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 Liechtenstein [Country Flag of Liechtenstein]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Liechtenstein]

Liechtenstein

Geography

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Location: Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland

Geographic coordinates: 47 10 N, 9 32 E

Map references: Europe

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

Land use:
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 16%
forests and woodland: 35%
other: 25% (1993 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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

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

People

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Population: 31,717 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 3,058; female 2,926)
15-64 years: 70% (male 11,084; female 11,154)
65 years and over: 11% (male 1,442; female 2,053) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.05% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 12.64 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 7.31 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 5.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.28 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.96 years
male: 75.51 years
female: 80.52 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.61 children born/woman (1998 est.)

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% (1996)

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

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Country name:
conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein
conventional short form: Liechtenstein
local long form: Fuerstentum Liechtenstein
local short form: Liechtenstein

Data code: LS

Government type: hereditary constitutional monarchy

National 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)

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 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 2 February 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%, FBPL 41.3%, FL 8.5%; seats by party - VU 13, FBPL 10, FL 2

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

Political parties and leaders: Fatherland Union or VU [Dr. Oswald KRANZ]; Progressive Citizens' Party or FBPL [Norbert SEEGER]; The Free List or FL

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

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Liechtenstein, but the US Ambassador at Bern (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

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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 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 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.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$713 million (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$23,000 (1996 est.)

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

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 0.5% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 22,891 of which 13,847 are foreigners; 8,231 commute from Austria and Switzerland to work each day
by occupation: industry, trade, and building 46%, services 52%, agriculture, fishing, forestry, and horticulture 2% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 1.6% (1997)

Budget:
revenues: $455 million
expenditures: $435 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 23,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 150 million kWh (1995)

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

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

Exports:
total value: $2.47 billion (1996)
commodities: small specialty machinery, dental products, stamps, hardware, pottery
partners: EU and EFTA countries 60.57% (Switzerland 15.7%) (1995)

Imports:
total value: $917.3 million (1996)
commodities: machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles
partners: EU countries, Switzerland (1996)

Debt—external: $0 (1996)

Economic aid: none

Currency: 1 Swiss franc, franken, or franco (SwF) = 100 centimes, rappen, or centesimi

Exchange rates: Swiss francs, franken, or franchi (SwF) per US$1—1.4757 (January 1998), 1.4513 (1997), 1.2360 (1996), 1.1825 (1995), 1.3677 (1994), 1.4776 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

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Telephones: 22,857 subscribers (1996 est.)

Telephone system: automatic telephone system
domestic: NA
international: linked to Swiss networks by cable and microwave radio relay

Radio broadcast stations: 1 broadcast station in Triesen
note: linked to Swiss networks

Radios: 12,134 license holders (1996)

Television broadcast stations: NA
note: linked to Swiss networks

Televisions: 11,785 license holders (1996)

Transportation

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Railways:
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)

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

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: none

Military

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Military—note: defense is the responsibility of Switzerland

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: claims 1,600 sq km of territory in the Czech Republic 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