Population estimate, 2015: 567,000
GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 58,711
HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.892/19
Internet domain extension: .lu
Findel is the airport for Luxembourg. 1,643,000 passengers and 856,450 tonnes of freight were handled in 2007. The national carrier is Luxair, in which the state has a 39.05% stake directly along with a further 21.81% indirectly through the Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat (State and Savings Bank). Cargolux has developed into one of the major international freight carriers. In 2006 scheduled airline traffic of Luxembourg-based carriers flew 93 m. km, carrying 928,000 passengers (all on international flights).
In general the country resembles Belgium in its climate, with rain evenly distributed throughout the year. Average temperatures are Jan. 0.8 °C, July 17.5 °C. Annual rainfall 30.8″ (782.2 mm).
Constitution and Government
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy. The reigning Grand Duke is Henri, b. 16 April 1955, son of the former Grand Duke Jean and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium; succeeded 7 Oct. 2000 on the abdication of his father; married Maria Teresa Mestre 14 Feb. 1981. The separation of powers between the legislature and the executive is not very strong, resulting in much interaction between the two bodies. Only the judiciary is completely independent. The 12 cantons are divided into four electoral districts: the South, the East, the Centre and the North. Voters choose between party lists of candidates in multi-member constituencies. The parliament is the Chamber of Deputies, which consists of a maximum of 60 members elected for 5 years. There is a Council of State of 21 members appointed by the Sovereign.
On 1 Jan. 1999 the euro (EUR) became the legal currency in Luxembourg at the irrevocable conversion rate of 40.3399 Luxembourg francs to 1 euro. The euro, which consists of 100 cents, has been in circulation since 1 Jan. 2002. On the introduction of the euro there was a ‘dual circulation’ period before the Luxembourg franc ceased to be legal tender on 28 Feb. 2002. Euro banknotes in circulation on 1 Jan. 2002 had a total value of €5.6 bn.
There is a volunteer light infantry battalion of (2009) 900, of which only the career officers are professionals. In recent years Luxembourg soldiers and officers have been actively participating in peacekeeping missions, mainly in the former Yugoslavia. There is also a Gendarmerie of 600. In 2000 the Gendarmerie and the police force merged to form the Police Grand-Ducale. NATO maintains a squadron of E-3A Sentries. In 2013 defence expenditure totalled US$249 m. (US$484 per capita), representing 0.4% of GDP.
Services accounted for 86% of GDP in 2012 and industry 14%.
In 2004 the estimated total workforce was 301,000. The government fixes a legal minimum wage. Retirement is at 65. Employment creation was 3.2% in 2004–05. In Dec. 2014 the unemployment rate was 5.9%.
There were eight paid-for daily newspapers in 2008 with an average circulation of 117,000 and two free dailies with an average circulation of 127,000; there were also 15 non-dailies. The German-language Luxemburger Wort has the highest circulation, with an average of 72,000 copies in 2008. In the 2013 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, Luxembourg was ranked fourth out of 179 countries.
In 2011 there were 275 km of railway (standard gauge) of which 262 km were electrified; passenger-km totalled 349 m. in 2011.
According to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, an estimated 64.7% of the population in 2010 were Roman Catholics and 27.5% had no religious affiliation. There are small Protestant, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Muslim communities as well.
On 1 Jan. 2008 there were 2,894 km of roads of which 147 km were motorways. Motor vehicles registered at 1 Jan. 2008 numbered 394,917 including 321,520 passenger cars, 27,043 trucks, 1,455 coaches and 14,946 motorcycles. In 2009 there were 47 fatalities in road accidents.
2010 rates per 1,000 population; birth, 11.6; death, 7.4; marriage, 3.5; divorce, 2.1. Nearly half of annual births are to foreigners. In 2008 the most popular age range for marrying was 30–34 for males and 25–29 for females. Life expectancy at birth in 2013 was 78.0 years for males and 83.0 years for females. Annual population growth rate, 2005–10, 2.1%. Infant mortality, 2010, two per 1,000 live births (one of the lowest rates in the world); fertility rate, 2008, 1.7 births per woman. In 2009 Luxembourg received 477 asylum applications.
In 2013 there were 267,600 main (fixed) telephone subscriptions. Active mobile phone subscribers numbered 707,000 in 2008 (1,471.1 per 1,000 persons). There were an estimated 387,000 internet users in 2008. The fixed broadband penetration rate in Dec. 2010 was 33.5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. In March 2012 there were 190,000 Facebook users.
Territory and Population
Luxembourg has an area of 2,586 km2 (999 sq. miles) and is bounded on the west by Belgium, south by France and east by Germany. A census took place on 1 Feb. 2011; the population was 512,353 (including 220,522 foreigners); density, 198 per km2. The percentage of foreigners living in Luxembourg has increased dramatically in recent years, from 26% in 1986 to 43% in 2011 (the highest percentage in the EU). In 2011, 85.4% of the population were urban. The capital, Luxembourg, has (Feb. 2011 census) 95,058 inhabitants; Esch-sur-Alzette, the centre of the mining district, 30,125; Differdange, 21,935; Dudelange, 18,781; Pétange, 16,085; Sanem, 14,470; Hésperange, 13,335. Lëtzebuergesch is spoken by most of the population, and since 1984 has been an official language with French and German.
In 2010 there were 907,000 overnight tourists and 2,256,000 overnight stays; there were 7,751 hotel rooms in 2010. Tourists spent US$4,108 m. in 2010 (excluding passenger transport). Camping is widespread; there were 739,000 overnight stays at campsites in 2010.