In 1952, the Luxembourg athlete Josy Barthel won the only Olympic gold medal for his country of birth. In 2003, the artist Su-Mei Tse was awarded the first Golden Lion for National Pavilions, a prize awarded to the best national participation in the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Venice, for her installations and videos in the Grand Duchy's pavilion. In 2020, twenty Luxembourg sparkling wines (crémants) received a gold medal at the 30th Concours national des crémants de la France et du Luxembourg.
Are you surprised? In this article, we have compiled a list of figures to help you better understand the particularities of Luxembourg, a truly unique country.
There is only one Grand Duchy in the world: Luxembourg!
Nevertheless, the country has two flags and we speak three official languages.
The Luxembourg flag comprises three colours with three horizontal bands of red, white and sky blue. The Grand Ducal coat of arms displays the following elements: a barruly of argent and azure in ten parts and a lion rampant gules, crowned, armed and langued in gold with a forked tail crossed in saltire. In 2007, following parliamentary intervention, the Government Council declared that the "Red Lion" (Roude Léiw) of the national coat of arms could also be used as a civil flag in Luxembourg.
The majority of Luxembourgers speak four languages. Three languages have the status of official languages: Luxembourgish, French and German. Among several others, these languages are used on a daily basis by the population, making Luxembourg the most multilingual country in Europe.
In 1994, the old district and fortifications of the City of Luxembourg were registered on the list. "The Family of Man" exhibition in Clervaux is part of UNESCO's "Memory of the World" register and the Dancing Procession in Echternach is part of the intangible cultural heritage. In 2020, the organisation added the "Minett UNESCO Biosphere" project in its "Man and the Biosphere" Programme and the "Haupeschbléiser" in the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. In April 2022, the Natur- & Geopark Mëllerdall officially became part of the UNESCO network of global geoparks.
It is worth noting that Luxembourg only has one cathedral, but more than 1,271 bridges and 100 castles. With over 60 museums in the country, the Mudam Luxembourg was the most expensive with a construction budget of 90 million euros. The Museum of Contemporary Art was the first major cultural project in Luxembourg; it was built well before the Philharmonie or the Rockhal. Its construction was given the green light in 1989, however the doors finally opened 17 years later...
The Luxembourg fund industry ended 2021 with close to 6,000 billion under management. These investment funds are marketed in more than 70 countries globally.
The financial centre is one of the key sectors in the country. It is very diversified and offers highly specialised products and services to international clients. Owing to its significant political, economic and social stability, its openness to the world, its specific legal environment and the availability of a highly qualified and multilingual international workforce, the Luxembourg financial centre has become a European hub attracting institutes and investors from across the world.
The Grand Duchy is also the leading market place for sustainable finance.
645,000 persons live in Luxembourg. Almost half of the population does not have Luxembourgish nationality. As well as a cosmopolitan population comprising 170 nationalities, about 200,000 cross-border workers come to work in Luxembourg each day.
Voter participation in Luxembourg is among the highest in Europe. At the last legislative elections in 2018, nearly 90% of the population voted.
Life expectancy at birth is 80.3 years for men and 84.8 for women. This high rate is possibly due to a healthy diet. Luxembourgers can not only enjoy local specialities, such as Bouneschlupp, Kniddelen and Feiersténgszalot, they also have the highest density of Michelin-starred restaurants per inhabitant. There are eight in total!
1.10 million tonnes (Mt) of goods are transported by Cargolux each year.
Cargolux Airlines International S.A. is a Luxembourg-based air freight company with its headquarters and hub located at Luxembourg Airport. The company has a global network of destinations and is one of the largest all-cargo scheduled airlines in Europe.
Without a doubt, Cargolux made the most famous cargo flight in spring 2019, when it became the official transport partner in collaboration with SEA LIFE Trust and its project partner, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), two transport two beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, 6,000 miles from China to Iceland.
In general, 65% of the goods and services produced in Luxembourg are exported. As a member of the European Union and the Schengen area, the Grand Duchy occupies a strategic position at the heart of Europe. Its dynamic economy is one of the most internationally focused and, according to the Open Markets Index of the ICC United Kingdom, is a leader in terms of international competition.