General Information

Liechtenstein is a German-speaking, 25km-long principality between Austria and Switzerland. It’s known for its medieval castles, alpine landscapes and villages linked by a network of trails. The capital, Vaduz, a cultural and financial center, is home to Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, with galleries of modern and contemporary art. The Postal Museum displays Liechtenstein’s postage stamps.

Population

Liechtenstein has a population of 37,340

Political Structure

Liechtenstein has a constitutional monarch as Head of State, and an elected parliament which enacts the law. It is also a direct democracy, where voters can propose and enact constitutional amendments and legislation independent of the legislature. The Constitution of Liechtenstein was adopted in March 2003, replacing the previous 1921 constitution which had established Liechtenstein as a constitutional monarchy headed by the reigning prince of the Princely House of Liechtenstein. A parliamentary system had been established, although the reigning Prince retained substantial political authority.

Infrastructure and Economy

Liechtenstein participates in a customs union with Switzerland and employs the Swiss franc as the national currency. The country imports about 85% of its energy. 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 European Union) since May 1995. The government is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe. Since 2002, Liechtenstein’s rate of unemployment has doubled. In 2008, it stood at 1.5%. Currently, there is only one hospital in Liechtenstein, the Liechtensteinisches Landesspital in Vaduz. The gross domestic product (GDP) on a purchasing power parity basis is $5.028 billion, or $89,400 per capita, which is the second highest in the world.

Languages

The official language is German

Currency

Swiss franc (CHF)

Exchange Controls

Liechtenstein as no exchange controls