• Liechtenstein is a tiny European nation nestled between Switzerland and Austria. 
  • Home to about 38,000 people, it’s the fourth-smallest and the second-least-visited country in Europe. 
  • With an area of only 62 square miles, it’s nearly eight times smaller than the city of Los Angeles.
  • It has virtually zero national debt, and the per capita GDP is the second-highest in the world.
  • Liechtenstein’s only billionaire is worth half the country’s GDP.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Liechtenstein keeps a lower profile than its neighbors, Switzerland and Austria.

The tiny country is the second-least-visited in Europe, and it’s home to only about 38,000 people. At about 62 square miles, it’s nearly eight times smaller than the city of Los Angeles. It has no airport and no coastline, and its largest city has only 6,000 residents.

But despite its size, Liechtenstein has a per capita GDP of $165,028 — the second highest in the world, surpassed only by Monaco. And it has virtually no national debt.

Read on for 11 astounding facts about Liechtenstein, its people, and its economy.

1. Liechtenstein, a tiny European country nestled between Switzerland and Austria, is nearly eight times smaller than the city of Los Angeles.

liechtenstein map


Google Maps


With an area of about 62 square miles, it’s the fourth-smallest country in Europe, after Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino.

The official language of Liechtenstein is German.

2. Its largest city is home to only 6,000 people.

schaan liechtenstein

A view of Schaan-Vaduz, the capital region of Liechtenstein.
Getty Images/E. Jones


Schaan is Liechtenstein’s largest city, but the capital, Vaduz, which is only about 11 miles from Schaan, has even fewer residents: about 5,400.

3. Liechtenstein is the only country in the world with 100% of its territory in the Alpine region.

liechtenstein


Getty Images/HoLam Cheung


Europe’s seven Alpine countries — Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, and Switzerland — are the nations that encompass the Alps, the highest mountain range that lies entirely in Europe.

Liechtenstein’s lowest elevation is more than 1,400 above sea level.

6. Liechtenstein has virtually zero national debt.

liechtenstein


REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


The country has a debt to GDP ratio of 0.5%, and national and municipal budgets run an overall surplus, according to Liechtenstein’s Foundation for Public Policy and Constitutional Law.

8. Liechtenstein hasn’t had an army since 1868.

liechtenstein army

An honor guard welcomes Germany’s then-president Joachim Gauck to Liechtenstein in 2015.
Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images


But it’s sometimes accidentally invaded by the Swiss army, which conducts training exercises in the woods near the border with Liechtenstein.

9. More than half of Liechtenstein’s workforce commutes into the country every day from neighboring countries.

liechtenstein


REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


In 2016, 54% of Liechtenstein’s workforce commuted from countries like Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, according to Liechtenstein’s Foundation for Public Policy and Constitutional Law.

10. Only 406 people were unemployed in Liechtenstein in 2016 — and that includes those who were on maternity leave.

liechtenstein

Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


The nation’s unemployment rate is 2.1%, according to Liechtenstein’s Office of Statistics.

11. Liechtenstein has no airport.

zurich airport

A plane takes off at Zurich Airport in Switzerland.
REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


The closest airport is in Zurich, about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Liechtenstein’s capital.

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