The aim of this study was to provide nationwide hemiarthroplasty (HA) rates and total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) rates in Germany based on the DRG data of the years 2005 and 2006. We included 11 435 HA and 5 134 TSA and calculated age-specific rates, age-standardised rates and regional-specific (German Federal Land - Bundesland) rates. The age-standardised HA rates were 3.6 per 100,000 person years (men) and 9.3 per 100,000 person years (women) and clearly exceeded the age-standardised TSA rates of 1.7 per 100,000 person years (men) and 3.7 per 100,000 person years (women). The age-specific HA rates topped the corresponding age-specific TSA rates. The regional-specific rates fluctuate extensive, particularly in TSA. The large regional differences in shoulder arthroplasty rates could due to differences in the clinical handling of shoulder arthroplasty, particularly in TSA.