The small country of Luxembourg is a landlocked country in Europe. This means that they do not have any access to seas or oceans. They are surrounded by other countries: Belgium, Germany and France. For as small as the country is, the people that live in Luxenbourg have the highest standard of living than any other country in Europe. They have northern areas of the country that are heavily forested and to the south are open country sides. The country is politically stable and the people are multilingual and enjoy tax incentives that make their lives enjoyable.
Fun Facts about Luxembourg:
Capital: Luxembourg, 77,000 people
Languages: Luxembourgish, German, French
Religion: Roman Catholic
Area: 998 sq mi (2,586 sq km)
Literacy Percentage: 100
Life Expectancy: 78 years
Recorded history shows that people lived in what we now call Luxembourg as far back as the ancient Roman times.
The true history of Luxembourg officially starts in 963 and continues for five centuries to the development of the powerful ‘House of Luxembourg’. This allowed the country a sense of independence, however, it eventually fell and Luxembourg became part of the Habsburg Dynasty in 1477.
The various wars in Europe and the vying factions spun into the Eighty Years’ War. After this war, Luxembourg temporarily became part of what is called the Southern Netherlands and then in 1713 it transitioned into part of the Austrian line of the Habsburg Dynasty.
The next phase of this small country resulted in its occupation after the French Revolution. The Treaty of Paris in 1815 allowed Luxembourg to change into a ‘Grand Duchy’ through the personal union with the Netherlands. It also allowed a second partition of Luxembourg to exist with the first in 1658 and the third partition in 1839. The reduction of the Luxembourg boundaries and territories were reduced, but this had a reverse effect as it increased their ability for independence.
As decades passed, Luxembourg was heavily influenced by Germany, especially after the 1890 creation of a separate ruling house. This influence was to prove detrimental to the country with the ensuing wars.
During World War I, Luxembourg was occupied by Germany on two occasions, which changed the direction of the budding country so that it could not become successful. The occupation of Hitler’s Nazis made Luxembourg a prime target for the various battles during World War II.
In post war times, the brilliance of the people that were guiding Luxembourg took over as they developed the tiny country into becoming one of Europe’s major financial services sectors. With political stability at hand, Luxembourg integrated with the rest of Europe and has developed so that it is one of the richest countries.
- Luxembourg had been invaded by so many armies that they built walled towns and castles throughout their country to protect everyone from invading soldiers.
- The government of Luxembourg is called a ‘multi-party democracy’.
- The Dukes of Luxembourg along with the Counts were also known as Kings of Bohemia from 1310 to1437. (Bohemia is modern day Czech Republic)
- The average unemployment rate in Luxembourg is the lowest in Europe. From 1982 to 2013 it was at 3.3%
Luxembourg has the highest minimum legal salary in the Europe and the second highest in the world; Australia rates at the top. As of 2013, it was $2,404 (€1,874.90) per month or $13.89 (€10.8335) per hour for unqualified workers over 18 years of age. This rate is higher than Monaco
- The free internet calls and instant messaging software company, Skype, has its headquarters in Luxembourg.
- The Heritage Foundation is an American Organization and it ranked Luxembourg as the top European and fourth in the world for economic freedom.
- Luxembourg is known throughout the world as a great tax haven. They have over 155 banks in the country.
Much of Luxembourg’s industry is in the financial services and banking, but they also have excellent industries in chemicals, iron and steel and food processing.
Agriculture in Luxembourg succeeds with potatoes, oats, barley, and wheat as well as livestock products.
Luxembourg exports steel products, glass, rubber products, chemicals and machinery and equipment.