2006-10-10

Luxembourg (State)

Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg
The flag's design was based on the flag of France.

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.
Source: CIA Factbook

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
- lowest point: Moselle River 133 m
- highest point: Buurgplaatz 559 m

Population: 474,413 (July 2006 est.)

Median Age: 38.7 years
Birth Rate: 11.94 births/1,000 population
Death Rate: 8.41 deaths/1,000 population

Life expectancy: 78.89 years (total)
- male: 75.6 years
- female: 82.38 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV: less than 500

Religions: 87% Roman Catholic, 13% Protestants, Jews, and Muslims

Independence: 1839 (from the Netherlands)

Administrative Divisions:
3 districts; Diekirch, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg

Executive Branch:
Chief of state: Grand Duke Henri (since 7 October 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker (since 1 January 1995)


ECONOMY OVERVIEW
This stable, high-income economy - benefitting from its proximity to France, Belgium, and Germany - features 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. Agriculture is based on small family-owned farms. The economy depends on foreign and cross-border workers for more than 30% of its labor force. Although Luxembourg, like all EU members, has suffered from the global economic slump, the country enjoys an extraordinarily high standard of living - GDP per capita ranks first in the world.

Labor Force:
316,500 of whom 121,600 are foreign cross-border workers commuting primarily from France, Belgium, and Germany (2005 est.)

Industries:
banking and financial services, iron and steel, information technology, telecommunications, cargo transportation, food processing, chemicals, metal products, engineering, tires, glass, aluminum, tourism

GDP per capita: $69,800 (April 2006)
Gross domestic product is often used as an indicator of standard of living in an economy. The per capita income for a group of people may be defined as their total personal income, divided by the total population. Per capita income is usually reported in units of currency per year.
List of Countries by GDP (PPP)

Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (2005 est.)

Currency: EURO (I hope everyone knows already...)

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