Hessen is home to five Nobel Prize laureates among other world-class researchers.

Funding for higher education comes primarily from the State of Hessen, although the German Federal Government and the German Science Foundation (DFG) provide very significant funding for research. Both public institutions (where the majority of students study) and private, receive funds from the State, but are mostly autonomous entities. In the past few years, funding from both the State and Federal Governments have increased dramatically through new capital-building projects, funds for research and excellence in teaching, and student services. A modest tuition fee was introduced in 2008, but repealed later that same year meaning that most degree programs in Hessen have no tuition for domestic or international students.

Number of Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences

Number of universities and universities of applied sciences (total): 30

Number of universities and universities of applied sciences (private/non-state): 18

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 180,691

Number of international students: 24,344

Contact Information

Hessen Ministry for Higher Education, Research, and the Arts

Rheinstrasse 23-25, 65185 Wiesbaden, Germany

Web site: http://www.study-in-hessen.de or http://www.hmwk.hessen.de

Phone: +49 (611) 323-370

E-mail: erika.mueller-blass@hmwk.hessen.de

Contact: Erika Mueller-Blass, Director of International and European Affairs

Hessen Universities Consortium, Office in New York

871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

Web site: http://www.hessen-universities.org

Phone: +1 (212) 758-3408

E-mail: info@hessen-universities.org