Ageing of the population varies by canton
From 1947 to 2011, in most cantons, the number of inhabitants aged under 15 fell slightly while the number of over 65 increased. Some regions of the country were more affected by this phenomenon, particularly in the south.
Echternach, the youngest canton
The census results for 1947 and 2011 show that the overall proportion of residents under the age of 15 fell by 13% in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The fall was particularly significant in the cantons of Luxembourg (-16%), Diekirch (-14%), Esch/Alzette and Clervaux (-13%). The only canton to see a slight rise in the percentage of inhabitants aged under 15 during this period was Echternach, where it rose from 18.7% in 1947 to 19.3% in 2011.
Societal challenges on the horizon
Over the same period, the country saw a 48% increase in the percentage of inhabitants over 65, which rose from 9.5% in 1947 to 14% in 2011. The cantons of Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg and Vianden saw their share of older people increase the most. This means that the challenges brought about by an ageing population will be different in these cantons from in the rest of the country.
Since 1947, in most of the cantons of the Grand Duchy, as well as in the country as a whole, the proportion of young people (less than 15 years old) has slightly decreased and the proportion of elderly people aged 65 and over has risen.
At the country level, the proportion of people aged less than 15 has decreased by 13% between the two censuses of 1947 and 2011 (i.e. from 19.8% to 17.3%).
At the canton level, the decrease in the proportion of young people was strong, especially in the cantons of Luxembourg (-16%), Diekirch (-14%) and Esch/Alzette and Clervaux (-13%). Only the canton of Echternach has seen its young population aged less than 15 increase slightly during the period, from 18.7% in 1947 to 19.3% in 2011.
As regards the elderly generation, since 1947 the proportion of individuals aged 65 and over has shown an overall increase of 48%, from 9.5% to 14.0% in 2011. However, some geographical differences become apparent. Thus, in the cantons of Mersch and Redange, the proportion of elderly people has remained stable between the two censuses, around 12%, whereas in the cantons of Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg and Vianden it has increased most. Between 1947 and 2011 this share has indeed more than doubled in the canton of Esch/Alzette, from 7.1 per cent in 1947 to 15% in 2011, while it has risen by 48% in the canton of Vianden and 38% in the canton of Luxembourg (9.8% to 13.6%).
Increases in life expectancy and the decline in fertility rates imply, in Luxembourg as in other countries, the ageing of its population. At the cantonal level, ageing is particularly noticeable in the south of the country, where we can suppose that the challenges due to ageing (health expenditures, dependency, etc.) will arise differently compared to other cantons in the country.
Residents of Luxembourg
Population census 1947 and 2011, STATEC, Calculations LISER
In the canton of Wiltz, the proportion of young residents (less than15 years old) has decreased between the two population censuses (1947 and 2011), from more than 22% to less than 20%, whereas its proportion of people aged 65 and over has risen during the same period.