Foreigners in Luxembourg have more children

Foreign mothers tend to have more babies in Luxembourg. Photo: Shutterstock

Foreign mothers tend to have more babies in Luxembourg. Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg women tend to have less children than foreign mothers living in the grand duchy, a recent Statec publication states.

On 12 May, Luxembourg’s statistics bureau Statec published a complete report on the country’s population. Aside from a demographic boom--a 1.7% increase in one year--the report showed that foreign-born citizens tended to have more children than Luxembourgers.

On average, Luxembourg residents had 1.38 children per mother in 2021. While 52.6% of the 6,690 births recorded last year were Luxembourgish children, foreign women have a fertility rate of 1.55 children, against 1.24 for Luxembourgers. Despite the gap, the rate has continually gone down for both groups since the 1980s. Forty years ago, the general population had 1.5 child.

Mothers also wait longer to have children, with 31.1 years--it was 29.5 in 2010--being the average age of a first-time mother in the grand duchy.

Non-Luxembourg babies born were mainly of Portuguese origin (756), followed by French (615) and Italian (276). These three demographics also represent the grand duchy’s biggest foreign populations, with 30.8% of foreign residents being from Portugal, while 16.2% carry a French passport and 7.9% are Italian.

Job market attracts younger residents

While Luxembourgers are leaving the country in droves, the grand duchy had no problem attracting more talent. The foreign demographic of the country tended to be younger. The 30-54 age bracket was overrepresented for both men and women of foreign origin. On average, Luxembourg men and women were respectively 40 and 42.4 years old, whereas women and men hailing from other countries were 38.1 and 38 years old.

Foreigners make up the minority in the younger and older age brackets: 47.2% of those aged 0-19, 34.4% of those aged 20-24 and 30% of over65s don’t carry the grand duchy’s passport.

In general, Luxembourg’s population distances itself more and more from a traditional age pyramid (where children make up the strong base of the population), and comes closer to schemes seen in countries with ageing populations.

One in five Luxembourgers has double nationality

Though 304,167 foreigners lived in Luxembourg on 1 January 2022, 13.7% of this group had been born in Luxembourg. While most Luxembourgers only had one passport (81.6%), 62,925 citizens (18.4%) had multiple nationalities.

The distribution among different diasporas follows their relative size in the country, with Luxembourg-Portugese combinations being most frequent (25.3%), followed by French-Luxembourg (14.6%) and Luxembourg-Italian (8.2%) passport. 4,919 residents also carried Belgian and grand ducal papers.