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Population and Nationality

Luxembourg has witnessed strong population growth since the beginning of industrialization around 1870. This is largely due to continuous immigration since the end of the 19th century. In 1900, Luxembourg had a population of some 200,000. As of January 1, 2016, it stands at 576,000 (Source: Statec). In other words, it has almost tripled in a little bit more than a century.

However, this growth has been uneven and can be divided into four main periods : a phase of decline during the first four decades, a (slight) baby boom between 1950 and 1960, a very rapid decline which became stable between 1960 and 1980, and a renewed growth phase since the 1990s due to an increase in the birthrate, which is largely the result of a rise in immigration.


A plural society

Before the First World War, much of the country’s population tended to emigrate overseas, mainly for economic reasons. However, industrialization, since the end of the 19th century, has gradually turned Luxembourg from a country of emigration into a country of immigration. In the past 40 years, immigration has increased considerably. Today, 46,7% of the population is non-Luxembourgish. The well-integrated foreign residents and cross-border workers account for much of the active population. More than 150 nationalities are cohabiting in Luxembourg. The main communities present in Luxembourg are the Portuguese (93,000), followed by the French (41,700), the Italians (20,300), the Belgians (19,400) and the Germans (12,800). Today, almost 70% of the population of Luxembourg-City are foreign nationals.


Luxembourg Nationality

Luxembourg nationality is determined by birth: A child born to a Luxembourg parent, even if born abroad, is a Luxembourg national. However, Luxembourg nationality can also be acquired voluntarily.

The law of October 23, 2008, which entered into force on January 1, 2009, brought some important changes in relation with the Luxembourg nationality:

  • Citizens of Luxembourg are now allowed to have dual (or multiple) citizenship by acquiring a foreign nationality.
  • Citizens of Luxembourg, having lost their citizenship while acquiring the nationality of a third country before the law of October 23, 2008, (before it was enforced on January 1, 2009) can now recover their Luxembourg Nationality
  • Foreigners who are direct descendants of Luxembourg Nationals can now recover Luxembourg citizenship within certain conditions.

Each year, more than 1.000 foreign nationals acquire Luxembourg nationality.

For further information about acquiring the Luxembourg nationality, please refer to the Consular Section of this website.