|Grand Duchy of
||Luxembourgish, French, German
|Form of government
||UTC + 1
|Telephone area code
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a landlocked country
in Central Europe and, with an area of 2,586 km², is
one of the smallest countries in the world. The country
borders Germany to the east, France to the south,
Belgium to the west and north .
Despite its small size, Luxembourg has two major
landscapes. The Ösling in the north as part of the
Ardennes represents a plateau divided by rivers, which
is on average at an altitude of 400 to 500 m. In the
Ösling lies the highest elevation in the country, the
Buurgplaatz with 559 m. To the south is the fertile
Gutland, which is slightly wavy and belongs to the
Lorraine strata. The most important rivers in Luxembourg
are the Moselle (Moselle), which forms part of the
border with Germany in the southeast, the Sauer (Sûre),
the Clerf (Clerve) and the Our.
The capital city of Luxembourg is centrally located
in the Grand Duchy.
The climate in Luxembourg is temperate and influenced
by the Atlantic. The average January temperatures in the
capital are 0 ¡ã C, in July an average of 17 ¡ã C is
measured. The temperatures in Ösling in the north of the
country are somewhat lower. The average rainfall in the
capital is around 750 mm, in the somewhat higher
locations in the north of the country up to 1,000 mm are
Flora and fauna
Deciduous deciduous forests with beech and oak as
remains of the original vegetation can still be found
today in the Ösling in the northern part of Luxembourg.
Holly and heather family are also typical. The south of
the country (Gutland) is used more intensively for
agriculture. In the south-east of Luxembourg there are
some Mediterranean plant species (eg labiate flowers).
Typical Central European mammals such as fox, red
deer, wild boar, badger, squirrel and pine marten mainly
live in the forest areas of the country. Birds include
herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers and various raptors
such as buzzards and falcons.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 462,500 people live in the Grand Duchy of
Luxembourg, around 30% of whom come from other European
countries, especially Portugal and Italy. The average
population density is around 179 residents per square
kilometer. Around 92% of the population live in cities,
the largest city is Luxembourg with around 77,500
residents, followed by Esch-sur-Alzette with 27,900 and
Differdange with 18,900. The most sparsely populated is
the north of the country (Ösling).
There are three official languages in the Grand
Duchy: French, German and Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch),
a Moselle-Franconian dialect that was set as the third
official language in 1984 and is used as the vernacular.
87% of the population of Luxembourg belong to the
Catholic Church. Protestants and Jews form religious
Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries in the
world, and the standard of living is correspondingly
high. Social and health care are very well developed.
Population growth is around 1.25%. The average life
expectancy is 79 years. School attendance is compulsory
for children aged six to 15 years. German is the
language of instruction in primary school and French in
secondary schools. There has been an independent
university since 2003.
According to the constitution of 1868, which is still
in force today, Luxembourg is a constitutional
hereditary monarchy. The head of state is the Grand Duke
(Henri of Luxembourg since October 2000). The Grand Duke
has extensive powers: he appoints and dismisses the
government, enforces all laws and can dissolve the
parliament. In fact, it performs almost exclusively
representative tasks. The legislature lies with the
Parliament (Chambre des D¨¦put¨¦s), whose 60 deputies are
elected by the people for a term of five years. The head
of the government (Xavier Bettel since December 2013) is
usually the representative of the strongest party in
parliament and is appointed by the Grand Duke.The State
Council, whose 21 members are also appointed by the
Grand Duke, has an advisory role.
Since the Second World War, three large political
groups have dominated the party landscape: the
bourgeois-conservative "Christian Social People's Party"
(CSV), the "Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party" (LSAP)
and the liberal "Democratic Party" (DP ). Other parties
are the Greens (D¨¦i Gr¨¦ng) and the "Action Committee for
Democracy and Pension Justice" (ADR).
Luxembourg is divided into three districts (Diekirch,
Grevenmacher, Luxembourg) with twelve cantons.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is among the top
wealthy countries. The median per capita income is one
of the highest in the world. It is characterized by
stable economic growth (2012: 0.3%). In addition, there
is low unemployment (2012: 5.1%) and a moderate
Favorable tax laws meant that a large number of
foreign banks and credit institutions settled in
Luxembourg and that the financial sector now generated a
quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP). In the
entire service sector, which contributes 86% to GDP, 78%
of the workforce is employed.
The agricultural sector in Luxembourg, on the other
hand, is economically irrelevant, even though around 45%
of the country's land can be used for agriculture.
Cattle breeding dominates. Grain, potatoes and wine (Moselle)
Until recently, iron and steel works dominated in
industry. Today, the manufacturing industry is becoming
increasingly important. These include the chemical,
rubber, glass, textile and plastics industries as well
as mechanical engineering, paper and food production and
the electronics industry. Luxembourg has deposits of
iron ore, slate, lime, sand and gravel.
The country mainly exports metal goods, machinery,
plastics and rubber articles to Germany, France and
Belgium. Above all, vehicles, fuels, machines and
equipment are imported, again mainly from the other EU
The road network in Luxembourg comprises around 5 160
km of paved road, 274 km are available on rail. There is
an international airport east of the capital.
The currency is the euro.