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Flag of Liechtenstein

Capital City: Vaduz, Municipality of Vaduz (in German)

Border countries: Austria, Switzerland

Official Sites of Liechtenstein

Fürstenhaus Liechtenstein

Fürstentum Liechtenstein

Liechtensteinischer Landtag

Liechtenstein Mission to the United Nations

Political Map of Liechtenstein



Background:  The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within
the Holy Roman Empire in 1719; it became a sovereign state in 1806. Until
the end of World War I, it was closely tied to Austria, but the economic
devastation caused by that conflict forced Liechtenstein to conclude
a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. Since World War II
(in which Liechtenstein remained neutral) the country's low taxes have
spurred outstanding economic growth. However, shortcomings in banking
regulatory oversight have resulted in concerns about the use of the
financial institutions for money laundering.

Geography Liechtenstein

Location:  Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland

Geographic coordinates:  47 10 N, 9 32 E

Map references:  Europe

Area:  total: 160 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 160 sq km

Area - comparative:  about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  total: 76 km border countries: Austria 35 km,
Switzerland 41 km

Coastline:  0 km (doubly landlocked)

Maritime claims:  none (landlocked)

Climate:  continental; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow or rain;
cool to moderately warm, cloudy, humid summers

Terrain:  mostly mountainous (Alps) with Rhine Valley in western third

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Ruggeller Riet 430 m highest point:
Grauspitz 2,599 m

Natural resources:  hydroelectric potential, arable land

Land use:  arable land: 25% permanent crops: 0% other: 75% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  NA sq km

Natural hazards:  NA

Environment - current issues:  NA

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Air Pollution, Air
Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur
94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer
Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent
Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea

Geography - note:  along with Uzbekistan, one of only two doubly
landlocked countries in the world; variety of microclimatic variations
based on elevation

People Liechtenstein

Population:  32,842 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 18.3% (male 3,003; female 3,001) 15-64 years:
70.5% (male 11,530; female 11,639) 65 years and over: 11.2% (male 1,494;
female 2,175) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.94% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  11.24 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.76 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  4.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  4.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   82.74 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.5 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Liechtensteiner(s) adjective: Liechtenstein

Ethnic groups:  Alemannic 87.5%, Italian, Turkish, and other 12.5%

Religions:  Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 7.4%, unknown 7.7%, other 4.9%

Languages:  German (official), Alemannic dialect

Literacy:  definition: age 10 and over can read and write total
population: 100% male: 100% female: 100% (1981 est.)

Government Liechtenstein

Country name:  conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein
conventional short
 Liechtenstein local long form:
Government type:  hereditary constitutional monarchy

Capital:  Vaduz

Administrative divisions:  11 communes (Gemeinden, singular - Gemeinde);
Balzers, Eschen, Gamprin, Mauren, Planken, Ruggell, Schaan, Schellenberg,
Triesen, Triesenberg, Vaduz

Independence:  23 January 1719 Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein
established; 12 July 1806 established independence from the Holy Roman

National holiday:  Assumption Day, 15 August

Constitution:  5 October 1921

Legal system:  local civil and penal codes; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage:  20 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: Prince HANS ADAM II (since 13
November 1989, assumed executive powers 26 August 1984); Heir Apparent
Prince ALOIS, son of the monarch (born 11 June 1968) elections: none;
the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader
of the majority party in the Diet is usually appointed the head of
government by the monarch and the leader of the largest minority party
in the Diet is usually appointed the deputy head of government by the
monarch cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Diet, confirmed by the monarch
head of government: Head of Government Otmar HASLER (since 5 April 2001)
and Deputy Head of Government Rita KIEBER-BECK (since 5 April 2001)

Legislative branch:  unicameral Diet or Landtag (25 seats; members are
elected by direct, popular vote under proportional representation to
serve four-year terms) election results: percent of vote by party -
FBP 49.90%, VU 41.35%, FL 8.71%; seats by party - FBP 13, VU 11, FL 1
elections: last held 11 February 2001 (next to be held by NA 2005)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Superior Court
or Obergericht

Political parties and leaders:  Fatherland Union or VU [Heinz FROMMELT];
Progressive Citizens' Party or FBP [Johannes MATT]; The Free List or FL
[Dr. Pepo FRICK, Karin JENNY, Rene HASLER]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  CE, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, IAEA,
WHO (observer), WIPO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Claudia FRITSCHE chancery: 633 Third Avenue, 27th floor, New York,
NY 10017 telephone: [1] (212) 599-0220 FAX: [1] (212) 599-0064

