The inhabitants of Luxembourg are mostly of German and French background,
but have a distinct national consciousness. The population of Luxembourg
(1997 estimate) is 420,415, giving the country an overall population
density of 163 persons per sq km (421 per sq mi).
The principal cities are centers of industrial production. The capital
and largest city is Luxembourg City, also known as Luxembourg-Ville,
with a population (1991) of 75,377. Other important cities are Esch-sur-Alzette
(24,012), Differdange (15,699), Dudelange (14,677), and Sanem (11,534).
The linguistic situation in Luxembourg is characterised by the fact
that several languages are spoken and written at the same time in
the same place. Names of streets, shops, travel tickets, hotel registries
and menus are mostly in French (some street and place names are
also added in Lëtzebuergesch).
Newspapers printed in the Grand Duchy are mostly in German, but
some cultural articles, many advertisements and social announcements
are in French.
In other countries too, several languages are spoken, but they almost
always are limited to specific regions, to the exclusion of other
tongues. In Luxembourg, the various languages are superimposed in
an almost hierarchical manner. There is, however, a certain logic
to the puzzle.
On all levels of society, only one language is used in oral communication:
"Lëtzebuergesch". This is the everyday spoken language of the people,
and the symbol of the Luxembourgers national identity
The religion of Luxembourg cosist of 91% Roman Catholic, with Protestant,
Anglican and Jewish minorities.