Luxembourgian American

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Luxembourg Luxembourg American United States

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Total population
40,658 (2011 US Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Illinois · Wisconsin · Minnesota · Iowa · California
American English · German · French
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
German Americans · French Americans

Luxembourgian Americans, also known as Luxembourg Americans (sometimes hyphenated in either spelling), are Americans of Luxembourgish ancestry. According to the United States' 2000 Census, there are 45,139 Americans of full or partial Luxembourgish descent.[2] However, demographers regard this as an undercount, as the index of inconsistency is high, and many, if not most, people from Luxembourgish ancestry have a tendency to identify simply as Americans or, if of mixed European ancestry, nominate a more recent and differentiated ethnic group. In 1940 the number of Americans with Luxembourgish ancestry was around 100,000.[3]

The first families from Luxembourg arrived in the United States, at least, in 1842, fleeing of the overpopulation and economic change. This first families worked in the field, as was traditional in their country.[4]

Luxembourg Americans are overwhelmingly concentrated in the Midwest, where most originally settled in the nineteenth century. At the 2000 Census, the states with the largest self-reported Luxembourg American populations are Illinois (6,963), Wisconsin (6,580), Minnesota (5,867), Iowa (5,624), and California (2,824).[5]


Between the mid-19th century and the early 20th century, approximately one-third of the Luxembourgish population left their country. It was, at the time, a poor country, living mainly off agriculture.[6]

The number of Luxembourgers arriving in the US in the 19th century is thought to be around 60,000–70,000.

Substantial Luxembourgish emigration to America took off from about 1845, for several reasons.

Advances in medicine caused the rate of infant mortality to decline. This resulted in overpopulation. The lack of work in industry led many to despair. The country could no longer feed its population. In the large families of the time, the dividing up of inheritance led to fragmentation of land ownership. The portion of each child was reduced to a few hectares, which was barely enough to feed a family. Selling one's portion to the elder brother, however, provided enough money for the other siblings to pay for the voyage to American and to start a new life there.

Travelling was becoming easier in this period as well. Previously, it had taken as long to go from Luxembourg to Paris as from there to America. After a while, the news came to Europe that there was much unused land available in America. The Homestead Act offered fertile land, for low prices. Many therefore took the step of attempting a new start, since staying in one's home country would mean death by starvation.[7]

Luxembourgers arriving in the United States would not necessarily be registered as such by the authorities, but instead as Belgians or Germans. After arriving in New York, Luxembourgers tended to move on to Chicago, Illinois, as well as Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. A small number stayed in New York.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Table B04006, People Reporting Ancestry, 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, United States Census Bureau
  2. ^ "Total US population by ancestry". United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2006-07-29. 
  3. ^ "De L'état à la nation 1839-1989" Imprimeries St. Paul. p. 145.
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of Chicago: Luxembourgers. Posted by Kathleen Neils Conzen.
  5. ^ "US population by ancestry and state". United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2006-07-29. 
  6. ^ ""Luxembourg-USA – A Story of Migration" Begegnung mit der Vergangenheit" (in German). Luxemburger Wort. 2 July 2007. p. 25. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Migration in Luxemburg" (in German). p. 72. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 

External links[edit]