Fürstentum Liechtenstein (Principality of Liechtenstein)
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Vaduz

  • Population estimate, 2015: 38,000

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 79,851

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.908/13

  • Internet domain extension: .li


There is a distinct difference in climate between the higher mountains and the valleys. In summer the peaks can often be foggy while the valleys remain sunny and warm, while in winter the valleys can often be foggy and cold whilst the peaks remain sunny and comparatively warm. Vaduz, Jan. 0 °C, July 20 °C. Annual rainfall 1,090 mm.

Constitution and Government

Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the princes of the House of Liechtenstein. The reigning Prince is Hans-Adam II, b. 14 Feb. 1945; he succeeded his father Prince Francis Joseph, 13 Nov. 1989 (he exercised the prerogatives to which the Sovereign is entitled from 26 Aug. 1984); married on 30 July 1967 to Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. The monarchy is hereditary in the male line. The present constitution of 5 Oct. 1921 provided for a unicameral parliament (Landtag) of 15 members elected for 4 years, but this was amended to 25 members in 1988. Election is on the basis of proportional representation. The prince can call and dismiss the parliament, and following a referendum held on 16 March 2003, dismiss the government and veto bills. On parliamentary recommendation, he appoints the ministers. According to the constitution, the Government is a collegial body consisting of five ministers including the prime minister.


Swiss currency has been in use since 1920 and became legal tender in 1924.


Liechtenstein is one of the world’s richest countries with a well diversified economy. Low taxes and bank secrecy laws have made Liechtenstein a successful financial centre.


The workforce was 32,435 in 2007, including employees commuting from abroad (16,242 in 2007). The farming population went down from 70% in 1930 to 1.1% in 2007. The rapid change-over has led to the immigration of foreign workers (Austrians, Germans, Italians, Swiss).


In 2008 there were two daily newspapers (Liechtensteiner Vaterland and Liechtensteiner Volksbatt) with an estimated total circulation of 20,000.


The 10 km of main railway passing through the country is operated by Austrian Federal Railways.


Religious affiliation at the 2010 census: Roman Catholic, 75.9%; Protestant, 8.5%; Muslim, 5.4%; other religion, 2.2%; no religion, 5.4%; not stated, 2.6%.


There are 400 km of roads. Postal buses are the chief means of public transportation within the country and to Austria and Switzerland. There were 28,102 cars in 2013. There were 403 road accidents in 2012 (one fatal).

Social Statistics

In 2011 there were 395 births and 248 deaths (rates of 10.9 per 1,000 population and 6.8 respectively). The annual population growth rate was 0.7% over the period 2007–12.


Liechtenstein had 18,559 main telephone lines in 2012 and 36,080 mobile phone subscriptions. In 2009 there were 751.9 fixed broadband subscriptions per 1,000 inhabitants and 452.2 mobile broadband subscriptions per 1,000 inhabitants.

Territory and Population

Liechtenstein is bounded on the east by Austria and the west by Switzerland. Total area 160 km2 (61.8 sq. miles). The population (Dec. 2011) was 36,475 (18,433 females), including 12,144 resident foreigners, giving a density of 228 per km2. The population of Liechtenstein is predominantly rural. Population of Schaan (2011), 5,853; Vaduz (2011), 5,236. The official language is German.


In 2008, 77,957 overnight tourists visited Liechtenstein.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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