Europe :: Luxembourg

Introduction ::Luxembourg

    Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a grand duchy in 1815 and an independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its territory to Belgium in 1839 but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both world wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area. In January 2013, Luxembourg assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.

Geography ::Luxembourg

People and Society ::Luxembourg

Government ::Luxembourg

    conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    conventional short form: Luxembourg
    local long form: Grand Duche de Luxembourg
    local short form: Luxembourg
    constitutional monarchy
    name: Luxembourg
    geographic coordinates: 49 36 N, 6 07 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    3 districts; Diekirch, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg
    1839 (from the Netherlands)
    National Day (Birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte) 23 June; note - the actual date of birth was 23 January 1896, but the festivities were shifted by five months to allow observance during a more favorable time of year
    17 October 1868; occasional revisions
    civil law system
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    chief of state: Grand Duke HENRI (since 7 October 2000); Heir Apparent Prince GUILLAUME (son of the monarch, born 11 November 1981)
    head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Claude JUNCKER (since 20 January 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Jean ASSELBORN (since 31 July 2004)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following popular elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; the deputy prime minister appointed by the monarch; they are responsible to the Chamber of Deputies
    note: government coalition - CSV and LSAP
    unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (60 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 7 June 2009 (next to be held by June 2014)
    election results: percent of vote by party - CSV 38%, LSAP 21.6%, DP 15%, Green Party 11.7%, ADR 8.1%, The Left 3.3%, other 2.3%; seats by party - CSV 26, LSAP 13, DP 9, Green Party 7, ADR 4, The Left 1
    note: there is also a Council of State that serves as an advisory body to the Chamber of Deputies; the Council of State has 21 members appointed by the Grand Duke on the advice of the prime minister
    highest court(s): Superior Court of Justice includes Court of Appeal and Court of Cassation (consists of 27 judges on 9 benches); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members)
    judge selection and term of office: judges of both courts appointed by the monarch for life
    subordinate courts: district and local tribunals and courts
    Alternative Democratic Reform Party or ADR [Jean SCHOOS]
    Christian Social People's Party or CSV [Michel WOLTER]
    The Left (dei Lenk/la Gauche) [Fabienne LENTZ and David WAGNER]
    Democratic Party or DP [Xavier BETTEL]
    Green Party [Sam TANSON and Christian GOEBEL]
    Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party or LSAP [Alex BODRY]
    other minor parties
    ABBL (bankers' association)
    ALEBA (financial sector trade union)
    Centrale Paysanne (federation of agricultural producers)
    CEP (professional sector chamber)
    CGFP (trade union representing civil service)
    Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce)
    Chamber of Artisans (Chambre des Metiers)
    FEDIL (federation of industrialists)
    Greenpeace (environment protection)
    LCGP (center-right trade union)
    Mouvement Ecologique (environment protection)
    OGBL (center-left trade union)
    ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jean-Louis WOLZFELD
    chancery: 2200 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 265-4171 through 72
    FAX: [1] (202) 328-8270
    consulate(s) general: New York, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Robert MANDELL
    embassy: 22 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais, L-2535 Luxembourg City
    mailing address: American Embassy Luxembourg, Unit 1410, APO AE 09126-1410 (official mail); American Embassy Luxembourg, PSC 9, Box 9500, APO AE 09123 (personal mail)
    telephone: [352] 46-01-23
    FAX: [352] 46-14-01
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and light blue; similar to the flag of the Netherlands, which uses a darker blue and is shorter; the coloring is derived from the Grand Duke's coat of arms (a red lion on a white and blue striped field)
    name: "Ons Heemecht" (Our Motherland); "De Wilhelmus" (The William)

    lyrics/music: Michel LENTZ/Jean-Antoine ZINNEN; Nikolaus WELTER/unknown
    note: "Ons Heemecht," adopted 1864, is the national anthem, while "De Wilhelmus," adopted 1919, serves as a royal anthem for use when members of the grand ducal family enter or exit a ceremony in Luxembourg

