The official name is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Grand Duche de Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg). Located in Western Europe. The area is 2586 km2, the population is 448.6 thousand people. (2002). The official languages are German and French. The capital is Luxembourg (79.8 thousand people, 1999). Public holiday – National Day (Birthday of the Grand Duchess Charlotte) on June 23. The monetary unit is the euro (since 2002, before that the Luxembourg franc).
Member of 49 international organizations, incl. UN, WTO, EU, Benelux, NATO, etc.
Geography of Luxembourg
Located between 6°10′ east longitude and 49°45′ north latitude. It borders in the east with Germany (138 km), in the south with France (73 km) and in the west with Belgium (148 km). The landscape is mostly hilly, in the north – the spurs of the Ardennes mountain range (the highest point Burgplatz – 559 m), in the south – a hilly plain, cut by wide river valleys. All rivers of the country belong to the Moselle river basin (34 km along the border with Germany).
Soils in the north are composed of quartz and slate rocks, which are infertile. In the south – fertile loamy soils. OK. 1/3 of the territory is covered with forests (beech, oak, etc.). The climate is temperate continental with mild winters and cool summers. Previously, iron ore deposits were developed, now they are not being exploited.
Population of Luxembourg
According to Countryaah, the increase in the population over the past half century has amounted to 50% (in 1951, 300,000 people). Annual increase 12.5‰ (2002). Net influx of immigrants 9.26% (2002). Birth rate is 12.06‰, mortality is 8.83%, infant mortality is 4.71 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). Average life expectancy is 77.48 years, incl. men – 74.2 years, women – 80.79 years.
Age structure of the population: 0-14 years 18.9%, 15-64 years 67%, 65 years and older 14.1%. The gender structure indicates a certain lag in the number of men (0.97%), a significant gap is formed only at the age of 65 years and older (0.67%). The educational level is high: over the age of 15, all residents can read and write.
Ethnic composition: mainly Luxembourgers (approx. 60%), who are descendants of Celtic tribes, mixed with German and French roots. Among the immigrants, the Portuguese and Italians predominate. Spoken language: Luxembourgish (Low German dialect with a significant admixture of French words).
The overwhelming majority of the population are Catholics, there are also Protestants, Jews, and Muslims (since 1978, the collection of religious statistics has been prohibited in the country).
History of Luxembourg
The fiefdom of Luxembourg, whose center was a fortified castle on the ancient Roman road (from Reims to Trier), was formed in 963. But for several centuries it was constantly part of many leading European states: Spain (1506-1684 and 1697-1714), France (1684-97 and 1794-1815), Austria (1714-89).
After the Congress of Vienna (1815), Luxembourg becomes the Grand Duchy, but within the German Confederation and administered by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. However, as a result of a successful armed uprising in Brussels (1839), not only Belgium, but also Luxembourg separated from the Netherlands state. True, at the same time, half of the territory of the Grand Duchy turned into a Belgian province with the same name.
The acquisition of state independence contributed to the acceleration of economic development. Metallurgy began to grow especially rapidly. Such industry specialization was the result of active development (in the 1890s) of iron ore reserves located in the south of the country (continuation of the Lorraine deposit). 90% of all products were exported. The vast majority of those employed in the industry of the country accounted for metallurgy. At the same time, small enterprises of mechanical engineering and the food industry (near the capital), as well as chemical and leather industries (Esh) began to appear.
During World War I, Luxembourg was occupied by German troops. After their defeat under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the customs union with Germany was abolished (it had existed since 1842), but agreements on a customs and monetary union (1921–23) were signed with Belgium. During the 2nd World War, Luxembourg was again occupied by German troops. In 1944, during the war, the Luxembourg government in exile signed (in London) an agreement with Belgium and the Netherlands on the creation of the Benelux Customs Union. In subsequent years, Luxembourg constantly acted among the countries that initiated the processes of European integration, the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (1951), the European Economic Community (1957), which later developed into the EU.