The metropolitan regions in Germany are eleven densely populated areas in the Federal Republic of Germany. They comprise the major German cities and their surrounding catchment areas and form the political, commercial and cultural centres of the country. The eleven metropolitan regions in Germany were organised into political units for planning purposes.
Using a narrower definition of metropolises, only four cities surpass the threshold of at least one million inhabitants, namely: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.
The five most important regions, collectively often called the "big five", are frequently compared with other European metropolitan areas for investments and market development. They are (from north to south): Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf/Cologne, Frankfurt am Main and Munich. Globalization and World Cities Study Group (GaWC) considers Frankfurt and Munich "α" (Alpha) Global Cities, while the others are considered "β" (Beta) global cities.
Each of them forms types of clusters and achieves varying levels of performance in areas such as business activity, human capital, information and technology exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.