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Luxembourg vs. Belgium

Introduction

LuxembourgBelgium
BackgroundFounded 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. In 1867, Luxembourg attained full independence under the condition that it promise perpetual neutrality. 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 EEC (later the EU), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency zone.
Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Political divisions between the Dutch-speaking Flemish of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. Its capital, Brussels, is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.

Geography

LuxembourgBelgium
LocationWestern Europe, between France and Germany
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands
Geographic coordinates49 45 N, 6 10 E
50 50 N, 4 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 2,586 sq km
land: 2,586 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 30,528 sq km
land: 30,278 sq km
water: 250 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Rhode Island
about the size of Maryland
Land boundariestotal: 327 km
border countries (3): Belgium 130 km, France 69 km, Germany 128 km
total: 1,297 km
border countries (4): France 556 km, Germany 133 km, Luxembourg 130 km, Netherlands 478 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
66.5 km
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define outer limit
continental shelf: median line with neighbors
Climatemodified continental with mild winters, cool summers
temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy
Terrainmostly gently rolling uplands with broad, shallow valleys; uplands to slightly mountainous in the north; steep slope down to Moselle flood plain in the southeast
flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 325 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Moselle River 133 m
highest point: Buurgplaatz 559 m
mean elevation: 181 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: North Sea 0 m
highest point: Botrange 694 m
Natural resourcesiron ore (no longer exploited), arable land
construction materials, silica sand, carbonates, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 50.7%
arable land 24%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 26.1%
forest: 33.5%
other: 15.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 44.1%
arable land 27.2%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 16.1%
forest: 22.4%
other: 33.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
230 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes
Environment - current issuesair and water pollution in urban areas, soil pollution of farmland
intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries
Environment - international agreementsparty 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
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, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelandlocked; the only grand duchy in the world
crossroads of Western Europe; most West European capitals are within 1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO
Population distributionmost people live in the south, on or near the border with France
most of the population concentrated in the northern two-thirds of the country; the southeast is more thinly populated; considered to have one of the highest population densities in the world; approximately 97% live in urban areas

Demographics

LuxembourgBelgium
Population582,291 (July 2016 est.)
11,409,077 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 16.82% (male 50,445/female 47,525)
15-24 years: 12.26% (male 36,578/female 34,788)
25-54 years: 44.34% (male 132,434/female 125,748)
55-64 years: 11.63% (male 34,321/female 33,379)
65 years and over: 14.95% (male 38,614/female 48,459) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 17.12% (male 1,000,155/female 952,529)
15-24 years: 11.47% (male 667,760/female 640,364)
25-54 years: 40.25% (male 2,315,256/female 2,277,308)
55-64 years: 12.76% (male 720,823/female 735,225)
65 years and over: 18.4% (male 911,199/female 1,188,458) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 39.2 years
male: 38.6 years
female: 39.9 years (2016 est.)
total: 41.4 years
male: 40.2 years
female: 42.7 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.05% (2016 est.)
0.73% (2016 est.)
Birth rate11.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
11.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate16.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
5.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 82.3 years
male: 79.8 years
female: 84.9 years (2016 est.)
total population: 81 years
male: 78.4 years
female: 83.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.61 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.78 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
NA
Nationalitynoun: Luxembourger(s)
adjective: Luxembourg
noun: Belgian(s)
adjective: Belgian
Ethnic groupsLuxembourger 53.3%, Portuguese 16.2%, French 7.2%, Italian 3.5%, Belgian 3.4%, German 2.2%, British 1.1%, other 13.2%
note: data represent population by nationality (2016 est.)
Belgian 75%, Italian 4.1%, Moroccan 3.7%, French 2.4%, Turkish 2%, Dutch 2%, other 12.8% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
NA
ReligionsRoman Catholic 87%, other (includes Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 13% (2000)
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant and other Christian 2.5%, Jewish 2.5%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist 0.3%, atheist 9.2%, none 32.6% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesLuxembourgish (official administrative and judicial language and national language (spoken vernacular)) 88.8%, French (official administrative, judicial, and legislative language) 4.2%, Portuguese 2.3%, German (official administrative and judicial language) 1.1%, other 3.5% (2011 est.)
Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2012)
total: 20 years
male: 19 years
female: 21 years (2014)
Education expenditures4.1% of GDP (2012)
6.4% of GDP (2011)
Urbanizationurban population: 90.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.71% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 97.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.48% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 98.5% of population
total: 97.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 1.5% of population
total: 2.4% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.5% of population
rural: 99.4% of population
total: 99.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.5% of population
rural: 0.6% of population
total: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationLUXEMBOURG (capital) 107,000 (2014)
BRUSSELS (capital) 2.045 million; Antwerp 994,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate10 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
7 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures6.6% of GDP (2014)
10.6% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.92 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
2.97 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density5.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
6.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.8% (2014)
22.1% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth30.2 years (2012 est.)
28.2 years (2010 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 43.7
youth dependency ratio: 23.6
elderly dependency ratio: 20.1
potential support ratio: 5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 54.2
youth dependency ratio: 26.1
elderly dependency ratio: 28.1
potential support ratio: 3.6 (2015 est.)