Economy ::Luxembourg

    This small, stable, high-income economy - benefiting from its proximity to France, Belgium, and Germany - has historically featured solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. The industrial sector, initially dominated by steel, has become increasingly diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. Growth in the financial sector, which now accounts for about 27% of GDP, has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Most banks are foreign-owned and have extensive foreign dealings, but Luxembourg has lost some of its advantages as a favorable tax location because of OECD and EU pressure. The economy depends on foreign and cross-border workers for about 40% of its labor force. Luxembourg, like all EU members, suffered from the global economic crisis that began in late 2008, but unemployment has trended below the EU average. Following strong expansion from 2004 to 2007, Luxembourg's economy contracted 3.6% in 2009, but rebounded in 2010-11 before slowing again in 2012. The country continues to enjoy an extraordinarily high standard of living - GDP per capita ranks among the highest in the world, and is the highest in the euro zone. Turmoil in the world financial markets and lower global demand during 2008-09 prompted the government to inject capital into the banking sector and implement stimulus measures to boost the economy. Government stimulus measures and support for the banking sector, however, led to a 5% government budget deficit in 2009. Nevertheless, the deficit was cut to 1.1% in 2011 and 0.9% in 2012. Even during the financial crisis and recovery, Luxembourg retained the highest current account surplus as a share of GDP in the euro zone, owing largely to their strength in financial services. Public debt remains among the lowest of the region although it has more than doubled since 2007 as percentage of GDP. Luxembourg's economy, while stabile, grew slowly in 2012 due to ongoing weak growth in the euro area. Authorities have strengthened supervision of domestic banks because of their exposure to the activities of foreign banks.
    $42.92 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    $42.87 billion (2011 est.)
    $42.17 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $56.74 billion (2012 est.)
    0.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    1.7% (2011 est.)
    2.9% (2010 est.)
    $81,100 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    $82,500 (2011 est.)
    $83,100 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    household consumption: 31%
    government consumption: 16.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 19.9%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 170.5%
    imports of goods and services: -138.3%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 0.4%
    industry: 13.6%
    services: 86% (2007 est.)
    grapes, barley, oats, potatoes, wheat, fruits; dairy and livestock products
    banking and financial services, iron and steel, information technology, telecommunications, cargo transportation, food processing, chemicals, metal products, engineering, tires, glass, aluminum, tourism
    6.2% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    country comparison to the world: 168
    note: data exclude foreign workers; in addition to the figure for domestic labor force, about 150,000 workers commute daily from France, Belgium, and Germany (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 2.2%
    industry: 17.2%
    services: 80.6% (2007 est.)
    6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    5.7% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.5%
    highest 10%: 23.8% (2000)
    26 (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    revenues: $23.78 billion
    expenditures: $24.43 billion (2012 est.)
    41.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    -1.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    19% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    18.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    2.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    3.4% (2011 est.)
    1.5% (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    1.75% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    $90.08 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $90.24 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $229.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    $97.74 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    $95.08 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $67.63 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    $101.1 billion (31 December 2010)
    $105.6 billion (31 December 2009)
    $500 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    $3.033 billion (2011 est.)
    $13.2 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    $19.22 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, steel products, chemicals, rubber products, glass
    Germany 21.6%, France 15.5%, Belgium 14.5%, UK 5.8%, Italy 5.6%, Switzerland 4.7% (2012)
    $23.29 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    $26.54 billion (2011 est.)
    minerals, metals, foodstuffs, quality consumer goods
    Belgium 30.9%, Germany 23.4%, France 10.4%, US 8.2%, China 7.2%, Netherlands 5.1% (2012)
    $991 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    $1.014 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.643 trillion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    $2.084 trillion (31 December 2011)
    $11.21 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)

Energy ::Luxembourg

Communications ::Luxembourg

    279,100 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    765,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    general assessment: highly developed, completely automated and efficient system, mainly buried cables
    domestic: fixed line teledensity over 50 per 100 persons; nationwide mobile-cellular telephone system with market for mobile-cellular phones virtually saturated
    international: country code - 352 (2010)
    Luxembourg has a long tradition of operating radio and TV services to pan-European audiences and is home to Europe's largest privately owned broadcast media group, the RTL group, which operates 46 TV stations and 29 radio stations in Europe; also home to Europe's largest satellite operator, Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES); domestically, the RTL group operates TV and radio networks; other domestic private radio and TV operators and French and German stations available; satellite and cable TV services available (2008)
    250,900 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    424,500 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 121

Transportation ::Luxembourg

    2 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    total: 1
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 1
    under 914 m:
    1 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 142 km; refined products 27 km (2013)
    total: 275 km
    country comparison to the world: 123
    standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (243 km electrified) (2008)
    total: 5,227 km
    country comparison to the world: 152
    paved: 5,227 km (includes 147 km of expressways) (2008)
    37 km (on Moselle River) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    total: 49
    country comparison to the world: 71
    by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 3, chemical tanker 20, container 10, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 12
    foreign-owned: 48 (Belgium 11, Denmark 1, France 15, Germany 9, Japan 3, Netherlands 3, Switzerland 1, UK 5)
    registered in other countries: 18 (Italy 14, Malta 3, Panama 1) (2010)

Military ::Luxembourg