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Map of Liechtenstein
Introduction Liechtenstein
Principality of Liechtenstein previously established within Holy Roman Empire in 1719; it became a sovereign state in 1806. Until end of World War I, it previously closely tied to Austria, but economic devastation caused by that conflict forced Liechtenstein to enter into a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. Since World War II (in which Liechtenstein remained neutral), countries low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth. However, shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight have resulted in concerns about use of financial institutions for money laundering.
Geography Liechtenstein
Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland
Geographic coordinates:
47 16 N, 9 32 E
Map references:
total: 160 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 160 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 0.9 times size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
total: 76 km
border countries: Austria 34.9 km, Switzerland 41.1 km
0 km (doubly landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
continental; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow or rain; cool to moderately warm, cloudy, humid summers
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:
Environment - current issues:
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 Sea
Geography - note:
along with Uzbekistan, one of only two doubly landlocked countries in world; variety of microclimatic variations based on elevation
People Liechtenstein
Total Population:
33,145 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.1% (male 2,979; female 3,008)
15-64 years: 70.6% (male 11,646; female 11,740)
65 years and over: 11.3% (male 1,538; female 2,234) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 38.3 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 38.8 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.9% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
10.92 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.85 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
4.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
Population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.85 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 6.59 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 79.25 years
male: 75.63 years
female: 82.87 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.5 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Liechtensteiner(s)
adjective: Liechtenstein
Ethnic groups:
Alemannic 86%, Italian, Turkish, and other 14%
Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 7%, unknown 10.6%, other 6.2% (June 2002)
German (official), Alemannic dialect
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
Population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (1981 est.)
Government Liechtenstein
Country name:
conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein
conventional short form: Liechtenstein
local short form: Liechtenstein
local long form: Fuerstentum Liechtenstein
Government type:
hereditary constitutional monarchy on a democratic and parliamentary basis
Administrative divisions:
11 communes (Gemeinden, singular - Gemeinde); Balzers, Eschen, Gamprin, Mauren, Planken, Ruggell, Schaan, Schellenberg, Triesen, Triesenberg, Vaduz
23 January 1719 Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein established; 12 July 1806 established independence from Holy Roman Empire
National holiday:
Assumption Day, 15 August
5 October 1921
Legal system:
local civil and penal codes; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
18 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 monarch (born 11 June 1968)
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, leader of majority party in Diet is usually appointed head of government by monarch and leader of largest minority party in Diet is usually appointed deputy head of government by monarch
cabinet: Cabinet elected by Parliament, confirmed by 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 Parliament 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; Court of Appeal or Obergericht
Political parties and leaders:
Fatherland Union or VU [Oswald KRANZ]; Progressive Citizens' Party or FBP [Ernst WALCH]; Free List or FL [Dr. Pepo FRICK, Karin JENNY, Rene HASLER]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Claudia FRITSCHE
chancery: 1300 Eye Street NW, Suite 550W, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 216-0460
FAX: [1] (202) 216-0459
Diplomatic representation from US:
US does not have an embassy in Liechtenstein, but 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 hoist side of blue band
Economy Liechtenstein
Economy - overview:
Despite its limited 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 its large European neighbors. Liechtenstein economy is widely diversified with a large number of limited businesses. Low business taxes - maximum tax rate is 20% - and easy incorporation rules have induced many holding or so-called letter box companies to establish nominal offices in Liechtenstein, providing 30% of state revenues. country participates in a customs union with Switzerland and uses Swiss franc as its national currency. It imports more than 90% of its energy requirements. Liechtenstein has been a member of European Economic Area (an organization serving as a bridge between European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and EU) since May 1995. government is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe.
buying power parity - $825 million (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
11% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $25,000 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: 40%
services: NA% (1999)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1% (2001)
Labor force:
29,000 of which 19,000 are foreigners; 13,000 commute from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany to work each day (37256)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 47.4%, services 51.3%, agriculture 1.3% (37256 est.)
Unemployment rate:
1.3% (37500)
revenues: $424.2 million
expenditures: $414.1 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)
electronics, metal manufacturing, dental products, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, food products, precision instruments, tourism, optical instruments
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0%
other: 0% (2002)
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, corn, potatoes; livestock, dairy products
$2.47 billion (1996)
Exports - commodities:
limited specialty machinery, connectors for audio and video, parts for motor vehicles, dental products, hardware, prepared foodstuffs, electronic equipment, optical products
Exports - partners:
EU 62.6% (Germany 24.3%, Austria 9.5%, France 8.9%, Italy 6.6%, UK 4.6%), US 18.9%, Switzerland 15.7%
$917.3 million (1996)
Imports - commodities:
agricultural products, raw materials, machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles
Imports - partners:
EU, Switzerland
Debt - external:
$0 (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
Swiss franc (CHF)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Swiss francs per US dollar - 1.5586 (2002), 1.6876 (2001), 1.6888 (2000), 1.5022 (1999), 1.4498 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Liechtenstein
Telephones - main lines in use:
20,072 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Telephone system:
general assessment: automatic telephone system
domestic: NA
international: linked to Swiss networks by cable and microwave radio relay
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)
21,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
NA (linked to Swiss networks) (1997)
12,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
44 (Liechtenstein and Switzerland) (2000)
Internet users:
Transportation Liechtenstein
total: 18.5 km
standard gauge: 18.5 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified)
note: owned, operated, and included in statistics of Austrian Federal Railways (2002)
total: 250 km
paved: 250 km
unpaved: 0 km
gas 20 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
none (2002)
Military Liechtenstein
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of Switzerland
Transnational Issues Liechtenstein
Disputes - international:
Liechtenstein's royal family claims restitution for 1,600 sq km of land in 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