Government

LuxembourgBelgium
Country name"conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
conventional short form: Luxembourg
local long form: Grand Duchee de Luxembourg
local short form: Luxembourg
etymology: from the Celtic ""lucilem"" (little) and the German ""burg"" (castle or fortress) to produce the meaning of the ""little castle""
"
conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium
conventional short form: Belgium
local long form: Royaume de Belgique (French)/Koninkrijk Belgie (Dutch)/Koenigreich Belgien (German)
local short form: Belgique/Belgie/Belgien
etymology: the name derives from the Belgae, an ancient Celtic tribal confederation that inhabited an area between the English Channel and the west bank of the Rhine in the first centuries B.C.
Government typeconstitutional monarchy
federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Capitalname: 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
name: Brussels
geographic coordinates: 50 50 N, 4 20 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 divisions12 cantons (cantons, singular - canton); Capellen, Clervaux, Diekirch, Echternach, Esch-sur-Alzette, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, Mersch, Redange, Remich, Vianden, Wiltz
3 regions (French: regions, singular - region; Dutch: gewesten, singular - gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region (Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form), Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form), Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form), Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form)
note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; the 2012 sixth state reform transferred additional competencies from the federal state to the regions and linguistic communities
Independence1839 (from the Netherlands)
4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)
National holidayNational Day (Birthday of Grand Duke HENRI), 23 June; note - this date of birth is not the true date of birth for any of the Royals, but the national festivities were shifted in 1962 to allow observance during a more favorable time of year
Belgian National Day (ascension to the throne of King LEOPOLD I), 21 July (1831)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1842 (heavily amended 1848, 1856); latest effective 17 October 1868
amendments: proposed by the Chamber of Deputies or by the monarch to the Chamber; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Chamber in two successive readings three months apart; a referendum can be substituted for the second reading if approved by more than one-quarter of the Chamber members or by 25,000 valid voters; adoption by referendum requires a majority of all valid voters; amended many times, last in 2009 (2016)
"history: drafted 25 November 1830, approved 7 February 1831, entered into force 26 July 1831, revised 14 July 1993 (creating a federal state)
amendments: ""revisions"" proposed as declarations by the federal government in accord with the king or by Parliament followed by dissolution of Parliament and new elections; adoption requires two-thirds majority vote of a two-thirds quorum in both houses of the next elected Parliament; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
"
Legal systemcivil law system
civil law system based on the French Civil Code; note - Belgian law continues to be modified in conformance with the legislative norms mandated by the European Union; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief 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 Xavier BETTEL (since 4 December 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Etienne SCHNEIDER (since 4 December 2013)
cabinet: Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister, appointed by the monarch
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; deputy prime minister appointed by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister are responsible to the Chamber of Deputies
chief of state: King PHILIPPE (since 21 July 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH, daughter of the monarch
head of government: Prime Minister Charles MICHEL (since 11 October 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander DE CROO (since 22 October 2012), Jan JAMBON (since 11 October 2014), Kris PEETERS, Didier REYNDERS (since 30 December 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers formally appointed by the monarch
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and approved by Parliament
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (60 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - a 21-member Council of State appointed by the Grand Duke on the advice of the prime minister serves as an advisory body to the Chamber of Deputies
elections: last held on 20 October 2013 (next to be held by October 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - CSV 33.7%, LSAP 20.3%, DP 18.3%, Green Party 10.1%, ADR 6.6%, The Left 4.9%, other 6.1%; seats by party - CSV 23, LSAP 13, DP 13, Green Party 6, ADR 3, The Left 2
description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat in French (60 seats; 50 members indirectly elected by the community and regional parliaments based on their election results, and 10 elected by the 50 other senators; members serve 5-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch, Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
note: the 1993 constitutional revision that further devolved Belgium into a federal state created three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six governments, each with its own legislative assembly; changes above occurred since the sixth state reform
elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held on 23 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019); note - elections will coincide with the EU's elections
election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - N-VA 20.3%, PS 11.7%, CD&V 11.6%, Open VLD 9.8%, MR 9.6%, SP.A 8.8%, Groen! 5.3%, CDH 5.0% Workers' Party 3.7%, VB 3.7%, Ecolo 3.3%, Defi 1.8%, PP 1.5%, other 3.9%; seats by party - N-VA 33, PS 23, CD&V 18, Open VLD 14, MR 20, SP.A 13, Groen! 6, CDH 9, Workers' Party 2, VB 3, Ecolo 6, Defi 2, PP 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Superior Court of Justice includes Court of Appeal and Court of Cassation (consists of 27 judges on 9 benches); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: judges of both courts appointed by the monarch for life
