Photos of Luxembourg

Introduction

Background

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. In 1867, Luxembourg attained full independence under the condition that it promise perpetual neutrality. 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 EEC (later the EU), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency zone.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Western Europe, between France and Germany

Geographic coordinates

49 45 N, 6 10 E

Area

total: 2,586 sq km

land: 2,586 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 178

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Rhode Island; about half the size of Delaware

Land boundaries

total: 327 km

border countries (3): Belgium 130 km, France 69 km, Germany 128 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

modified continental with mild winters, cool summers

Terrain

mostly gently rolling uplands with broad, shallow valleys; uplands to slightly mountainous in the north; steep slope down to Moselle flood plain in the southeast

Elevation

mean elevation: 325 m

lowest point: Moselle River 133 m

highest point: Buurgplaatz 559 m

Natural resources

iron ore (no longer exploited), arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 50.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 24% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 26.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 33.5% (2018 est.)

other: 15.8% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

most people live in the south, on or near the border with France

Natural hazards

occasional flooding

Geography - note

landlocked; the only grand duchy in the world

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Luxembourger(s)

adjective: Luxembourg

Ethnic groups

Luxembourger 51.1%, Portuguese 15.7%, French 7.5%, Italian 3.6%, Belgian 3.3%, German 2.1%, Spanish 1.1%, British 1%, other 14.6% (2019 est.)

note: data represent population by nationality

Languages

Luxembourgish (official administrative and judicial language and national language (spoken vernacular)) 55.8%, Portuguese 15.7%, French (official administrative, judicial, and legislative language) 12.1%, German (official administrative and judicial language) 3.1%, Italian 2.9%, English 2.1%, other 8.4% (2011 est.)

Religions

Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic) 70.4%, Muslim 2.3%, other (includes Buddhist, folk religions, Hindu, Jewish) 0.5%, none 26.8% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.73% (male 54,099/female 51,004)

15-24 years: 11.78% (male 37,946/female 36,061)

25-54 years: 43.93% (male 141,535/female 134,531)

55-64 years: 12.19% (male 39,289/female 37,337)

65 years and over: 15.37% (male 43,595/female 52,984) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 42.8

youth dependency ratio: 22.2

elderly dependency ratio: 20.5

potential support ratio: 4.9 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 39.5 years

male: 38.9 years

female: 40 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Birth rate

11.62 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 165

Death rate

7.26 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Net migration rate

12.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Population distribution

most people live in the south, on or near the border with France

Urbanization

urban population: 91.5% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 1.55% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

120,000 LUXEMBOURG (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

30.7 years (2017 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.78 years

male: 80.31 years

female: 85.39 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 98.8% of population

total: 99% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 1.2% of population

total: 1% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

3.01 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

4.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 99.9% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0.1% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<100 (2018 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 14.2%

male: 16.3%

female: 11.9% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

conventional short form: Luxembourg

local long form: Grand Duche de Luxembourg

local short form: Luxembourg

etymology: the name derives from the Celtic "lucilem" (little) and the German "burg" (castle or fortress) to produce the meaning of the "little castle"; the name is actually ironic, since for centuries the Fortress of Luxembourg was one of Europe's most formidable fortifications; the name passed to the surrounding city and then to the country itself

Government type

constitutional monarchy

Capital

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

etymology: the name derives from the Celtic "lucilem" (little) and the German "burg" (castle or fortress) to produce the meaning of the "little castle"; the name is actually ironic, since for centuries the Fortress of Luxembourg was one of Europe's most formidable fortifications; the name passed to the city that grew around the fortress

Administrative divisions

12 cantons (cantons, singular - canton); Capellen, Clervaux, Diekirch, Echternach, Esch-sur-Alzette, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, Mersch, Redange, Remich, Vianden, Wiltz

Independence

1839 (from the Netherlands)

National holiday

National Day (birthday of Grand Duke HENRI), 23 June; note - this date of birth is not the true date of birth for any of the Royals, but the national festivities were shifted in 1962 to allow observance during a more favorable time of year

