Luxembourg’s population is characterized by strong demographic growth, due to positive net inward migration. Nearly half the population is foreign.
The reasons for this strong population characteristic are to be found in its history and evolution. Luxembourg is a small, prosperous nation that attracts an active population in search of professional opportunities.
Population of Luxembourg on January 1, 2023
A fast-growing population
Although Luxembourg appears to beone of the smallest and least populatedEuropean countries, its population is growing strongly every year.
On January 1, 2023, Luxembourg reached a population of 660,809, an increase of 2.4% in one year.
In 1961, the number of inhabitants in Luxembourg was 314,900. In 60 years, the country has more than doubled its population.
Studies by STATEC, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg’s national institute for statistics and economic studies, predict a population of over 1 million people in 2060!
A young, male, foreign population
Today, 80% of Luxembourg’s population growth is due to immigration. The proportion of foreigners living in Luxembourg stood at 47.4% on January 1, 2023. In 1961, the proportion of foreigners was just 13.2%.
Luxembourg attracts a young, male population. Overall, foreigners are younger than the native Luxembourg population.
Today, men account for over 50% of the population, with an average age of 39 compared to 40.4 for women.
Reasons for the population influx
Luxembourg’s quality of life
Expatriates regularly rank Luxembourg among the top 10 countries to live in. Luxembourg enjoys an excellent quality of life. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the safest countries in the world.
Life expectancy in Luxembourg is 80.3 years for men and 84.8 years for women. It is one of the only countries to have increased its life expectancy in recent years, despite the Covid crisis.
Young professionals attracted by job prospects
One-fifth of Luxembourg’s population lives in the capital Luxembourg. It’s the largest economic basin.
The Luxembourg job market is dynamic. Young professionals find attractive career opportunities and income prospects in Luxembourg. The Grand Duchy is constantly attracting an active population looking for work.
On the other hand, real estate prices are high and reach price levels comparable to those of London and Paris in some areas. It is becoming difficult to find housing.
Luxembourg, a land of immigration
Luxembourg has long been a welcoming place.
As early as the 19th century, many Italians immigrated to the south of Luxembourg to work in the mines. The movement continued until the mid-1960s.
The Portuguese then arrived in Luxembourg in several waves, corresponding to Portugal’s crises: the late 1960s, 1975-1982, 2003-2009. Today, they represent the largest foreign community.
From 2014, French immigration takes over. The French will represent the largest migrant population in 2019 and 2020.
In 2021, the Portuguese will once again be the leading community to settle in Luxembourg, with 3,885 new arrivals. In the same year, the French came second, with 3,590 immigrants.
Recent migration flows
Positive migration flows
In 2022, Ukrainians will represent the largest migratory flow, with over 4,200 new arrivals on Luxembourg soil. Ukrainians numbered 5,338 on January 1, 2023, as a result of the war waged by Russia on Ukrainian territory since February 2022.
Italians will represent the 2nd largest migratory flow in 2022, with over 900 new arrivals.
Syrians, also refugees, represent the 3rd largest incoming migratory flow, with over 800 new residents.
Negative migration flows
The year 2022 marks a reversal in migration trends.
The French leave Luxembourg. There was a negative flow of over 2,500 nationals.
There will also be fewer Portuguese at the end of 2022, with a net migration of 3,500 fewer Portuguese.
In addition, Luxembourg’s negative net migration is increasing, with a net balance of -3,273 people of Luxembourg nationality. The housing crisis and soaring property prices are driving low-income earners out of the country.
A multicultural Luxembourg society
One of the major characteristics of Luxembourg’s population is its high proportion of foreigners. More than 47% of the population is foreign. Persons who have acquired Luxembourg nationality are counted among the Luxembourg population.
Foreign communities in Luxembourg
More than 170 different nationalities coexist in Luxembourg, mainly of European origin.
