Happy Nations #6: Luxembourg

We take a break from Scandanavia and visit the little country of Luxembourg.

Here is how Luxembourg compares to the United States in each of the six factors for Happiness:

  • GDP: 2.209 v 1.982
  • Social Support: 1.155 v 1.182
  • Healthy Life Expectancy: 0.790 v 0.628
  • Freedom to Make Life Choices: 0.700 v 0.574
  • Generosity: 0.120 v 0.220
  • Perceptions of Corruption: 0.388 v 0.177

Not very generous, but a high GDP… not a tremendous start.

Other Scoring Systems

I assume being only 650,000 people excluded Luxembourg from the US News rankings. They perform pretty well in other rankings, however.

Health Care

Luxembourg ranks #51 in Global Health Security.

Healthcare in Luxembourg is based on three fundamental principles: compulsory health insurance, free choice of healthcare providers for patients, and mandatory compliance of providers with the set fixed costs for the services rendered.

Employed citizens in Luxembourg make health insurance contributions via payments to Luxembourg’s social security system. Coverage includes most treatment by your general practitioner or specialists, laboratory tests, prescriptions, and hospitalization.

All residents have access to the state healthcare system in Luxembourg. However, employed and self-employed workers must make social security contributions to access healthcare services.


The capital of Luxembourg is … Luxembourg.

Luxembourg City is similar to St. Louis but about 10-15 degrees cooler in the summer and a narrower band of warmer weather in the winter.

Cost of Living

Luxembourg, in general, is less expensive to live in than the United States.

However, comparing Saint Louis, MO, to Luxembourg, we see it will cost 19% more to live in Luxembourg. A significant increase.


Luxembourg has three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish.

Although 80% of the country also speaks English, it seems like a situation where learning French would be more appropriate.

Acceptance of Others

Nearly half of Luxembourg’s population is of foreign origin. Most foreigners are from Portugal and then France.

The country does have a positive trend in LGBT+ acceptance compared to other EU states.

It was challenging to find many first-hand results on how immigrants are treated in this relatively small country.

Moving Feasibility

Luxembourg does have an extensive immigration website.

Within 90 days of their arrival, third-country nationals (i.e. USA) who have obtained a temporary authorization to stay and who wish to stay longer than 90 days in Luxembourg must apply for a residence permit corresponding to the category of their permission to stay (employee, self-employed, trainee, etc.) with the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Self-employment is an immigration option; after five years of staying, you can apply for permanent residence.


Being ranked the fifth worst country for ex-pats is not great. But much of this ranking is due to the cost of living.

I never honestly considered Luxembourg as an option, and the language could be a barrier to entry. This country requires further review.

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