For more than ten years the concept of European Metropolitan Regions is fixed in the German regional planning system. This article uses the shift-share-technique to assess the economic performance of the eleven German metropolitan areas based on a national comparison. Firstly, there is a clear differentiation of different sets of metropolitan regions. Secondly, four categories of regions are implemented to analyze intraregional growth patterns. Here the category of agglomerations around the metropolitan core is identified as the growth foci in German employment. The Hinterland of the metropolitan regions as kind of edge regions between agglomeration and rural areas is characterized by relatively low economic performance.