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On 1 January 2007 the municipality, which covers 29.67 km2, had 1,584 inhabitants, giving a population density of 53.4 inhabitants per km². Besides Martelange itself, the municipality includes the population centers of Grumelange and Radelange.
Between 1830 and 1947, the town was a major slate quarrying centre, though the industry has now completely disappeared.
On August 21, 1967, a French tanker lorry containing 45.000 litres of liquid gas suffered from failing brakes while driving downhill. It exploded in the middle of the village, killing 22 people and injuring over 120. Dozens of houses were completely destroyed.