Living in Luxembourg, what do expats think?

The latest study by InterNations, Expat Insider, looks at the ranking of the favorite destinations for expatriates. Big surprise for this 2021 edition: Luxembourg falls from the 12th place to the 36th place! What happened? The last barometer was in 2019. How did the situation deteriorate? We make the point here.

This year, more than 14,000 expatriates worldwide, from 174 different nationalities, and living in 186 countries responded toInterNations’ annual survey. However, in order to participate in the overall ranking of the study, at least 50 people had to participate in the questionnaire. 57 destinations have been selected in this 2021 edition of Expat Insider. Here are a few points of reference about life as an expatriate in Luxembourg.

How does Luxembourg rank on the main quality of life indexes?

Luxembourg ranks 11th out of 57 countries in the fields of transport, health and environment. It ranks 19th in safety and policy and 20th in quality of life. However, leisure activities and the climate are clearly in the background for the expatriates interviewed. These themes put Luxembourg in 56th place out of 57. This explains the overall ranking of 36th place for Luxembourg as the preferred destination for expatriates. Luxembourg was ranked 12th in 2019. Could this be the COVID effect in an environment where recreation has been severely curtailed in 2020 and 2021, and the climate is pretty bad in 2021?

Let’s remember that the main reasons for moving abroad, all countries included, are overall work and career prospects for nearly a third .The second reason is the choice of a new way of life. Family and children’s education are less frequently mentioned reasons.

A complicated social life in Luxembourg

Luxembourg ranks 31st out of 57 on the ease of settling and integrating in Luxembourg. Expatriates in Luxembourg point out the difficulty of socializing locally. Luxembourg ranks 36th in terms of local friendliness and 31st in terms of feeling welcome. Social life and friends appear mixed with a 28th place out of 57. One of the reasons appears to be the local language with a place 27 out of 57.

Already in 2019, Luxembourg appeared rather difficult to settle down with a 32nd place out of 64 on this topic. The complexity of feeling at home in Luxembourg (27th place instead of 34th in 2018), as well as the difficulty felt in making friends (44th place) were already pointed out. However, Luxembourg was ranked 12th for the linguistic aspect. It is true that in Luxembourg there is always someone who speaks the language. It is still necessary to be able to exit, which has been largely compromised in 2020 and 2021!

It is true that the multiplicity of nationalities present in Luxembourg can be confusing, as well as the many languages spoken. Luxembourg is a multicultural country with many communities. As an expatriate, it is difficult to get in touch with other communities. However, many events are organized in this sense. Participating in them will allow you to become aware of this cultural diversity and to acquire some reference points.

To make it easier to settle in, we encourage candidates to learn a few words in Luxembourgish. This will facilitate the first contacts with the local population.

You want to settle in Luxembourg? All the information here.

Professional development in Luxembourg, not so simple

Overall, Luxembourg ranks 24th in the working life index. The professional security is very popular among expatriates in Luxembourg, with an excellent 2nd place behind the city of Munich. On the other hand, career prospects are down with a position 38 out of 57. The work-life balance is also very low, with a 48th place out of 57, ahead of cities like New York or Hong Kong. More than half of those surveyed object to the working hours.

As a reminder, Luxembourg was ranked 3rd on the employment theme in 2019 and 9th in 2018. The career prospects were then very well rated with an 8th place. The balance of work and leisure satisfied the expatriates with a 31st place. Let’s bet that the Covid crisis has shaken things up in 2020 and 2021 with the institution of telecommuting. Let’s see how the index evolves once the coronavirus crisis is over.

See our special report on employment in Luxembourg.

The cost of living, a big black spot for expatriates

Luxembourg falls to 52nd place out of 57 for the Finance and Housing index of the study, including 36th place for the purely financial part and 53rd for the housing part .

Today 83% of expatriates in Luxembourg find housing “unaffordable” compared to 39% worldwide. The sharp rise in housing prices over the years 2020 and 2021 is one of the key factors in this very poor ranking. Moreover, it is now increasingly difficult to find given the lack of supply both for purchase and rental. Learn more about housing in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg was already ranked 59th out of 64 in 2019 on the cost of living.

Safety and health, two highly appreciated points

Quality of life and especially safety are the big strengths of the Grand Duchy. In 2021, Luxembourg ranks 20th in terms of quality of life. This is boosted by security, health and welfare, and political stability. Despite this, Luxembourg is losing places in this quality of life domain. It was 1st in the rankings in 2018, 4th in 2019 in terms of safety. He was 12th for overall quality of life in 2019. The lack of leisure activities (Covid effect?) and the small size of the country are a handicap for Luxembourg this year, despite its status as European capital.

The family aspect, another satisfaction of expatriates

Even if the family aspect does not appear in this 2021 study, let’s remember that the quality of education is recognized with excellent opinions on the ability to learn languages. Family welfare placed Luxembourg in 9th place in 2019. Luxembourg remains a very popular destination from a family point of view .

Learn more about families and children in Luxembourg


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Luxembourg qualifiers by expatriates