A sufficient supply of professional services provided by independent professionals like lawyers, physicians, engineers etc. is of essential importance for the efficient economic development of a region. Therefore, regional politics often encourage business activities in this economic sector. However, liberal professions have seldom been in the focus of regional analyses so far. Using specially processed data of the German Microcensus, this study analyses the regional development of liberal professions in the Federal State of Northrhine-Westphalia between 2002 and 2011. In order to investigate the impact of the population density three different regions have been considered: the agglomeration areas on the river Ruhr and on the Rhine as well as the remaining, more sparsely populated areas of Northrhine-Westphalia. The results show considerable differences between the three regions with respect to the density, distribution and development of the professional services.
Suprinovič, O.; Brink, S.; Kranzusch, P. (2013): Entwicklung der Freien Berufe in Nordrhein-Westfalen und seinen Regionen im Zeitraum 2002 bis 2011, in: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (Hrsg.): Daten und Fakten Nr. 7, Bonn.