Europe :: Luxembourg
page last updated on August 3, 2010
Flag of Luxembourg
Map of 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.
Geography ::Luxembourg
Western Europe, between France and Germany
Geographic coordinates:
49 45 N, 6 10 E
Map references:
total: 2,586 sq km
country comparison to the world: 178
land: 2,586 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Land boundaries:
total: 359 km
border countries: Belgium 148 km, France 73 km, Germany 138 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Current Weather
modified continental with mild winters, cool summers
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 extremes:
lowest point: Moselle River 133 m
highest point: Buurgplaatz 559 m
Natural resources:
iron ore (no longer exploited), arable land
Land use:
arable land: 27.42%
permanent crops: 0.69%
other: 71.89% (includes Belgium) (2005)
Irrigated land:
Total renewable water resources:
1.6 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.06 cu km/yr (42%/45%/13%)
per capita: 121 cu m/yr (1999)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
air and water pollution in urban areas, soil pollution of farmland
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note:
landlocked; the only Grand Duchy in the world
People ::Luxembourg
497,538 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.4% (male 47,133/female 44,205)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 167,377/female 164,990)
65 years and over: 14.8% (male 30,392/female 43,441) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.3 years
male: 38.3 years
female: 40.3 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.158% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
Birth rate:
11.7 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
Death rate:
8.46 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
Net migration rate:
8.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
urban population: 82% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.066 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.49 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 198
male: 4.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.48 years
country comparison to the world: 32
male: 76.22 years
female: 82.95 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.78 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 500 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
noun: Luxembourger(s)
adjective: Luxembourg
Ethnic groups:
Luxembourger 63.1%, Portuguese 13.3%, French 4.5%, Italian 4.3%, German 2.3%, other EU 7.3%, other 5.2% (2000 census)
Roman Catholic 87%, other (includes Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 13% (2000)
Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2000 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
3.4% of GDP (1999)
country comparison to the world: 131
Government ::Luxembourg
Country name:
conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
conventional short form: Luxembourg
local long form: Grand Duche de Luxembourg
local short form: Luxembourg
Government type:
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
Administrative divisions:
3 districts; Diekirch, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg
1839 (from the Netherlands)
National holiday:
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
Legal system:
based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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 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
Legislative branch:
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
Judicial branch:
judicial courts and tribunals (three Justices of the Peace, two district courts, and one Supreme Court of Appeals); administrative courts and tribunals (State Prosecutor's Office, administrative courts and tribunals, and the Constitutional Court); judges for all courts are appointed for life by the monarch
Political parties and leaders:
Alternative Democratic Reform Party or ADR [Robert MEHLEN]; Christian Social People's Party or CSV [Michel WOLTER]; dei Lenk/la Gauche (the Left); Democratic Party or DP [Claude MEISCH]; Green Party [Francois BAUSCH]; Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party or LSAP [Alex BODRY]; other minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
ABBL (bankers' association); ALEBA (financial sector trade union); Centrale Paysanne (federation of agricultural producers); CEP (professional sector chamber); CGFP (trade union representing civil service); Chambre de Commerce (Chamber of Commerce); Chambre des Metiers (Chamber of Artisans); FEDIL (federation of industrialists); Greenpeace (environment protection); LCGP (center-right trade union); Mouvement Ecologique (protection of ecology); OGBL (center-left trade union)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jean-Paul SENNINGER
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
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Cynthia STROUM
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
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)
Economy ::Luxembourg
Economy - overview:
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 28% of GDP, has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Most banks are foreign owned and have extensive foreign dealings. The economy depends on foreign and cross-border workers for about 60% of its labor force. Luxembourg, like all EU members, suffered from the global economic crisis that began in late 2008. Following strong expansion from 2004 to 2007, Luxembourg's economy contracted 0.9% in 2008 and 3.9% in 2009. Nonetheless, the country continues to enjoy an extraordinarily high standard of living - GDP per capita ranks third in the world, after Liechtenstein and Qatar, and is the highest in the EU. 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$38.37 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
$39.93 billion (2008 est.)
$40.31 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$47.06 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-3.9% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
-0.9% (2008 est.)
5.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$78,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$82,200 (2008 est.)
$83,900 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 13.6%
services: 86% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
205,000 of whom 125,400 are foreign cross-border workers commuting primarily from France, Belgium, and Germany (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.2%
industry: 17.2%
services: 80.6% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate:
5.9% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
4.4% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 23.8% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
26 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 132
Investment (gross fixed):
17.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
revenues: $21.09 billion
expenditures: $21.67 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
14.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
8% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
3.4% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
3% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 97
5% (31 December 2007)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Stock of money:
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders
Stock of quasi money:
Stock of domestic credit:
$369.6 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 23
$100.9 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 46
$66.46 billion (31 December 2008)
$166.1 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
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
Industrial production growth rate:
1.7% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
Electricity - production:
2.696 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
Electricity - consumption:
6.525 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Electricity - exports:
2.483 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
6.83 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Oil - consumption:
50,720 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Oil - exports:
168 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Oil - imports:
60,030 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
Natural gas - consumption:
1.268 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Natural gas - imports:
1.263 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
Current account balance:
$9.351 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$3.176 billion (2008 est.)
$14.18 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
$21.43 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, steel products, chemicals, rubber products, glass
Exports - partners:
Germany 19.78%, France 15.87%, Belgium 11.07%, UK 7.96%, Italy 7.49%, Netherlands 4.31% (2009)
$18.12 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$27.72 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
minerals, metals, foodstuffs, quality consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Belgium 27.22%, Germany 23.14%, China 18.62%, France 8.85%, Netherlands 5.06% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$810 million (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
$397.8 million (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$1.994 trillion (30 June 2009)
country comparison to the world: 9
$2.02 trillion (31 December 2008)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA (31 December 2009 est.)
$11.21 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7338 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005)
Communications ::Luxembourg
Telephones - main lines in use:
260,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 118
Telephones - mobile cellular:
707,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 149
Telephone system:
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 (2008)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
5 (1999)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
220,107 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 62
Internet users:
387,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 113
Transportation ::Luxembourg
2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 198
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
1 (2009)
gas 155 km (2009)
total: 275 km
country comparison to the world: 125
standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (243 km electrified) (2008)
total: 5,227 km
country comparison to the world: 151
paved: 5,227 km (includes 147 km of expressways) (2008)
37 km (on Moselle River) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 106
Merchant marine:
total: 45
country comparison to the world: 74
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 3, chemical tanker 15, container 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 9
foreign-owned: 44 (Belgium 7, Denmark 1, France 17, Germany 5, Netherlands 2, UK 8, US 4)
registered in other countries: 1 (Ukraine 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Military ::Luxembourg
Military branches:
Army (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
17-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; soldiers under 18 are not deployed into combat or with peacekeeping missions; no conscription; Luxembourg citizen or EU citizen with 3-year residence in Luxembourg (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 117,892
females age 16-49: 116,517 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 96,585
females age 16-49: 95,519 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 3,211
female: 3,057 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Transnational Issues ::Luxembourg
Disputes - international:

Source: The World Factbook (CIA)