Hamburg remains the best place to do business in Germany, according to a recent survey that compared the country's 16 states. While the south is also doing well, some eastern regions are beginning to catch up, too.
Hamburg's cool northen climate seems to charm business people
For the third time in a row, the northern city state has brought home the title of Germany's business-friendliest region. According to the survey by Bertelsmann Foundation, the metropolis outdid other prospering states in terms of employment and income of its 1.7 million residents.
It ranked first despite doing worst in the third category, public safety, as Hamburg has the highest crime rate and does worst in terms of solving them.
Frankfurt: Almost like Manhattan. Almost.
The runners-up can all be found in Germany's south, however. Bavaria came a close second, followed by the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse, home of Germany's financial capital, Frankfurt.
Berlin is problem child
Germany's political capital on the other hand remains at the bottom of the ranking.
"Berlin continues to suffer from a lack of economic growth and catastrophic budget problems," Robert Vehrkamp, who headed the study. "It remains a problem child."
Tourism is Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania's main source of income
The country's largest city with 3.5 million people came second-to-last, behind Brandenburg and followed only by the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania.
Catching up in eastern Germany
Other eastern German states are doing much better, however.
"After a long dry spell, we can see things improving in the new states for the first time," the foundation's president, Heribert Meffert, told reporters. Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt all improved their rating even though they still remain at the lower end of the list.
Researchers also presented a ranking according to the efforts by politicians to improve the business climate in their states. In that list, Hamburg only made it to ninth place while Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate head the list.