OFFICIAL NAME: Principality of Liechtenstein
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 160 Sq Km (62 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & 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, Textiles, Tourism.

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).


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