subordinate courts: Court of Accounts; district and local tribunals and courts
highest court(s): highest court(s): Constitutional Court or Grondwettelijk Hof in Dutch and Cour constitutionelle in French (consists of 12 judges - 6 Dutch-speaking and 6 French-speaking); Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie in Dutch and Cour de Cassation in French (court organized into 3 chambers: civil and commercial; criminal; social, fiscal, and armed forces; each chamber includes a Dutch division and a French division, each with a chairperson and 5-6 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by Parliament; judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 70; Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by the High Council of Justice, a 44-member independent body of judicial and non-judicial members; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; regional courts; specialized courts for administrative, commercial, labor, immigration, and audit issues; magistrate's courts; justices of the peace
Political parties and leadersAlternative Democratic Reform Party or ADR [Jean SCHOOS]
Christian Social People's Party or CSV [Marc SPAUTZ]
Democratic Party or DP [Corinne CAHEN]
Green Party [Francoise FOLMER and Christian KMIOTEK]
Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party or LSAP [Claude HAAGEN]
The Left (dei Lenk/la Gauche) [Central Committee]
other minor parties
Flemish parties:
Christian Democratic and Flemish or CD&V [Wouter BEKE]
Flemish Liberals and Democrats or Open VLD [Gwendolyn RUTTEN]
Groen! [Meyrem ALMACI] (formerly AGALEV, Flemish Greens)
New Flemish Alliance or N-VA [Bart DE WEVER]
Social Progressive Alternative or SP.A [John CROMBEZ]
Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) or VB [Tom VAN GRIEKEN]
Francophone parties:
Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Patrick DUPRIEZ and Zakia KHATTABI]
Francophone Federalist Democrats or Defi [Olivier MAINGAIN]
Humanist and Democratic Center or CDH [Benoit LUTGEN]
People's Party or PP [Mischael MODRIKAMEN]
Reform Movement or MR [Olivier CHASTEL]
Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO]
Workers' Party or PTB [Peter MERTENS]
other minor parties
Political pressure groups and leadersBusiness Federation Luxembourg or FEDIL [Nicolas BUCK, chairman]
Centrale Paysanne [Marc FISCH] (federation of agricultural producers)
Chamber of Artisans (Chambre des Metiers) [Roland KUHN]
Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce) [Carlo THELEN]
Chambre des Salaries or CSL [Jean-Claude REDING]
General Association of Officials (Confederation Generale de la Fonction Publique or CGFP [Romain WOLFF] (trade union representing civil service)
Greenpeace [Kumi NAIDOO]
LCGP [Patrick DURY] (center-right trade union)
Luxembourg Association of Bankers and Insurance Employees or ALEBA [Roberto SCOLATI]
Luxembourg Bankers Association or ABBL [Yves MAAS]
Mouvement Ecologique [Blanche WEBER] (environment protection)
OGB-L [Andre ROELTGEN] (center-left trade union)
Belgian General Federation of Labor [Rudy DE LEEUW, Marc GOBLET]
Confederation of Christan Trade Unions [Marc LEEMANS, Marie-Helene SKA]
Federation of Enterprises in Belgium [Pieter TIMMERMANS, Bernard GILLOT]
other: numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; trade unions; various organizations representing the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as BEPax and groups representing immigrants
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Sylvie LUCAS (since 16 September 2016)
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
chief of mission: Ambassador Dirk Jozef M. WOUTERS (since 16 September 2016)
chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USUS chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Alison SHORTER-LAWRENCE (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: 22 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais, L-2535 Luxembourg City
mailing address: Unit 3560, APO-AE 09126-3560 (official mail)
telephone: [352] 46-01-23 00
FAX: [352] 46-14-01
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Matthew LUSSENHOP (since 21 January 2017)
embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent [Regentlaan], B-1000 Brussels
mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710
telephone: [32] (2) 811-4000
FAX: [32] (2) 811-4500
Flag descriptionthree 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)
three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the vertical design was based on the flag of France; the colors are those of the arms of the duchy of Brabant (yellow lion with red claws and tongue on a black field)
National anthem"name: ""Ons Heemecht"" (Our Motherland); ""De Wilhelmus"" (The William)
lyrics/music: Michel LENTZ/Jean-Antoine ZINNEN; Nikolaus WELTER/unknown
note: ""Ons Heemecht,"" adopted 1864, is the national anthem, while ""De Wilhelmus,"" adopted 1919, serves as a royal anthem for use when members of the grand ducal family enter or exit a ceremony in Luxembourg
"
"name: ""La Brabanconne"" (The Song of Brabant)
lyrics/music: Louis-Alexandre DECHET[French] Victor CEULEMANS [Dutch]/Francois VAN CAMPENHOUT
note: adopted 1830; according to legend, Louis-Alexandre DECHET, an actor at the theater in which the revolution against the Netherlands began, wrote the lyrics with a group of young people in a Brussels cafe
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion; national colors: red, white, light blue
lion; national colors: red, black, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: limited to situations where the parents are either unknown, stateless, or when the nationality law of the parents' state of origin does not permit acquisition of citizenship by descent when the birth occurs outside of national territory
citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a citizen of Luxembourg
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Belgium
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