Constitution

history: previous 1842 (heavily amended 1848, 1856); latest effective 17 October 1868

amendments: proposed by the Chamber of Deputies or by the monarch to the Chamber; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Chamber in two successive readings three months apart; a referendum can be substituted for the second reading if approved by more than a quarter of the Chamber members or by 25,000 valid voters; adoption by referendum requires a majority of all valid voters; amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: limited to situations where the parents are either unknown, stateless, or when the nationality law of the parents' state of origin does not permit acquisition of citizenship by descent when the birth occurs outside of national territory

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Luxembourg

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

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 Xavier BETTEL (since 4 December 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Etienne SCHNEIDER (since 4 December 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Felix BRAZ (since 5 December 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister, appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; deputy prime minister appointed by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister are responsible to the Chamber of Deputies

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (60 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - a 21-member Council of State appointed by the Grand Duke on the advice of the prime minister serves as an advisory body to the Chamber of Deputies

elections: last held on 14 October 2018 (next to be held by October 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - CSV 28.3%, LSAP 17.6%, DP 16.9%, Green Party 15.1%, ADR 8.3%, Pirate Party 6.4%, The Left 5.5%, other 1.9%; seats by party - CSV 21, DP 12, LSAP 10, Green Party 9, ADR 4, Pirate Party 2, The Left 2; composition - men 46, women 14, percent of women 23.3%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme 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: Court of Accounts; district and local tribunals and courts

Political parties and leaders

Alternative Democratic Reform Party or ADR [Jean SCHOOS]
Christian Social People's Party or CSV [Marc SPAUTZ]
Democratic Party or DP [Corinne CAHEN]
Green Party [Francoise FOLMER, Christian KMIOTEK]
Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party or LSAP [Claude HAAGEN]
The Left (dei Lenk/la Gauche) [collective leadership, Central Committee]
other minor parties

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, 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, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sylvie LUCAS (since 16 September 2016)

chancery: 2200 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-4171

FAX: [1] (202) 328-8270

consulate(s) general: New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador James Randolph "Randy" EVANS (since 19 June 2018)

telephone: [352] 46-01-23 00

embassy: 22 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais, L-2535 Luxembourg City

mailing address: Unit 3560, APO AE 09126-3560 (official mail)

FAX: [352] 46-14-01

Flag description

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)

National symbol(s)

red, rampant lion; national colors: red, white, light blue

National anthem

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

Economic overview

This small, stable, high-income economy has historically featured solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. Luxembourg, the only Grand Duchy in the world, is a landlocked country in northwestern Europe surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany. Despite its small landmass and small population, Luxembourg is the fifth-wealthiest country in the world when measured on a gross domestic product (PPP) per capita basis. Luxembourg has one of the highest current account surpluses as a share of GDP in the euro zone, and it maintains a healthy budgetary position, with a 2017 surplus of 0.5% of GDP, and the lowest public debt level in the region.

Since 2002, Luxembourg’s government has proactively implemented policies and programs to support economic diversification and to attract foreign direct investment. The government focused on key innovative industries that showed promise for supporting economic growth: logistics, information and communications technology (ICT); health technologies, including biotechnology and biomedical research; clean energy technologies, and more recently, space technology and financial services technologies. The economy has evolved and flourished, posting strong GDP growth of 3.4% in 2017, far outpacing the European average of 1.8%.

Luxembourg remains a financial powerhouse – the financial sector accounts for more than 35% of GDP - because of the exponential growth of the investment fund sector through the launch and development of cross-border funds (UCITS) in the 1990s. Luxembourg is the world’s second-largest investment fund asset domicile, after the US, with $4 trillion of assets in custody in financial institutions.

Luxembourg has lost some of its advantage as a favorable tax location because of OECD and EU pressure, as well as the "LuxLeaks" scandal, which revealed advantageous tax treatments offered to foreign corporations. In 2015, the government’s compliance with EU requirements to implement automatic exchange of tax information on savings accounts - thus ending banking secrecy - has constricted banking activity. Likewise, changes to the way EU members collect taxes from e-commerce has cut Luxembourg’s sales tax revenues, requiring the government to raise additional levies and to reduce some direct social benefits as part of the tax reform package of 2017. The tax reform package also included reductions in the corporate tax rate and increases in deductions for families, both intended to increase purchasing power and increase competitiveness.

