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About this region
Liechtenstein ( (listen) LIK-tən-styne; German: [ˈlɪçtn̩ʃtaɪn]), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German-speaking microstate situated in the Alps and in the southwest of Central Europe. The principality is a semi-constitutional monarchy headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein; the Prince's extensive powers are equivalent to those of a President in a semi-presidential system. Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It is Europe's fourth-smallest country, with an area of just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles) and a population of 38,749. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz, and its largest municipality is Schaan. It is also the smallest country to border two countries. Liechtenstein is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world, along with Uzbekistan. Economically, Liechtenstein has one of the highest gross domestic products per person in the world when adjusted for purchasing power parity. It was once known as a billionaire tax haven, but is no longer on any blacklists of uncooperative tax haven countries. An Alpine country, Liechtenstein is mountainous, making it a winter sport destination. The country has a strong financial sector centered in Vaduz. Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations, the European Free Trade Association, and the Council of Europe, and although not a member of the European Union, it participates in both the Schengen Area and the European Economic Area. It also has a customs union and a monetary union with Switzerland.
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