On 1 January, 2017, foreign nationals made up 48% of Luxembourg's 590,667-strong population
Photo: Mike Zenari
The foreign population in Luxembourg outnumbers locals in 11 communes, a Statec report has found.
For several decades Luxembourg has pursued a strategy of recruiting talent from abroad to drive the various pillars of its economy.
The result is an ever growing foreign population of over 170 different nationalities which, on 1 January, 2017, made up 48% of the country’s population.
The spread of this population varies widely around the country from Wahl, where they make up a fifth of the population, to Luxembourg City, where seven in ten residents are non-Luxembourgers.
Behind Luxembourg City, according to the report, the largest concentrations of foreign nationals were found in the communes of Strassen (61.6%), Larochette (59.4%), Esch-sur-Alzette (57.2%), Differdange (55.9%), Hesperange (54.1%), Bertrange (54%) and Walferdange (53.4%), Kopstal (50.9%), Mamer (50.3%) and Wiltz (50.3%).
Suffrage for foreigners
The rising proportion of foreign residents in Luxembourg has prompted questions over voting rights in legislative elections. Currently Luxembourg nationals are obliged to vote in national elections while foreign passport holders are not permitted to vote, though they can vote in communal elections provided they have been a resident for five or more years.
In a 2015 referendum, 78% of Luxembourgers voted against granting voting rights to foreign nationals in national elections. Since then, Luxembourg reformed its nationality law, reducing the residency period required from seven to five years, among other things.
In future the proportion may also be impacted by a slowing down in net migration to Luxembourg. In May, Delano reported that last year's net growth was 9,446 people, the lowest growth seen in years.