Census to dissect more crowded, diverse Luxembourg
Luxembourg will soon ask each household to take part in a national census it holds every decade to help it shape policies for the country, whose population has risen by 20% since it last collected the data.
The census will ask households about their economic situation, level of education, the languages they speak and the means of transport they tend to use. It is the only way the country can collate such detailed data.
Luxembourg has the fastest growing population in Europe, with currently 613,000 residents - almost half of them foreigners - compared to 512,000 in 2011, the year the census last took place. At that time, the number of foreign residents with no Luxembourg passport stood at 42%.
Housing is one of the most prominent topics the census will look at, given the Grand Duchy's through-the-roof property prices. While people are now spending more than a third of their disposable income on a mortgage, a small group of rich owners are sitting on empty plots which could be used to build the thousands of housing units Luxembourg needs. Around 70,000 citizens have opted for housing over the border to be able to afford a home as empty properties and land continue to push up prices.
Education is another. Over the past decade, Luxembourg has put in place state-run international schools with English, French and German sections. English has become a more common language in the workplace, with more than half of all vacancies posted by the country’s job agency this year asking for English-language skills. And lawmakers recently made changes to the local elections, allowing foreigners to vote for their local councillors as soon as they move to the country instead of having to wait five years.
The national government, as well as local administrations, will use the study when making decisions on building on plots of land or whether different areas need more housing, schools, creches, hospitals or a home for the elderly.
The study, expected to cost €5.3 million, will be carried out by statistics agency Statec, with data collected throughout November.