Liechtenstein 1997Liechtenstein

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Liechtenstein - Introduction 1997
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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.

Liechtenstein - Geography 1997
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Location: Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland

Geographic coordinates: 47 10 N, 9 32 E

Map referenceEurope

Total: 160 km²
Land: 160 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries
Total: 78 km
Border countries: (2) Austria 37 km; , Switzerland 41 km

Coastline: 0 km (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

Extremes lowest point: Ruggleller Riet 430 m
Extremes highest point: Grauspitz 2,599 m

Natural resources: hydroelectric potential
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 25%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 38%
Forests and woodland: 19%
Other: 18% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: NA

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

Liechtenstein - People 1997
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Population: 31,389 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: 1.02% (1997 est.)

Noun: Liechtensteiner(s)
Adjective: Liechtenstein

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

Languages: German (official), Alemannic dialect

Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 6.9%, unknown 5.6%, other 7.5% (1995)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 19% (male 3,032; female 2,909)
15-64 years: 70% (male 10,952; female 11,059)
65 years and over: 11% (male 1,410; female 2,027) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.02% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 13.03 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 7.33 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.52 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 5.3 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.82 years
Male: 75.38 years
Female: 80.36 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.62 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 10 and over can read and write
Total population: 100%
Male: 100%
Female: 100% (1981 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Liechtenstein - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein
Conventional short form: Liechtenstein
Local long form: Furstentum Liechtenstein
Local short form: Liechtenstein

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

Dependent areas

Independence: 23 January 1719 (Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein established)

National holiday: Assumption Day, 15 August

Constitution: 5 October 1921

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

International law organization participation


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 von und zu Liechtenstein (born 11 June 1968)
Head of government: Head of Government Mario FRICK (since 15 December 1993) and Deputy Head of Government Michael RITTER (since 14 April 1997)
Cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Diet; confirmed by the prince
Elections: none; the prince is a hereditary monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the Diet is usually appointed the head of government by the prince and the leader of the largest minority party in the Diet is usually appointed the deputy head of government by the prince

Legislative branch: unicameral Diet or Landtag (25 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote under proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held on 2 February 1997 (next to be held by NA 2001)
Election results: percent of vote by party - VU 50.1%, FBP 41.3%, FL 8.5%; seats by party - VU 13, FBP 10, FL 2

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

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: CE, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, IAEA, ICRM, IFRCS, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, WCL, WIPO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Liechtenstein does not have an embassy in the US, but is represented by the Swiss embassy in routine diplomatic matters
From the us: the US does not have an embassy in Liechtenstein, but the US Ambassador at Bern (Switzerland) has been nominated to be the non-resident US Ambassador to Liechtenstein

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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Liechtenstein - Economy 1997
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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 about 25,000 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 is a member of the European Economic Area (an organization serving as a bridge between EFTA and EU) since May 1995. The government is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA%

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Agriculture products: wheat, barley, maize, potatoes; livestock, dairy products

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force
Total: 22,187 of which 13,576 are foreigners; 7,781 commute from Austria and Switzerland to work each day
By occupation industry trade andbuilding: 45%
By occupation services: 53%
By occupation agriculture fishing forestry andhorticulture: 2% (1995 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 1.1% (1996)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $455 million
Expenditures: $435 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1996 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Total value: $2.14 billion (1994)
Commodities: small specialty machinery, dental products, stamps, hardware, pottery
Partners: EU and EFTA countries 60.57% (Switzerland 15.7%) (1995)

Total value: $852.3 million (1994)
Commodities: machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles
Partners: EU countries, Switzerland (1996)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $0 (1996)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Swiss francs, franken, or franchi (SwF) per US$1 - 1.3936 (January 1997), 1.2360 (1996), 1.1825 (1995), 1.3677 (1994), 1.4776 (1993), 1.4062 (1992)

Liechtenstein - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 150 million kWh (1995)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 8,000 kWh (1995 est.)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Liechtenstein - Communication 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: limited, but sufficient automatic telephone system
Domestic: NA
International: linked to Swiss networks by cable and microwave radio relay

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Liechtenstein - Military 1997
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Liechtenstein - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: none

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways



Total: 18.5 km; note - owned, operated, and included in statistics of Austrian Federal Railways
Standard gauge: 18.5 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified)



Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Liechtenstein - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: claims 1,600 km² of Czech territory confiscated from its royal family in 1918; the Czech Republic insists that restitution does not go back before February 1948, when the communists seized power

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Qatar Airways

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