Real GDP growth rate

2.31% (2019 est.)

3.14% (2018 est.)

1.81% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.7% (2019 est.)

1.5% (2018 est.)

1.7% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (1994)

Moody's rating: Aaa (1989)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (1994)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$70.966 billion (2019 est.)

$69.373 billion (2018 est.)

$67.28 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 106

GDP (official exchange rate)

$71.089 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$114,482 (2019 est.)

$114,110 (2018 est.)

$112,823 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 4

Gross national saving

16.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

17.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

17.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 12.8% (2017 est.)

services: 86.9% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 30.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 16.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 16.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 230% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -194% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 69.6 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 88.8 (2020)

Trading score: 100 (2020)

Enforcement score: 73.3 (2020)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, barley, triticale, potatoes, pork, beef, grapes, rapeseed, oats

Industries

banking and financial services, construction, real estate services, iron, metals, and steel, information technology, telecommunications, cargo transportation and logistics, chemicals, engineering, tires, glass, aluminum, tourism, biotechnology

Labor force

476,000 (2020 est.)

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

country comparison to the world: 156

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 1.1%

industry: 20%

services: 78.9% (2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.5%

highest 10%: 23.8% (2000)

Budget

revenues: 27.75 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 26.8 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

23% of GDP (2017 est.)

20.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include 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 intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental 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

country comparison to the world: 183

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$3.254 billion (2019 est.)

$3.296 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Exports

$133.61 billion (2019 est.)

$132.487 billion (2018 est.)

$131.834 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Exports - partners

Germany 23%, France 13%, Belgium 12%, Netherlands 6%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

iron and iron products, tires, cars, broadcasting equipment, clothing and apparel  (2019)

Imports

$111.287 billion (2019 est.)

$110.275 billion (2018 est.)

$110.656 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

Imports - partners

Belgium 27%, Germany 24%, France 11%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, scrap iron, aircraft (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$878 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$974 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 137

Debt - external

$4,266,792,000,000 (2019 est.)

$4,581,617,000,000 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.82771 (2020 est.)

0.90338 (2019 est.)

0.87789 (2018 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 268,043

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 43.43 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 837,890

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135.76 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: highly developed; by 2020 the government is to provide a 1Gb/s service to all citizens, and to make Luxembourg the first fully fibered country in Europe; new law requiring SIM cards be registered has slowed down growth for mobile subscribers; regulator planning a multi-spectrum auction for 5G use by mid-2020 (2020)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity about 43 per 100 persons; nationwide mobile-cellular telephone system with market for mobile-cellular phones virtually saturated with 136 per 100 mobile-cellular (2019)

international: country code - 352

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

Luxembourg has a long tradition of operating radio and TV services for 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

Internet users

total: 587,955

percent of population: 97.06% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 148

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 224,300

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 106

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 66

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,099,102 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7,323,040,000 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1 (2019)

over 3,047 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1 (2013)

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2013)

Pipelines

142 km gas, 27 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 275 km (2014)

standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (275 km electrified) (2014)

country comparison to the world: 124

Waterways

37 km (on Moselle River) (2010)

country comparison to the world: 104

Merchant marine

total: 150

by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 1, general cargo 21, oil tanker 3, other 121 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 73

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Mertert (Moselle)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Luxembourg Army (l'Armée Luxembourgeoise) (2021)

Military expenditures

0.64% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.54% of GDP (2019)

0.5% of GDP (2018)

0.51% of GDP (2017)

0.4% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 152

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Luxembourg Army has approximately 900 active personnel (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of Luxembourg's Army is a small mix of European and US equipment; since 2010, it has received small quantities of equipment from Germany, Norway, and Sweden (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (abolished 1969); Luxembourg citizen or EU citizen with 3-year residence in Luxembourg (2021)

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 83 (2019)