LuxembourgBelgium
Economy - overviewThis small, stable, high-income economy has historically featured solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. Luxembourg, the only Grand Duchy in the world, is a landlocked country in northwestern Europe surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany. Despite its small landmass and small population, Luxembourg is the second-wealthiest country in the world when measured on a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita basis. Luxembourg has one of the highest current account surpluses as a share of GDP in the euro zone, and it maintains a healthy budgetary position and the lowest public debt level in the region.

Since 2002, the Luxembourg government has proactively implemented policies and programs to support economic diversification and to attract foreign direct investment. The government focused on key innovative industries that showed promise for supporting economic growth: logistics, information and communications technology (ICT); health technologies, including biotechnology and biomedical research; clean energy technologies;, and most recently, space technology and financial services technologies. The economy has evolved and flourished, posting a strong GDP growth rate – projected at 4.5% in 2017-2018, far outpacing the European average of 1.8%.

Luxembourg remains a financial powerhouse – the financial sector accounts for more than 35% of GDP - due to the exponential growth of the investment fund sector through the launch and development of cross-border funds (UCITS) in the 1990s. Luxembourg is the world’s second-largest investment fund asset domicile, after the United States, with $4 trillion of assets in custody in financial institutions.

Luxembourg has lost some of its advantage as a favorable tax location because of OECD and EU pressure, as well as the “LuxLeaks” scandal, which revealed advantageous tax treatments offered to foreign corporations. In 2015, the government’s compliance with EU requirements to implement automatic exchange of tax information on savings accounts - thus ending banking secrecy - has constricted banking activity. Likewise, changes to the way EU members collect taxes from e-commerce has cut Luxembourg’s sales tax revenues, requiring the government to raise additional levies and to reduce some direct social benefits as part of the tax reform package of 2017.
Belgium’s central geographic location and highly developed transport network have helped develop a well-diversified economy, with a broad mix of transport, services, manufacturing, and high tech. Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. Belgium is 100% reliant on foreign sources of fossil fuels, and the planned closure of its seven nuclear plants by 2025 should increase its dependence on foreign energy. Its role as a regional logistical hub makes its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly with EU trading partners. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries.

Belgium’s GDP grew by 1.4% in 2016, unemployment ended at 8.4%, and the budget deficit was 2.7% of GDP. The economy largely recovered from the March 2016 terrorist attacks, which mainly impacted the Brussels region tourist and hospitality industry. Prime Minister Charles MICHEL's center-right government has pledged to further reduce the deficit in response to EU pressure to decrease Belgium's high public debt of about 107% of GDP, but such efforts could also dampen economic growth. In addition to restrained public spending, low wage growth and higher inflation promise to curtail a more robust recovery in private consumption.