The most represented communities on the Luxembourg territory are :
- the Portuguese community, with 92,101 representatives. The Portuguese represent the 1st foreign community, accounting for nearly 14% of Luxembourg’s population,
- the French community with 49,104 nationals. It is the 2nd largest foreign community, accounting for over 7% of the Grand Duchy’s population,
- the Italian community, with 24,676 people and 3.7% of the population,
- the Belgian community with over 19,205 residents,
- the German community with 12,678 people
- the Spanish community (9,068 residents)
- the Romanian community (6,625 residents)
- the Ukrainian community (5,238 residents)
- Polish community (5,130 residents)
- the Indian community with 4,657 residents
- the Chinese community with 4,295 residents
- the Greek community with 4,268 inhabitants.
- the Dutch community (3,956 inhabitants)
- the British community (3,924 inhabitants compared with 5,766 in 2020, a drop of 31% since the Brexit)
Other foreign communities
The Baltic and Scandinavian communities represent almost 6,800 people in Luxembourg.
The Asian communities represent more than 21,800 people in Luxembourg, i.e. 3% of the population, the Africans 15,525 people (2% of the population), the Americans 8,112 people including 2,686 North Americans, the Australians and the Oceanians 272 people.
The proportion of Luxembourgers remains stable.
Languages spoken in Luxembourg
Upon arrival in the country, one is struck by the diversity of languages spoken in public spaces. This is due to the strong presence of foreigners.
The Ministry of National Education showed in 2018 that 98% of the population speaks French. English is spoken at 80%. German and Luxembourgish are used at 78 and 77%.
There are 3 official languages in Luxembourg:
- From the very beginning of school life, children speak Luxembourgish. Luxembourgish has been the national language since 1984. It is used as the language of everyday exchanges. The knowledge of Luxembourgish is mandatory to obtain Luxembourgish nationality by naturalization.
- Children learn German from the time they start elementary school. German is the language of literacy and reading. It is also traditionally the language of newspapers,
- The children learn French from the 2nd year of elementary school, in addition to German. French is now introduced in the nursery and kindergarten, in oral learning. Since the beginning of the school year 2022, pilot schools in southern Luxembourg have been testing literacy in French.
The French channel TV5 Monde’s program”Destination francophonie au Luxembourg” shows the learning of languages at the primary school. From the moment they enter the Luxembourg school system, foreign children are given language support to facilitate their integration.
Do you want to learn the reference languages in Luxembourg? There is a wide range of language courses on offer.
Luxembourg’s population has a Christian majority
According to a study published in 2011 by the CEPS, the majority of the Luxembourg population is Christian.
Christians represent 73% of the population. More than 90% of them are Catholic.
Almost 25% of the population does not claim any religion. The Muslim religion is on the rise in recent years. Nearly 2% of the population practices the Muslim faith. These people are mainly from the former Yugoslavia.
Want to know more about religion in Luxembourg? See the page on religions and places of worship in Luxembourg .
A working population boosted by Europe
A population looking for work
The Luxembourg labor market is very active. In addition to the nearly 250,000 Luxembourg resident workers, more than 215,000 workers are cross-border commuters. They cross the French, Belgian and German borders every day to work in Luxembourg.
More and more international companies are moving to Luxembourg. This is notably the case for Amazon, Ferrero, BGL BNPParibas, large international audit firms, … These large multinationals attract senior executives from all continents.
Many European officials
The numerous European institutions present in Luxembourg also explain this constant flow of population, according to the movements of European officials.
Today, more than 10,000 European officials are located in Luxembourg. They constitute nearly 5% of the resident workforce.
3,700 people work for the European Commission.
In 2020, a mini-earthquake shakes the European world. The Chafea, Executive Agency for Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food is leaving the Gasperich district. She had been working there for over 10 years. 80 people leave the Grand Duchy. Relocated to Brussels, it could be dissolved.
For some, this could be a sign that Luxembourg is gradually losing its status as the capital of the European Union . It is also known that many European officials are now reluctant to come to Luxembourg. Despite an undeniable quality of life, Luxembourg unfortunately has too high rents and traffic problems.
Would you like more information on Luxembourg job market? See our page.
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