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Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1719. Occupied by both French and Russian troops during the Napoleanic wars, it became a sovereign state in 1806 and joined the Germanic Confederation in 1815. Liechtenstein became fully independent in 1866 when the Confederation dissolved. Until the end of World War I, it was closely tied to Austria, but the 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), the country's low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth. In 2000, shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight resulted in concerns about the use of financial institutions for money laundering. However, Liechtenstein implemented anti-money-laundering legislation and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the US went into effect in 2003.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
total: 76 km
border countries: Austria 34.9 km, Switzerland 41.1 km

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

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

Map references:
Europe

Geographic coordinates:
47 16 N, 9 32 E

Natural resources:
hydroelectric potential, arable land

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

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

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

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

Location:
Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland

Coastline:
0 km (doubly landlocked)

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

Irrigated land:
NA

Environment - current issues:
NA

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:
NA

Land use:
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 75% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.51 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

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

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.95 years
male: 76.38 years
female: 83.52 years (2008 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%

Net migration rate:
4.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Liechtensteiner 65.6%, other 34.4% (2000 census)

Median age:
total: 40.5 years
male: 40 years
female: 41 years (2008 est.)

Population:
34,498 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
NA

Population growth rate:
0.713% (2008 est.)

Languages:
German (official), Alemannic dialect

Death rate:
7.42 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.52 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.03 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 16 years
female: 13 years (2004)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.9% (male 2,892/female 2,927)
15-64 years: 69.8% (male 11,905/female 12,180)
65 years and over: 13.3% (male 1,964/female 2,630) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
9.86 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 7%, unknown 10.6%, other 6.2% (June 2002)

Nationality:
noun: Liechtensteiner(s)
adjective: Liechtenstein

  Government Back To Top

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

National holiday:
Assumption Day, 15 August

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
constitutional monarchy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Claudia FRITSCHE
chancery: 2900 K Street, NW, Suite 602B, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 331-0590
FAX: [1] (202) 331-3221

International organization participation:
CE, EBRD, EFTA, IAEA, ICCt, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITSO, ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, WCL, WIPO, WTO

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Landtag (25 seats; members are elected by popular vote under proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 11 and 13 March 2005 (next to be held February 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - FBP 48.7%, VU 38.2%, FL 13%; seats by party - FBP 12, VU 10, FL 3

Legal system:
local civil and penal codes based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

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

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

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

Political parties and leaders:
Patriotic Union or VU [Adolf HEEB] (was Fatherland Union); Progressive Citizens' Party or FBP [Marcus VOGT]; The Free List or FL [Claudia HEEB-FLECK and Egon MATT]

Capital:
name: Vaduz
geographic coordinates: 47 08 N, 9 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Constitution:
5 October 1921; amended 15 September 2003

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); note - on 15 August 2004, HANS ADAM transferred the official duties of the ruling prince to ALOIS, but HANS ADAM retains status of chief of state
head of government: Head of Government (Prime Minister) Otmar HASLER (since 5 April 2001); Deputy Head of Government (Deputy Prime Minister) Klaus TSCHUETSCHER (since 21 April 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Parliament, confirmed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the Landtag is usually appointed the head of government by the monarch and the leader of the largest minority party in the Landtag is usually appointed the deputy head of government by the monarch if there is a coalition government

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

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Court of Appeal or Obergericht

  Economy Back To Top

Debt - external:
$0 (2001)

Unemployment rate:
1.5% (31 December 2007)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$118,000 (2007 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$4.16 billion (2007)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.993 billion (2007)

Exchange rates:
Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar - 1.0774 (2008 est.), 1.1973 (2007), 1.2539 (2006), 1.2452 (2005), 1.2435 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.1% (2007 est.)

Labor force:
31,000 of whom 13,900 commute from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany to work each day (31 December 2006)

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

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 8%
industry: 39%
services: 54% (2007)

Exports:
$2.47 billion (1996)

Currency (code):
Swiss franc (CHF)

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 the highest per capita income in the world. The Liechtenstein economy is widely diversified with a large number of small businesses. Low business taxes - the maximum tax rate is 20% - and easy incorporation rules have induced many holding 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 the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EU) since May 1995. The government is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe. In 2008 Liechtenstein came under renewed international pressure - particularly from Germany - to improve transparency in its banking and tax systems.

Imports - commodities:
agricultural products, raw materials, energy products, machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles

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

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Imports:
$917.3 million (1996)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 43.5%
services: 55.4% (31 December 2006)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Currency code:
CHF

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

Exports - commodities:
small specialty machinery, connectors for audio and video, parts for motor vehicles, dental products, hardware, prepared foodstuffs, electronic equipment, optical products

Budget:
revenues: $424.2 million
expenditures: $414.1 million (1998 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
22,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
20,000 (2005)

Televisions:
12,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.li

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:
21,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
27,500 (2005)

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

Telephone system:
general assessment: automatic telephone system
domestic: NA
international: country code - 423; linked to Swiss networks by cable and microwave radio relay

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
44 (Liechtenstein and Switzerland) (2000)

Internet hosts:
7,639 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Waterways:
28 km (2008)

Pipelines:
gas 20 km (2007)

Railways:
9 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified)
note: belongs to the Austrian Railway System connecting Austria and Switzerland (2006)

Roadways:
total: 380 km
paved: 380 km (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 8,102 (2008 est.)

Military - note:
Liechtenstein has no military forces, but is interested in European security policy and is an active member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 6,584 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
no regular military forces (constitutionally prohibited); Principality of Liechtenstein National Police (Landespolizei, LP) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 202
female: 222 (2008 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
none

Illicit drugs:
has strengthened money laundering controls, but money laundering remains a concern due to Liechtenstein's sophisticated offshore financial services sector

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Quiz #1
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