The government has pledged to pursue a reform program to improve Belgium’s competitiveness, including changes to tax policy, labor market rules, and welfare benefits. These changes have generally made Belgian wages more competitive regionally, but risk worsening tensions with trade unions and triggering extended strikes.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$58.74 billion (2016 est.)
$56.75 billion (2015 est.)
$54.13 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$508.6 billion (2016 est.)
$501.4 billion (2015 est.)
$494.6 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.5% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
4.1% (2014 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)
1.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$102,000 (2016 est.)
$100,800 (2015 est.)
$98,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$44,900 (2016 est.)
$44,700 (2015 est.)
$44,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.2%
industry: 11.1%
services: 88.7% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.6%
industry: 21.8%
services: 77.6% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
15.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 23.8% (2000)
lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2006)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.1% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
Labor force272,000
note: data exclude foreign workers; in addition to the figure for domestic labor force, about 150,000 workers commute daily from France, Belgium, and Germany (2016 est.)
5.272 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.1%
industry: 20%
services: 78.9% (2013 est.)
agriculture: 1.3%
industry: 18.6%
services: 80.1% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate6.7% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
8.4% (2016 est.)
8.5% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.4 (2013 est.)
26 (2005 est.)
25.9 (2013 est.)
28.7 (1996)
Budgetrevenues: $25.85 billion
expenditures: $25.52 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $232.3 billion
expenditures: $245 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesbanking and financial services, construction, real estate services, iron, metals, and steel, information technology, telecommunications, cargo transportation and logistics, chemicals, engineering, tires, glass, aluminum, tourism, biotechnology
engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate1.7% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrapes, barley, oats, potatoes, wheat, fruits; dairy and livestock products
sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk
Exports$17.1 billion (2016 est.)
$17.81 billion (2015 est.)
$250.8 billion (2016 est.)
$259.9 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, steel products, chemicals, rubber products, glass
chemicals, machinery and equipment, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs
Exports - partnersGermany 22.1%, Belgium 16.7%, France 16.6%, UK 4.7%, Italy 4.6%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
Germany 16.9%, France 15.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, UK 8.8%, US 6%, Italy 5% (2015)
Imports$18.33 billion (2016 est.)
$20.22 billion (2015 est.)
$251.7 billion (2016 est.)
$259.6 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiescommercial aircraft, minerals, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs, luxury consumer goods
raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products
Imports - partnersBelgium 27.6%, Germany 22.9%, China 11.7%, France 9.5%, US 8.4%, Netherlands 4.2%, Mexico 4.1% (2015)
Netherlands 16.7%, Germany 12.7%, France 9.6%, US 8.7%, UK 5.1%, Ireland 4.7%, China 4.3% (2015)
Debt - external$3.781 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$3.806 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$1.281 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.214 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt21.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
106.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
106.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; general government debt is defined by the Maastricht definition and calculated by the National Bank of Belgium as consolidated gross debt; the debt is defined in European Regulation EC479/2009 concerning the implementation of the protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty on European Union (Treaty of Maastricht) of 7 February 1992; the sub-sectors of consolidated gross debt are: federal government, communities and regions, local government, and social security funds
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$771 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$24.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$25.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Current Account Balance$2.854 billion (2016 est.)
$2.978 billion (2015 est.)
$4.586 billion (2016 est.)
$2.012 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$60.98 billion (2016 est.)
$470.2 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
$11.21 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$1.045 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.034 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
$1.01 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.01 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$47.13 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$63.17 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$78.64 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$414.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$378.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$374.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.3% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.3% (31 December 2010)
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 domestic credit$110.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$108.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$646.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$660.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$232.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$218.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the EU for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
$193 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$181.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$281.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$271 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$606.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$630.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues42.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
49.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 22.6%
male: 26.1%
female: 18.1% (2014 est.)
total: 23.2%
male: 24%
female: 22.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 27.9%
government consumption: 16.4%
investment in fixed capital: 17.5%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 210.3%
imports of goods and services: -172.3% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 51.8%
government consumption: 24%
investment in fixed capital: 23.3%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 83.1%
imports of goods and services: -82.1% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving23% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
24.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
23.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.8% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

LuxembourgBelgium
Electricity - production1.4 billion kWh (2014 est.)
65.5 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption6.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
81.2 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports2.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
2.6 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
21.03 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
715,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
73,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production5 million cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption978 million cu m (2014 est.)
17.58 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2014 est.)
848 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports973 million cu m (2014 est.)
17.4 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity2 million kW (2014 est.)
21.52 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels27.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
38.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants1.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
37.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources9.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
23.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
730,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption56,030 bbl/day (2015 est.)
647,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
535,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports55,040 bbl/day (2015 est.)
547,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy11 million Mt (2013 est.)
93.62 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

