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Frankfurt am Main and the Rhine-Main region

The region is the central economic area in the state of Hesse. The state’s most important business and political centres are Frankfurt am Main, Offenbach am Main, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Mainz. The functional and geographical heart of the region is Frankfurt am Main.

The region’s other principal towns and cities are Rüsselsheim, Bad Homburg, Hanau, Aschaffenburg and, depending on definition, Marburg, Gießen, Limburg and Wetzlar.

The region’s boundaries are not clearly defined, but the overall Rhine-Main economic region comprises the following seven autonomous cities:

  • Frankfurt am Main
  • Offenbach am Main
  • Wiesbaden
  • Mainz
  • Worms
  • Darmstadt
  • Aschaffenburg

The 19 administrative districts (Landkreise) in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region are: Main-Taunus-Kreis, Hochtaunuskreis, Wetteraukreis, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Landkreis Offenbach, Kreis Groß-Gerau, Landkreis Aschaffenburg, Landkreis Miltenberg, Kreis Darmstadt-Dieburg, Odenwaldkreis, Kreis Bergstraße, Landkreis Alzey-Worms, Landkreis Mainz-Bingen, Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis, Landkreis Limburg-Weilburg, Landkreis Gießen, Vogelsbergkreis, Landkreis Fulda, Lahn-Dill-Kreis.

The metropolitan region covers an area of 14,800 km² and has a population of around 5.5 million. The Bergstraße district and the city of Worms are situated at the intersection with the neighbouring Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. The Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan region forms the inner delimitation of the Rhine-Main region (including the Starkenburg region).

The Rhine-Main research department delimits the region similarly on the basis of commuter movement patterns. According to this approach, the region’s core cities are Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Offenbach, Darmstadt and Hanau in Hesse, Aschaffenburg in Bavaria and Mainz in Rhineland-Palatinate, so by this demarcation the region also includes the Regierungsbezirk (administrative district) Darmstadt and Landkreis Limburg-Weilburg (Regierungsbezirk Gießen), Landkreis Aschaffenburg and Landkreis Miltenberg in Bavaria and Landkreis Alzey-Worms and Landkreis Mainz-Bingen in Rhineland-Palatinate. Researchers do not regard the Gießen-Friedberg area to the north as part of the region because these rural districts show few links with the core of the region.

The inner conurbation roughly corresponds to the area covered by the S-Bahn city railway system, which extends from Wiesbaden and Mainz in the west to Aschaffenburg in the east and from Friedberg and Bad Nauheim in the north to Darmstadt in the south.

The following towns, cities and municipalities belong to the Rhine-Main region in the state of Hesse:

  • The autonomous cities of Frankfurt am Main and Offenbach am Main
  • All towns, cities and municipalities in the Hochtaunuskreis, Main-Taunus-Kreis and Offenbach administrative districts
  • In the Main-Kinzig district, the towns and cities of Bruchköbel, Hanau, Langenselbold, Großkrotzenburg, Hammersbach, Neuberg, Niederdorfelden, Rodenbach, Ronneburg and Schöneck (Hesse)
  • In the Wetterau district, the towns and cites of Bad Nauheim, Bad Vilbel, Butzbach, Florstadt, Friedberg (Hesse), Karben, Münzenberg, Niddatal, Reichelsheim (Wetterau), Rosbach v. d. Höhe and the municipalities of Ober-Mörlen, Rockenberg, Wölfersheim, Wöllstadt
  • In the Groß-Gerau district, the towns and cities of Groß-Gerau, Kelsterbach, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Raunheim, Rüsselsheim and the municipalities of Bischofsheim, Ginsheim-Gustavsburg and Nauheim.

The Rhine-Main catchment area is very large, with around 350,000 people commuting into the Frankfurt area each day, some of them travelling over 100 km (approx. 62 miles) to their places of work. The commuter catchment area includes the entire Odenwald, Südpfalz, Rhön, Taunus and Westerwald, the Marburg/Gießen/Wetzlar region and the Kurpfalz. This makes the RMV Germany’s second-largest transport association.