How do expats feel about living in Luxembourg?

Luxembourg, expatriate opinion

At a time when some people are wondering whether to move to Luxembourg, let's take another look at Expat Insider's annual ranking of expatriates' favorite destinations.

So what do expats think of Luxembourg? In the last survey in October 2023, Luxembourg reappeared as the 19th preferred destination for expats, having plummeted to 36th place in the post-Covid survey in 2021!

This year, over 12,000 expatriates worldwide, from 171 different nationalities, and living in 172 countries, responded toInterNations' annual survey. However, in order to participate in the study's global ranking, at least 50 people in a country must take part in the questionnaire. As a result, 53 destinations are ranked in this 2021 edition of Expat Insider. Here are a few facts about expatriate life in Luxembourg.

Why do expatriates settle in Luxembourg?

It's worth remembering that the main reasons for moving abroad, for all countries combined, are work and career prospects for almost a third. The second most important reason is the choice of a new way of life. Family and children's education are less frequently cited reasons.

Luxembourg is no exception to the rule. The Luxembourg economy attracts many expatriates. Career prospects are clearly the No. 1 criterion for moving to Luxembourg. But isn't the second most important reason for moving to Luxembourg?

Quality of life in Luxembourg

Overall, Luxembourg ranks 19th out of 53 countries for quality of life. It even reached the top 10 of countries with the best quality of life, coming in 9th. 

Safety is a big plus for Luxembourg. Expatriates surveyed ranked it first in this area, ahead of Switzerland and Finland. Luxembourg also came a very respectable fourth for transport and travel, as well as health. The Grand Duchy also came a respectable twelfth for the environment.

On the other hand, leisure remains a black mark. Indeed, while Luxembourg improved its score this year in all categories, it once again occupies the bottom of the table in the field of leisure, with a 51st place just ahead of Norway and Kuwait...

A complicated social life despite multilingualism

Difficulty integrating

Luxembourg does not appear as a country where it's easy to integrate. Once again, expatriates surveyed ranked Luxembourg 34th out of 53 countries for ease of settlement and integration. Foreign residents in Luxembourg point to the difficulty of socializing locally.

As a result, Luxembourg ranks 41st for local friendliness and 24th for culture and feeling welcome. Social life and friends appear to be an equally complicated subject, ranking 37th.

Even if Luxembourg is gaining ground in terms of social life, it's still hard to make friends. While 16% of those surveyed overall found local people unfriendly, this figure rises to 24% in Luxembourg. Even if the figures improve this year, it's still hard to feel at home in Luxembourg.

Multilingualism and multiculturalism

Luxembourg nevertheless ranks 12th for language. It's true that you can always find someone who speaks your language in Luxembourg, given the country's strong multiculturalism. A positive point for communication, but ultimately very confusing. 

Indeed, the multiplicity of nationalities present in Luxembourg can be complicated to manage. While this may seem like an advantage, it can make it difficult to make contact with other communities. On arrival, everyone tends to turn to their own community, which has the same culture and references. However, the many events organized on a regular basis help to raise awareness of this cultural diversity. Taking part in them can help you acquire new points of reference and facilitate your integration.

To help them settle in more quickly, newcomers to Luxembourg are encouraged to learn a few words in Lëtzebuergesch. This will facilitate initial contacts with the local population.

Want to move to Luxembourg? Find out more here.

Employment, a key factor in attracting expatriates to Luxembourg

Overall, Luxembourg ranks 2nd in the index of working life, behind the Netherlands and ahead of Sweden. Expatriates praise salaries and job security, placing Luxembourg in 1st place in this area. Career prospects put Luxembourg in fourth place, behind the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland and Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, work-life balance appears more mixed, ranking 25th out of 53. Nevertheless, expatriates are satisfied with their work-life balance.

See our special report on employment in Luxembourg. 

Finances, the big black spot for expatriates in Luxembourg

Luxembourg ranks 35th for personal finances. It falls to 52nd place out of 53 for housing.

Inflation and cost of living

As elsewhere in the world, the cost of living has risen sharply. Inflation continues to climb, fuelled in part by indexation increases. The principle of indexation offsets purchasing power. It does, however, increase costs for companies, who pass on their costs in prices.

Housing costs

Housing in Luxembourg has reached unprecedented levels in recent months. It is becoming "unaffordable" for a large majority of new arrivals. The sharp rise in housing prices over the period 2020 to 2022 is one of the key factors behind this poor ranking. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a place to live, given the lack of supply of both rental and purchase properties. Find out more about housing in Luxembourg.

The family aspect, the other satisfaction of expatriates

Even if the family aspect does not appear in this new study, it should be remembered that family well-being ranked Luxembourg 9th in 2019. Even today, Luxembourg remains a very popular destination for raising children .

Children can grow up in a safe environment. Their health and well-being are of particular interest to public institutions. They benefit from a multilingual education that opens doors to international opportunities.

Find out more about living with children in Luxembourg

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