Diplomatic representation from the US:  the US does not have an embassy
in Liechtenstein, but the US Ambassador to Switzerland is also accredited
to Liechtenstein

Flag description:  two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with
a gold crown on the hoist side of the blue band

Economy Liechtenstein

Economy - overview:  Despite its small size and limited natural resources,
Liechtenstein has developed into a prosperous, highly industrialized,
free-enterprise economy with a vital financial service sector and
living standards on a par with the urban areas of its large European
neighbors. Low business taxes - the maximum tax rate is 18% - and easy
incorporation rules have induced 73,700 holding or so-called letter box
companies to establish nominal offices in Liechtenstein, providing 30%
of state revenues. The country participates in a customs union with
Switzerland and uses the Swiss franc as its national currency. It
imports more than 90% of its energy requirements. Liechtenstein has
been a member of the European Economic Area (an organization serving as
a bridge between European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and EU) since
May 1995. The government is working to harmonize its economic policies
with those of an integrated Europe.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $730 million (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  NA%

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $23,000 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1% (2001)

Labor force:  22,891 of which 13,847 are foreigners; 8,231 commute from
Austria and Switzerland to work each day

Labor force - by occupation:  industry, trade, and building 45%, services
53%, agriculture, fishing, forestry, and horticulture 2% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate:  1.8% (February 1999)

Budget:  revenues: $424.2 million expenditures: $414.1 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Industries:  electronics, metal manufacturing, textiles, ceramics,
pharmaceuticals, food products, precision instruments, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: NA% other: NA% hydro:
NA% nuclear: NA%

Electricity - consumption:  NA kWh

Electricity - exports:  NA kWh

Electricity - imports:  NA kWh

Agriculture - products:  wheat, barley, corn, potatoes; livestock,
dairy products

Exports:  $2.47 billion (1996)

Exports - commodities:  small specialty machinery, dental products,
stamps, hardware, pottery

Exports - partners:  EU and EFTA countries 60.57% (Switzerland 15.7%)

Imports:  $917.3 million (1996)

Imports - commodities:  machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs,
motor vehicles

Imports - partners:  EU countries, Switzerland (1996)

Debt - external:  $0 (1996)

Economic aid - recipient:  none

Currency:  Swiss franc (CHF)

Currency code:  CHF

Exchange rates:  Swiss francs per US dollar - 1.6668 (January 2002),
1.6876 (2001), 1.6888 (2000), 1.5022 (1999), 1.4498 (1998), 1.4513 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Liechtenstein

Telephones - main lines in use:  20,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  NA

Telephone system:   NA international: Radio broadcast stations:  AM 0,
FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  21,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  NA (linked to Swiss networks) (1997)

Televisions:  12,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .li

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  44 (Liechtenstein and Switzerland)

Internet users:  NA

Transportation Liechtenstein

Railways:   18.5 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified) note:  (2001)

Highways:  total: 250 km paved: 250 km unpaved: 0 km

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  none

Airports:  none (2001)

Military Liechtenstein

Military - note:  defense is the responsibility of Switzerland

Transnational Issues Liechtenstein

Disputes - international:  Liechtenstein's royal family claims restitution
for 1,600 sq km of land in the Czech Republic confiscated in 1918

Illicit drugs:  multilateral organizations engaged in issuing
international guidelines for financial sector oversight found gaps in
Liechtenstein's financial services controls that made it vulnerable
to money laundering, but Liechtenstein has become less attractive
as a haven for illicit funds, based on implementation in 2001 of new
anti-money-laundering legislation and improved mutual legal assistance
cooperation with other countries

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Liechtenstein News

Liechtenstein Online

Liechtensteiner Vaterland

Liechtensteiner Volksblatt

Radio Liechtenstein

Arts & Culture
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

Business & Economy
Liechtensteinischer Bankenverband

Liechtensteinische Landesbank

LGT Bank

Gewerbe- und Wirtschaftskammer

Country Guides
Liechtenstein National Tourist Office


International Academy of Philosophy

Fachhochschule Liechtenstein

History of the House of Liechtenstein

History of the Principality of Liechtenstein

Landesarchiv des Fürstentums Liechtenstein


Rainer Verling's index of WWW sites in Liechtenstein




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