OFFICIAL NAME: Principality of Liechtenstein
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 160 Sq Km (62 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 31,900
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Liechtenstein is a landlocked country
in Central Europe. It is bound by the Austria province of
Vorarlberg to the east and the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen
and Graubunden to the west. Around 40% of the country lies
in the upper Rhine River Valley occupying the broad flood
plain while the reminder of the country is part of the Alps
Mountain Ranges, which have extensive forests with meadows
at high levels. Grauspitz in the Rhaetian Alps is the country's
highest point. Major Cities (pop. est.); Schaan 5,100, Vaduz
5,100 (1995). Land Use; forested 35%, pastures 16%, agricultural-cultivated
24%, other 25% (1993).
CLIMATE: Liechtenstein has an alpine climate with mild winters.
The climate is greatly influenced by a warm south wind called the Fohn,
which comes hastily in spring. Average annual precipitation varies from
150 mm to 1,200 mm (6 to 47 inches) to 1,800 mm (71 inches) in the alpine
regions. Average temperature ranges in summer are from 20 to 28 degrees
Celsius (68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit) to a minimum of -15 degrees Celsius
(5 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter.
PEOPLE: Around 64% of the population are of German stock descending
from Alemannic origins with the remainder consisting of foreigners, particularly
from Austria and Switzerland.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 181.2 persons per sq km
(473.8 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; N/A. Sex Distribution; 48.9%
male, 51.1% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 69.5 years male, 73.6
years female (1991). Age Breakdown; 19% under 15, 25% 15 to 29, 25% 30
to 44, 17% 45 to 59, 10% 60 to 74, 4% 75 and over (1992). Birth Rate; 13.2
per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 6.8 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 6.4
per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 7.0 per 1,000 live births (1989).
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 87% of the population Roman
Catholic while 8% are Protestant.
LANGUAGES: The official language is German, although the national
language is a form of Alemannic dialect.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
0.2%, primary and lower secondary 47.6%, upper secondary and vocational
41.0%, higher 11.2% (1980). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over
virtually 100% (1990).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: Since 1938 the country has been
run by a coalition government between the Patriotic Union (VU) and the
Progressive Citizens' Party (FBP). In Aug. 1984 Prince Franz Josef II transferred
his executive powers to Crown Prince Hans Adam. In July 1984 a referendum
allowed women the right to vote in the 1986 election for the first time.
In Nov. 1989 Prince Franz Josef died and was acceded by Hans Adam. In June
1990 the government announced plans to revise the country's banking legislation
to prevent the misuse of its banks. On May 22, 1991 Liechtenstein became
a full member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), although it
had been an associate member. In June 1992 a referendum to lower the voting
age from 20 to 18 was rejected with a 56% no vote. In the same month revelations
surfaced that the late publishing magnate Robert Maxwell had setup illegal
banks in Liechtenstein for Soviet KGB and Communist Party officials in
the 1980's that further reinforced the country's tax haven status. Also
during the year the government threatened to take Czechoslovakia to the
International Court of Justice in The Hague over the appropriation of billions
of dollars worth of royal homes and estates between 1918 and 1945. In Feb.
1993 general elections were held that resulted the FBP led by Markus Buchel
forming another coalition government with the VU. In Sept. 1993 the government
failed to survive a vote of no confidence and resulted in Prince Hans Adam
II dissolving the Legislature and announcing October elections. Following
the elections the VU led by Mario Frick formed another coalition government
that would take effect from Jan. 1, 1994. In 1993 Prince Adam II's dispute
with Czechoslovakia continued with the Prince demanding compensation for
the appropriation of his ancestral estates totaling some US $1 billion.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Swiss Franc (SwF) divided
into 100 Centimes.
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $978,000,000 (1991 est.).
Public Debt; Nil. Imports; SwF 1,002,735,000 (1993). Exports; SwF 2,026,959,000
(1993). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade; SwF 1,024,200,000 (1993).
Economically Active Population; 15,109 or 49.3% of total population (1994).
Unemployed; 2.3% (1994).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partner is Switzerland.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Grapes, Hydroelectricity, Livestock, Maize,
Potatoes, Timber, Vegetables, Wheat.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Business Services, Ceramics, Light Machinery,
Metal Working, Pharmaceuticals, Precision Instruments, Processed Foods,
MAIN EXPORTS: Chemicals, Machinery and Transport Equipment, Metal
Manufacturers, Postage Stamps.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 19 km (11 mi) (1989), passenger-km
N/A., cargo ton-km N/A. Roads; length 323 km (201 mi) (1989). Vehicles;
cars 16,277 (1989), trucks and buses 1,877 (1989). Merchant Marine; nil.
Air Transport; nil.
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 2 with a total circulation
of 17,739 (1992). Radio; receivers 11,000 (1993). Television; receivers
10,620 (1993). Telephones; units 18,916 (1993).