LuxembourgBelgium
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 276,900
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 49 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4,488,711
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 40 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 807,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 141 (July 2015 est.)
total: 12.938 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 114 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: highly developed, completely automated and efficient system, mainly buried cables
domestic: fixed-line teledensity about 50 per 100 persons; nationwide mobile-cellular telephone system with market for mobile-cellular phones virtually saturated
international: country code - 352 (2015)
general assessment: highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities
domestic: nationwide mobile-cellular telephone system; extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network
international: country code - 32; landing point for a number of submarine cables that provide links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat - 3) (2015)
Internet country code.lu
.be
Internet userstotal: 555,000
percent of population: 97.3% (July 2015 est.)
total: 9.631 million
percent of population: 85% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediaLuxembourg has a long tradition of operating radio and TV services for pan-European audiences and is home to Europe's largest privately owned broadcast media group, the RTL Group, which operates 46 TV stations and 29 radio stations in Europe; also home to Europe's largest satellite operator, Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES); domestically, the RTL Group operates TV and radio networks; other domestic private radio and TV operators and French and German stations available; satellite and cable TV services available (2016)
a segmented market with the three major communities (Flemish, French, and German-speaking) each having responsibility for their own broadcast media; multiple TV channels exist for each community; additionally, in excess of 90% of households are connected to cable and can access broadcasts of TV stations from neighboring countries; each community has a public radio network coexisting with private broadcasters (2009)

Transportation

LuxembourgBelgium
Railwaystotal: 275 km
standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (275 km electrified) (2014)
total: 3,592 km
standard gauge: 3,592 km 1.435-m gauge (2,960 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 2,899 km
paved: 2,899 km (includes 152 km of expressways) (2011)
total: 154,012 km
paved: 120,514 km (includes 1,756 km of expressways)
unpaved: 33,498 km (2010)
Waterways37 km (on Moselle River) (2010)
2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2012)
Pipelinesgas 142 km; refined products 27 km (2013)
gas 3,139 km; oil 154 km; refined products 535 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsriver port(s): Mertert (Moselle)
major seaport(s): Oostende, Zeebrugge
river port(s): Antwerp, Gent (Schelde River); Brussels (Senne River); Liege (Meuse River)
container port(s) (TEUs): Antwerp (8,664,243), Zeebrugge (2,207,257) (2011)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Zeebrugge
Merchant marinetotal: 49
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 3, chemical tanker 20, container 10, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 12
foreign-owned: 48 (Belgium 11, Denmark 1, France 15, Germany 9, Japan 3, Netherlands 3, Switzerland 1, UK 5)
registered in other countries: 18 (Italy 14, Malta 3, Panama 1) (2010)
total: 87
by type: bulk carrier 23, cargo 15, chemical tanker 5, container 4, liquefied gas 23, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned: 15 (Denmark 4, France 7, Russia 1, UK 2, US 1)
registered in other countries: 107 (Bahamas 6, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 3, France 7, Gibraltar 1, Greece 17, Hong Kong 26, Liberia 1, Luxembourg 11, Malta 7, Marshall Islands 1, Mozambique 2, North Korea 1, Panama 1, Portugal 8, Russia 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7, Singapore 1, Vanuatu 1) (2010)
Airports2 (2013)
41 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
total: 26
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 15
under 914 m: 15 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
1 (2013)

Military

LuxembourgBelgium
Military branchesLuxembourg Army (Armee Luxembourgeoise) (2015)
Belgian Armed Forces: Land Operations Command, Naval Operations Command, Air Operations Command (2012)
Military service age and obligation18-24 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; Luxembourg citizen or EU citizen with 3-year residence in Luxembourg (2012)
18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 1994 (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.44% of GDP (2016)
0.43% of GDP (2015)
0.39% of GDP (2014)
0.38% of GDP (2013)
0.38% of GDP (2012)
0.85% of GDP (2016)
0.91% of GDP (2015)
0.97% of GDP (2014)
1.01% of GDP (2013)
1.05% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

LuxembourgBelgium
Disputes - internationalnone
none
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 83 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 9,080 (Syria) (2016)
stateless persons: 2,630 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook