As of 1 January 2017, the population of the grand duchy counted 47.7% foreigners, with an exponential growth until today. In a study released in June 2017, the University of Luxembourg studied the localisation and work migrations of the six most represented nationalities across the country. The analysed data was based on the last population inventory from 2011 and examined the following groups: Luxembourgers, French, Portuguese, Belgians, Germans, and Italians.
As of 2011, the different nationalities were spread across the 116 communes of the country (meanwhile, the communes have been merged to a total of 106). The results outlined a disparity in distribution, with 65% of foreigners living in the capital city. Just over a third of the capital residents were Luxembourgers. Moreover, the study showed that foreigners were overrepresented in 18 communes and underrepresented in 20 communes.
Even though Portuguese people represented the biggest group of immigrants, only 14.3% resided in the capital city. French residents, however, made up only 6.1% of immigrants in total, yet representing an impressive number of capital residents (14.1%). According to the University of Luxembourg, an increase of 57.4% French people settled down in the grand duchy between 2001 and 2011, with a majority residing in Luxembourg city.
The study also focused on spatial movements of the population between their living and work place. Therefore, the communes were categorised according to their urban and employment influence, ranging from “isolated communes outside the impact of hubs” to “big employment hubs” and different “rings” attracting workers from other communes.
Accordingly, Luxembourg city was the biggest “ring”, attracting workers from 26 communes from all across the country. Among the different nationalities, the distribution was different for each group: on average, Portuguese people were mostly employed in small employment poles, whereas most French immigrants worked in the big employment hubs.
What was striking was that even though Portuguese people lived in largely densely populated areas, which are also locations with high employment centres, they nevertheless tended to work in less dense cities representing smaller employment centres.
The study also examined the commute distance for each nationality, in which Luxembourgers drew the short straw: 16.3km is the average distance Luxembourgers commute each day, which was the longest in comparison to other resident groups. Next were the Portuguese, who commuted around 15.9km to work. The shortest distance was measured for French people, with an average of 11.7km. As most French people are located in the capital, they were always in vicinity to their work place.