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Population and Demography

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is today home to 451.600 people. It has a healthy demographic rate of growth and large scale immigration, both of which developed rapidly during the 1990s after a period of considerable economic growth.

The foreign population resident in Luxembourg currently numbers over 170.700, corresponding to 38% of the total population (compared to 17% in the 1960s). These immigrants are overwhelmingly nationals of EU countries (accounting for over 90%), by far the greater part of whom originally come from Portugal, Italy and the two neighbouring countries, France and Belgium. For some years, there has also been a big increase in the number of immigrants and asylum seekers from the countries of Eastern Europe, and especially the new republics to have emerged from the former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, and Kosovo). These immigrants include a considerable proportion of young people. Immigrants (especially asylum seekers) have a strong impact on the birth rate, accounting for nearly 50% of births in Luxembourg.

A more detailed breakdown by nationality shows that the Portuguese community is still the largest group, accounting for more than a third of the foreign population. The Italian population has been stable for the past ten years at approximatively 20 000. Some 47.000 foreigners come from bordering countries (France, Belgium and Germany). The proportion of foreign nationals in the total population, by nationality

Population censuses 1981 1991 2001 2003
Total population (x1000) 364.6 384.4 439,5 448,3
Luxembourg 268.8 271.4 277.2 277.6
Foreign nationals 95.8 113.0 162.3 170.7
Foreign nationals as a % 26.3 29.4 36.9 38.1
of which: Portuguese 29.3 39.1 58.7 61.4
Italians 22.3 19.5 19.0 19.0
French 11.9 13.0 20.0 21.6
Belgian 7.9 10.1 14.8 15.9
German 8.9 8.8 10.1 10.2
British 2.0 3.2 4.3 4.7
Dutch 2.9 3.5 3.7 3.6
Other EU 10.6 6.6 9.2 9.7
Other 9.2 22.5 24.6
Source: STATEC

An International Workforce

Luxembourg has accordingly an international and multicultural workforce. Frontier workers (about 100.00 people: French:52%, German 21%, Belgian: 28%) and foreign residents represent 65% of the working population. The vast majority of foreign workers are European nationals (90%), the bulk being Portuguese (45%), French (12%) and German (5%).

Luxembourg Nationality

A child born of a Luxembourg father or mother is by definition in position of Luxembourg nationality. A child born of foreign parents on Luxembourg territory does not posses a Luxembourg nationality. To acquire Luxembourg nationality, this can be done either through adoption or naturalization. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and have resided in Luxembourg for at least ten years. The latter requirement may be reduced to five years for applicants born in Luxembourg, or if they have lost their citizenship, are widowed or divorced from a native-born Luxembourg national with whom they had more than one child and at least one of whom lives in Luxembourg, or if they are stateless or recognized by the authorities as refugees under the Geneva Convention. Foreigners may also opt for Luxembourg nationality if they marry a Luxembourg national or if they are the adopted child of a Luxembourg national.


The greatest preponderation of the Luxembourg population is Roman Catholic, with Protestant, Anglican, Jewish and Muslim minorities. According to a 1979 law, the government forbids collection of data on religious practices, but over 90% is estimated to be baptized Catholic (the Virgin Mary is the Patroness of the city of Luxembourg). The Lutheran and Calvinist Churches are the largest Protestant denominations. Muslims are estimated to number approximately 6.000 persons, including 1.500 refugees from Montenegro; Orthodox (Greek, Serbian, Russian, and Roman) adherents are estimated to number approximatively 5.000 persons: and there are approximatively 1.000 Jews. Freedom of religion is provided by the Luxembourg Constitution.