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Milan in Figures

Over 5% of Italian companies and 35% of Lombardy companies are concentrated in the Milan area. The industrial companies of Milan and its province produce approximately 9% of the added value of Italian industry and export a share equal to 10% of national exports (about 33 thousand million Euro).

Generated Wealth (2008) € 134 billion € 1.409 billion
Annual GDP Per Capita (2008) € 34.082 € 23.551
Number of Active Companies (2011) 285.264 5.275.515
Employment Rate (2011) Total 66,5% 56,9%
Female 58,9% 46,1%
Unemployment Rate (2011) 5,8% 8,4%

Thanks to the presence of very dynamic productive fabrics, characterised by positive interaction between the industrial and tertiary sectors, the province of Milan is the centre of excellence for business services. The province holds 53% of the region’s local sector units and 11% of Italian units, while 64% of regional sector employees and 17% of national sector employees are also concentrated here.

Milan enterprises are leaders in important commodity sectors:

  • instrumental mechanics;
  • furnishings - design - fashion;
  • chemical and pharmaceutical;
  • health-healthcare;
  • media and publishing;
  • information technology;
  • finance and insurance;
  • management consulting and corporate organisation;
  • marketing – market research – advertising – public relations.

International Vocation

Milan is home to over 2,000 foreign invested enterprises, equal to 45% of those present in Italy, and to thousands of small and medium sized enterprises, as well as to large national enterprises. On the whole it is a multi-sector, multi-dimensional, international, integrated system, and one that represents the driving force of the Italian economy and is one of the main pivots of the European economy (the Lombardy region is one of Europe’s four engines).

Milan is also home to 91 consulates, 16 foreign government commercial offices, 34 foreign government tourist offices or boards and 17 bilateral chambers of commerce. Thanks to these figures Milan ranks second to New York among the non-capital cities with the highest consular presence in the world, proving its international prestige.


Milan is Italy’s financial capital, with 121 banking institutes, of which approximately half are foreign, and with thousands of financial brokerage companies. The Milan Stock Exchange, one of Europe’s most important, has 332 listed companies, has an average on daily trades equal to 3 billion Euro and in 2010 the market capitalisation of listed companies totalled 425 billion Euro, equal to more than 27% of Italian GDP.

Green Economy

The Milan area is a context of absolute importance to environmental issues and energy: it has more than 350 companies active in various sectors, with a total turnover exceeding 50 billion euro and more than 25,000 employees only in the province of Milan.

These are firms that are in different areas - water, air, waste, external noise, soil and drainage, energy efficiency, energy from conventional sources, energy from renewable sources and hydrogen - with activities ranging from counselling and from provision of services to the design, manufacture and marketing of systems and technical components. About 30% of these companies carries out research and development, and the most active sector in terms of patents is the energy efficiency one (by company size and availability of capital).

Research, Education and Culture

In the Milan area there are seven universities, some with long-standing and prestigious tradition, others more recent, and many of the country’s most highly qualified research centres and laboratories. The fact that approximately 25% of Italian patents are deposited in the Milan area bears witness to the area’s propensity for technical innovation, as do the investments in research and development, estimated to be in the order of 30% of the entire investments made at national level, a substantial part of which is sustained in Milan by private enterprises.

The city boasts numerous important cultural centres like the Scala Theatre, the Museum of the Twentieth Century, the Triennale and its Design Museum, the Science and Technology Museum and the Sforza Castle, home of the Civic Museums and other collections from different historical periods. In Milan there are 60 museums, including the Brera Gallery, the Ambrosiana Gallery, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci, 11% of national heritage, 150 galleries and art exhibitions.

Milan Trade Fair

The Milan Trade Fair is Europe’s leading exhibition centre and one of the most important at world level. The trade fair system of Lombardy’s regional capital is divided into two exhibition areas: the New Rho-Pero Pole, designed by the architect Massimiliano Fuksas and inaugurated in 2005, and the City Pole, created from the redevelopment of the historical Milan trade fair district. The two poles cover a total surface area of over 710,000m2; the New Pole has a gross indoor surface area of 345,000 m2 and an outdoor surface area of 60,000 m2, while the City Pole has a total gross indoor exhibition area of 115,000 m2.

In addition to hosting a great number of internationally important trade fairs and events each year, Fieramilano provides Italy’s most extensive congress area which, thanks to expansion plans that have already been drawn up and are currently undergoing implementation, will become the largest congress centre in Europe.

Milan in 2015

In 2015 Milan will host the Universal Exposition on the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. EXPO 2015 will be an event that will give international visibility to the milanese and Italian traditions, creativity and innovation in the fields of alimentation and quality of life, science for health, education and training, solidarity and international cooperation.

During the 6 months of the exhibition thousands events are scheduled, with 20 to 24 million tickets sold for a total of 21 million visitors. The EXPO site will extend over 1.1 million m2 and in preparation for the event infrastructural investments worth over 1.700 million euro are scheduled throughout the Milan area.