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Introduction to Luxembourg

You maybe thinking of moving to Luxembourg, or just moved-in, or have been living in Luxembourg for years. A quick refresher on Luxembourg can be interesting.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (commonly referred as Luxembourg) is a parliamentary democracy in the form of a constitutional Monarchy. Luxembourg has a population of 613000 people and the country is sandwiched among three larger countries: Germany, France, and Belgium. Official languages of Luxembourg are Luxembourgish, German and French. English is widely spoken, and also the lingua franca of the knowledge industry in Luxembourg. Contrary to popular belief though, English is neither an official language, nor widely spoken in day-to-day businesses and services. So if you need to deal with official Luxembourg documentation, that should be in one of three official languages. Expats tend to speak English (along with their home country languages may it be French, Romanian, Greek, Hindi). If you want to have a good social life, French can go a long way in getting you there.

Despite its small size, Luxembourg boasts of an unparalleled diversity of 160 nationalities living in Luxembourg. The three most populous nationalities are Portuguese, French and Italian. Those who are moving to Luxembourg from outside the European Union will find Luxembourg's bureaucracy more welcoming than most European countries. Luxembourg tends to have a profound recognition of the contribution of the foreigners to its economic well-being. 

Luxembourg boasts of the richest country in the European Union and the second richest in the world with $79.5k per capita income. The private economy is largely dependent on the financial, particularly the fund industry. Luxembourg manages over $4trillion of assets, making it second only to the United States. Amazon is particularly another private sector employer that employs higher number of people. Amazon has its European HQ in Luxembourg, and regularly brings-in people from various European and American business schools and also Americans who are moving to Europe from the US for few years. Amazon's Luxembourg presence gives it much needed industry diversity and Luxembourg is lately focusing on tech and innovation, particularly in the space and security sectors. Apart from these private industries, Luxembourg has a high concentration of EU institutions and a strong public sector. 

Luxembourg income: Luxembourg tends to have high salary compared to other European countries (the exception being Switzerland). However, looking at a gross salary without counting the costs is not comparing apples to apples. Costs tend to be high in Luxembourg for such a small country. In any case, for a single individual, your housing costs can be around 40% of our net salary. Your net salary goes high if you're married and also have kids because of less taxation for families compared to singles. 

Service industry: Service industry in Luxembourg tends to be less service orientated. Most real-estate goes through agencies, and very few direct renting and sales happen. Most other services tend to be French and are less friendly in explaining the basics. This makes it difficult for new comers. There are of course good and friendly service providers. Spotting it is hard. Hence we in Luxembourg Expats are striving to making it easier by bringing expat friendly businesses and services in one place on our platform.

Luxembourg's schooling has both public, private and European schools. Public schooling is free, private schooling is expensive (c. EUR 1k/child/month), and EU schools are accessibly mainly for EU institutional staff. There are child subsidies offered by the Luxembourg state.

Housing: Housing requires contract and we have written more about it here: https://luxembourgexpats.lu/stories/resources/1100000634/

For expats, Luxembourg is indeed a foreign country. Mixing or meeting the local population is rare for expats. Learning French can be very helpful, and in 5 years you can apply to become a naturalised citizen of the country. High salary and good quality of life. High costs. Its also natural that one doesn't have all the rights of a citizen of the country. Usual weekend travels (pre Covid19) tend to be to neighbouring countries and good long vacation in the summer. Welcome to Luxembourg. Your home-away-from-home.

More readings:

Political system: https://gouvernement.lu/en/systeme-politique.html

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